Shakes the Clown - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Shakes the Clown Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2010
This movie is a bit weird, but that's what I love about it. Goldthwait has a weird dark sense of humor, and it really makes this movie unique. There is also an interesting cast, as you can see on here, it's made up of a bunch of people you never expected to see in a film together. Anyway, if you like strange comedies, you'll like this one.
½ November 27, 2013
Certainly not for everyone, but if you enjoy absurdism mixed with sick/twisted satire - Goldthwait's directorial debut will not disappoint. Perverse and just plain wrong - this little movie well deserves its cult-following.
February 18, 2012
A rather unfunny comedy about low-life clowns. Tom Kenny, Robin Williams, Bobcat Gothwait, Adam Sandler, etc. Too depressing to watch these people wallow in filth.
½ February 26, 2008
Oh what could have been. Adam Sandler, Bobcat goldthwait and drunk clowns, yet as funny as it sounds this movie was horrible. Bopring is the best word to describe it. It starts out really good with a hilliarious scene that sets the mood for a good comedy but then becomes more of a drama with no real humor and no real stroyline. Robin Williams was the lone bright spot for the movie but his short appearence does little to salvage this very depressing comedy.
October 13, 2011
The movie takes place in the town of Palookaville, where are friend Shakes is always trying to just get by. This movie had a wonderfully funny cast in Bobcat Goldthwait, Adam Sandler, Tom Kenny (Spongebob VA), and Robin Williams. The direction was well used, though some editing flaws do occasionally appear. The story is strange and full of dark humor. The lighting was used to show characters at times when they were particularly strange. Of course there were times when was too dark, but that was rare. The humor tended to be gutter humor sometimes, and there is a message of alcohol is nice in moderation. In the end it's mostly about a clown trying to get by with his friends and have fun. So it's not a high recommendation, but if your looking for a movie to watch and riff too, I'd say this would be a good one.
January 3, 2011
This movie is definitely in your face comedy. I remember watching it for the first time about 20 years ago and loved the sarcasm and dark humor.
½ May 16, 2010
I only grabbed this because it's very early Adam Sandler and I hadn't ever seen it. I really wasn't missing much. Bruce Baum's appearance was a nice surprise but despite a couple funny moments, this is a pile of crap. Blake Clark in drag for an hour and a half is worth an extra half star I guess.

"Oh ya, well, the only show you could ever get on would be a show called The Not Funny Diarrhea Club."
June 17, 2009
I am such a sucker...
Back in March I listened to Bobcat Goldthwait on 'The Adam Carolla Podcast'. I learned a lot about him. He was funny, thought provoking, and had a lot to say about the industry.
Prior to this interview, as most I'm sure, I knew Bobcat simply as the character actor from the Police Academy Series playing Zed and of course the Tonight Show fire debacle, but after hearing him speak about writing and directing films this picture in particular peaked my interest. So I added it to my Netflix queue and sort of forgot about it. When it arrived in the mail a couple of months later it wasn't one of those "What is this movie again???" situations, I remembered it very well and was sort of eager to pop it in...

I'll focus on the things that it WAS because it will be a shorter list. It had a pretty funny premise and I'm pretty sure I understand what he was trying to "say" with the movie. I enjoyed elements about it and it had a lot of funny lines.
"You didn't see nothing old man. We're just five happy party clowns, sitting down to a plate of beef. White.. powdery.. beef.."
In the end this film is pretty bad, so bad in fact that Robin Williams was credited by an alias, "Marty Fromage". Which apparently is a pseudo name from a comedy team that he and Goldthwait had in the past, but part of me feels that he didn't want this on his resume as this is one of the next films he did after "The Fisher King".
With that being said, people seem to LOVE this movie. I read review after glowing review on this and other sites complimenting the movie on it's dark comedy and brilliant storytelling, including Martin Scorsese who simply said, "I liked Shakes the Clown."
I may have had higher expectations going into it than I should have after hearing Bobcat talk about it 17 years after making it, but I am a sucker for not listening to my instincts which said, "You would have heard about this film earlier if it was worth a watch."
The one thing that I learned from watching this move is that Scorsese and I DO NOT have the same taste in cinema.

½ December 2, 2008
A terrible movie that amused me greatly. It's a pretty hilarious look at the "party clown" world, and the lives behind these guys who apparently, never take off the costume.

Worth some yucks, but whats really funny is seeing a cadre of people who are now extremely popular and famous in this movie, dressed as mimes, clowns and what have you.
½ June 28, 2008
Let's face it, this movie is not for everyone. Who this move is for, though, is people who really enjoyed "Death To Smoochy." What "...Smoochy" did for your costumed television Barney-esque animals, this movie did for clowns years before. Both of them follow the same formula, showing us an exaggerated world of darkness behind the smiles and wholesome entertainment.

So if you're up for some alcoholic clowns behaving badly, and showing up drunk to childrens' birthday parties like Thornton did in "Bad Santa," then you should pick this up. It's where the "...Smoochy" and "Bad Santa" formula was born.

Also, keep an eye out for Adam Sandler, he's not too hard to spot, even with the make-up.
August 24, 2008
Clowns, but faces ir voices :) you'll recognize in this hysterical clown comedy NOT made for kids! Bobcat's best performance IMO!:)
½ June 18, 2008
Alcoholic clown has a rivalry with a coke head clown. This is a hilarious look at clown life. How the academy missed this one, I'll never know.
May 24, 2015
Many hate it. I quite enjoyed it. Dark satire that is so odd, it manages to both baffle and either make you laugh or turn away.
January 11, 2015
Twisted, brutal and totally worth it. Also proof that critics are idiots
November 25, 2014
its not because I think the entire world is a bunch of clowns living in Palukaville its because of the wonderful portrayal of that world!
September 27, 2014
Pretty good comedy directed by and starring the wild one from Police Academy. This is in the same vain as Bad Santa in so much as a drunk slob has a sideline in childrens entertainment. This film is quite rare as it is an Adam Sandler comedy which is watchable.
August 11, 2014
Unforgivably poor reviews by professional film critics for this brilliant mess of a film. Sorry about the camera angles, wannabes!
½ February 14, 2010
(First and only viewing - 9/12/2008)
½ November 9, 2007
Bobcat Goldthwait's film debut as a writer/director suffers from overreach and underwriting. It's weird, but it's not really funny. The movie plays like a series of scene outlines -- ideas for how the movie should progress -- that needed more writing and revision before the actors were called in. Shakes the Clown has been photographed as poorly as it was conceived. The cinematography is so murky that a white picket fence comes out looking brown. Goldthwait could have done a much better job of direction; some scenes ran far too long, others built up and then cut away without a payoff. The film also stars Adam Sandler as another clown, but he's just whining when Shakes screws up. Appearing briefly and inexplicably is Robin Williams, who plays a mime and is many times funnier than anything around him. Presumably meant as a black comic ode to subcultural misfits, Shakes the Clown is a tasteless wallow that takes inordinate pleasure in urination, vomiting, and other such indelicacies. Shakes the Clown is sick but whether it's a joke is a matter of taste. And this film is pretty tasteless.

VERDICT: "Not So Hot" - [Negative Reaction] These films are truly terrible films. They are not the worst things ever made, but they are definitely awful and should not be seen by anyone. (Films that are rated 1.5 or 2 stars)
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