Just in time for starting off the Halloween season the horror film ClownTown comes to DVD and VOD. While the movie states that it has a base in fact, that’s questionable and I’ll believe it when they find real facts in The Blair Witch Project. The recent release of Clown that featured its review on our website a month ago and a real sicko it is, goes steps above ClownTown for the horror factor, but not by much. The guts and gore are about equal, but the clown faces don’t out do the scare factor of Kent McCoy’s distorted look in Clown. That said, if you love the horror genre, then put on your polka dot pajamas, slap on a red nose, wear huge shoes and grab a copy of ClownTown at your local video outlet or store. But don’t watch it alone, only if you dare.
The film opens with a give-away scene that sets the tone for the slash and dice ClownTown. Not wanting to give away a nice opening, I’ll let you viewers find out what precedes this thriller that features the lovely Kaitlyn Sapp in her first big screen role. Following the start credits we find four twenty-something close friends, Brad (Brian Nagel), Sarah (Lauren Elise), Mike (Andrew Staton), and Jill (Katie Keene) driving to a concert in Columbus, Ohio.
Along the way they stop at a diner to get directions and the local Sheriff (Christopher Lawrence Chapman) tells them that since there’s construction on the main highway they should take a back road through a town called Clinton. They head out for the concert in the daylight traveling several miles before Jill realizes she left her cell phone back at the diner. Mike tells her to call the cell using Sarah’s phone to see if it is still at the diner and they can pick it up on the return trip. When a man answers the phone, he asks where they are and that he will drop it off to them. Thus begins a tale so diabolical and terrifying in dreadfully scary Clinton that you may want to have a barf bucket handy next to the popcorn.
Nicely costumed, excellent prosthesis make-up, convincing acting, first-rate cinematography and perfect musical sound effects keep the film above average. There’s not much more to say about the production value as it does make the movie a must see for fans of the genre. With all these things in place, Director Tom Nagel has a good old time slashing with crow bars, beating heads with baseball bats, stabbing torsos and bringing his film to a vengeful ending.
On the downside, the film may look a bit familiar with the buildup, the situation the friends find themselves, ways they find to fight off the ugly clowns that are attacking them and where to hide. But, that all aside, ClownTown does entertain for those who like to get a scare or cringe for a good time. The “based on a true story” comes from a story in the newspaper about a happing in Bakersfield, California. It was reported as mostly a hoax and it was October Horror Season after all. Anyone for Halloween Horror Nights?
ClownTown has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains extreme gory violence, nudity, drug use and language. The film’s DVD packaging carries a warning that the film is “only fit for 18 and older”.
FINAL ANALYSIS: If you get scared of ferocious ugly clowns, here’s a good chance to whaler in the quagmire of fear. (C+)
Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Brian Nagel, Lauren Elise, Andrew Staton, Katie Keene, Jeff Denton, Chris Hahn, David H. Greathouse, Christopher Lawrence Chapman, Kaitlyn Sapp and Greg Violand.
Directed by: Tom Nagel
MPAA Rating: Not rated, contains gory violence, language, drugs and nudity
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Running Time: 1 hr. 215 min.
Original Theatrical Release Date: September 30, 2016
Video Release Date: October 4, 2016
Reviewed Format: Vimeo
Audio: Dolby Digital
Video: Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Number of Discs: 1 Disc
Distributed by: ITN