Killer Klowns from Outer Space

1988

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Critics Consensus

Killer Klowns from Outer Space's title promises darkly goofy fun -- and more often than not, the movie delivers.

77%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 22

60%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 43,176
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Movie Info

This low-budget cult classic horror spoof has one of the great movie titles of all time. Mike (Grant Cramer) and his sweetheart, Debbie (Suzanne Snyder), are smooching on lover's lane when they see what appears to be a meteorite crashing over the horizon. They loosen their liplock long enough to investigate and find a curious circus tent. There they discover malevolent clowns who stop their victims with popcorn-shooting guns and acid-drenched pies in order to feast on human blood. The unfortunates are then entombed into inescapable cotton-candy cocoons. Officer Dave Hanson (John Allen Nelson) is called to investigate with help from Officer Mooney (John Vernon). For those viewers who already think clowns are a little creepy to begin with, this one will push them over the edge.

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Critic Reviews for Killer Klowns from Outer Space

All Critics (22) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (5)

  • An absurd, one-gag pony, but these alien clowns look incredible even now.

    Feb 27, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a fun and occasionally unsettling cult film that is well worth a watch for B movie enthusiasts or horror fans.

    Nov 7, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A far more interesting horror movie threat than they have any right to be, and that's all thanks to the cleverness of the Chiodo boys.

    Jul 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The imagination that went into the visual effects, the set design, and the alien gadgetry makes it easy to overlook any minor deficiencies in other departments.

    Apr 28, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Truly something special for genre fans or for those with a love of fun, imaginative films with a ridiculous premise, classic soundtrack, and a blackly humorous edge

    Apr 12, 2018 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…
  • Chiodo takes an alien invasion plot familiar from the 50s, and makes it all his own by rigorously and liberally painting it with every clown reference imaginable.

    Mar 18, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Killer Klowns from Outer Space

  • Oct 22, 2018
    It's really more like a series of sketches than it is an actual movie. It's almost like something you'd see as a recurring sketch on a f***ed up version of SNL. The story, such as it is, doesn't really seem to matter that much. The origin of the clowns is never explained, they just show up and boom killer clown aliens you have to deal with. And hey, you know what? If godamn works! If the central gag of killer clowns doesn't work for you, the movie won't work for you. But for me, it did, and I had fun. Having them go around with their twisted versions of clown technology terrorizing the town was fun, and seeing the young people try to take them on was enjoyable. It's simple, but it works. The film hardly seems to care about nuance and continuity details, and will even acknowledge this, it's not going for high art, so you just sort of go along with it. The only thing that did sort of bother me about the movie is some of the relishing of murder of innocents, especially the first kill of a dopey farmer. Killing the dopey farmer in particular is really a trope that always got under my skin and I just find unpleasant. Stuff like that and other mean-spirited kills ruin some of the movie's fun, but most of the kills and the sheer absurdity of the concept are enjoyable enough that I did really like the movie
    Michael M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 11, 2017
    With more hits than misses, this amusing alien monster movie looks great and does deliver a lot of funny moments and all the goofy fun that is promised in the title - even though it can be very silly at times, especially in its harmless ending.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 09, 2017
    I needed this movie, especially after the previous movie I watched. It was called Before All Others and it's one of those horrible, preachy religious films (not my choice) that I wouldn't have been caught dead watching. I just needed something stupid to wash the filth off of that horrible movie. But I digress, a lot of people have phobias, it's one of those things that make us unmistakably human. For example, I fear airplanes, I wouldn't necessarily call it a phobia, as I don't feel like crying when I see an airplane on TV, for example. I've seen people whose phobia is to the point where they can't even see that specific thing on films or whatever. Sometimes they even cry when they see it. I'm not saying that to mock these people, it's just a statement of fact. That's how bad some phobias are to some people. If you were to take a sample size of 1500 and asked them to compile a list of their phobias, I'm sure a lot of those lists would include clowns as one of their main phobias. I had a friend in school that was terrified of clowns. I did some research on Wikipedia as to this phobia, but the review will last forever if I talk about that, so let's just move on. While I get it, at the same time I don't. This brings us to this film, which was, quite honestly, a little stupid. And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible, as that is what it was intended to be, just a silly horror-comedy that you can laugh at and with. Let's just get the negatives out of the way first, the movie isn't as consistently cheesy as I would have hoped. It's not that it's better than I expected, it's about the level I would have anticipated. There's some really funny gags early on in the film. Like, for example, the balloon dog that helps the clowns track our protagonists after they run away from the clowns' circus tent spaceship. That scene was, honestly, hilarious to me. Perhaps because I wasn't expecting it, but it legitimately made me laugh. I can't say that the rest of the film did much of that. I mean, I did laugh at some of the goofiness and the craptacular acting, but it was nothing like the balloon dog. That's the main problem, to me, with the movie. It just peaks too early. Don't get me wrong, I didn't think the movie was bad, it was average at best, but I felt that the consistency wasn't there for it to make this a good movie. That's not to say that there isn't some enjoyment to be had here. If you're looking for something that's downright goofy, something that you don't need to use your brain much for. If you can find a group of your horror geek friends to watch this with, then this movie is even better. It might not be because you all thought the film was great, but at least you'd have some fun watching this. One of the more genuinely surprising things about this movie is the fact that, really, it had very little of the way of gore. There's this scene where one of the clowns, literally, punches this dude's head clean off and it lands in a nearby trashcan. It's a really quick scene and it isn't even that gruesome. The rest of the film had some minor blood, like really minor. So, if I'm being honest, I have to applaud the film for managing to get by without much gore. Did they need it? I don't know, I think it might have helped with some of the sillier aspects of the film. But the clowns, mostly, just go around turning people into cotton candy cocoons that they then drink or something, with a silly straw of course. Like you can do much more with the clowns if they were actually more violent, but that's not the movie they wanted to make. And it's not my decision, since it wasn't my movie. With that said, while I had issues with the movie in terms of its consistency, I still thought this was a decent horror comedy. It might not be the best you will ever see, but you can still get some enjoyment from this film's absurdity. It's on Amazon Prime, if you're subscribed and interested in this. This is a must-watch if you've just seen a horrible and preachy religious film. Might not be a great, or even good movie, but this is exactly what the doctor ordered.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Apr 08, 2014
    "You can't judge a book by it cover" phrase more often than not doesn't equally apply to films. A film with a ridiculous premise or title tends to fall into the pitfall of just being bad without much of a creative thought process behind it. Sometimes dying before even reaching the credits. As proven with "Killer Klowns From Outer Space" you just never know what to expect to be entertaining. Killer Klowns From Outer Space is about extraterrestrial klowns terrorizing a small town. Going more towards comedy, horror is far away from it focus as possible. It sets up a scene from a horror perspective playing the scene out as a comedy. One example being the heroes entering the circus tent spaceship where one would expect seeing what horrific things the extraterrestrial are doing to the humans. Instead of revealing anything resembling horror it's reveal the klowns are turning the townspeople to cotton candy. Why that is the film never explains along with the so called "happy" ending it attempts to sell despite what it presents to us. Despite the goofy premise it has a number of creative ideas that work because of how straightforward the film plays up the concept. The characters in the film are genuinely terrified by the killer klowns that can make balloon dogs that can track their scent to having heat seeking popcorn in their weaponry. This level of goofiness also applies to the death scenes all of which are zany in their creation. Unfortunately the film doesn't focus solely on the klowns occasionally dealing with bland characters. Where as the klowns provide campy antics the humans mostly take in the ensuring invasions one sidedly. While it's nice the script attempts to give its central characters development that's quickly forgotten by the halfway mark. Their dialogue most of the times is typical of a current boyfriend teaming up an his girlfriend ex to save a girl they both have feeling for, but have some terrible lines that even in context sound bad ("Is this place great or what? It looks like it was decorated by Klowns R Us."). As a whole the script is vapid; aliens arrive on Earth, terrorize a small town, the small town lacks police force, no one believes the heroes sighting of extraterrestrial life, and the heroes face against the queen or king alien in the climax. While the creatures are replace with a something goofy the plot bears many similarity to a setup for an alien invasion film for better and worse. The only standout performance has to be John Vernon as Officer Mooney with a delightfully over the top performance as a paranoid cop. Vernon screen time is small compared to the rest of the cast, but easily the one that best gets into his role. Leads Grant Cramer, John Allen Nelson, an Suzanne Snyder are adequate in their roles. They can carry the movie, but don't have much as Cramer always appears whimsical about the extraterrestrial klowns, Nelson constantly looking pissed off at Cramer character, and Snyder going through the motions. Supporting cast are one note delivering some over the top reaction. With the exception of John Vernon none of the supporting cast stand out. Special effects are decent with some glaring mistakes on screen. Klowns costumes reveal several times a visible zipper whenever the camera faces their back. However, the facial animatronics that move their faces fare much better with the silly dark comedy tone. Spaceships are designed to look like a bizarre fun house which technical wise stand out. Varied in color and atmosphere it presents a spaceship unlike any other in the sci-fi genre. Soundtrack is relatively good with the opening "Killer Klowns" by "The Dickies" makes a solid rock ballad out of stock circus music. Killer Klowns From Outer Space premise loses momentum as it goes on, but not long enough to wear out its welcome. It plays out around with the typical alien invasion film with a sense humor that hits when the klown are on screen, but fails whenever they're not. It's a goofy film that uses a traditional alien invasion story and does something that's not generally done for better and worse.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer

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