Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a peculiar and beloved B-movie from the late 1980s that has since gained a significant cult following. This dark comedy horror film, directed by Stephen Chiodo and produced by Charles Chiodo, blends elements of horror, sci-fi, and comedy to create a memorable and outlandish cinematic experience. So, join us as we take a deep dive into the origins of the movie, its production, and the lasting impact it’s had on pop culture.
The Chiodo Brothers, Stephen, Charles, and Edward, have long been known in the world of special effects and puppetry. Their impressive careers include work on films like Critters, Ernest Scared Stupid, and Team America: World Police. However, it was their passion project, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, that truly showcased their unique and twisted creativity.
Inspired by their love for B-movies and horror, the Chiodo Brothers wanted to create something that blended humor with genuine scares. Their killer klowns were born out of a desire to take the familiar figure of the circus clown and twist it into something far more sinister and otherworldly.
A critical element of the film’s success was the imaginative and grotesque designs of the titular killer klowns. The Chiodo Brothers designed and built the elaborate costumes, makeup, and practical effects themselves, with a commitment to bringing their disturbing vision to life.
Of course, the key to this aesthetic was the use of bright colors and exaggerated features, which made the klowns simultaneously ridiculous and terrifying. Each clown had its own distinct look and personality, from the grotesque, rotund Jumbo to the unnervingly sinister Slim.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space tells the bizarre story of a small town invaded by aliens who happen to look like grotesque circus clowns. These extraterrestrial beings set out to capture, kill, and consume the townspeople using a variety of clown-themed weapons, such as cotton candy cocoons and deadly popcorn.
As the klowns wreak havoc, a group of local residents, including a pair of love-struck teenagers, a brave police officer, and a pair of hapless ice cream truck drivers, must band together to save their town from this monstrous menace.
Though Killer Klowns from Outer Space was not a box office hit upon its release, it has since gained a massive cult following. The movie’s bizarre premise, imaginative visuals, and dark humor have resonated with audiences, inspiring countless homages, tributes, and even a haunted maze at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights. In fact, the Chiodo Brothers have even teased the possibility of a sequel or a TV series, though nothing has materialized as of yet.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space stands as a shining example of the magic that unfolds when imagination, humor, and horror collide. The Chiodo Brothers, with their distinctively twisted vision and unwavering dedication to their craft, have created a film that still enthralls and baffles audiences over three decades since its debut.
As we pay homage to this cult classic, it’s impossible not to marvel at the meticulous attention to detail, the delightfully warped designs, and the offbeat storyline that has won over the hearts and minds of fans worldwide. Killer Klowns from Outer Space is more than just a film; it’s a wild, colorful, and enduring foray into the realm of the bizarre.
A Beloved Cult Classic
From the eerie circus music that sets the tone to the inventive kill scenes and the memorable characters, every aspect of the movie is a testament to the Chiodo Brothers’ creativity and passion.
One of the most remarkable things about Killer Klowns from Outer Space is how it manages to balance its absurdity with genuine scares. The creepy clowns, with their toothy grins and deadly gadgets, are more than just amusing gimmicks; they are a formidable threat that keeps viewers on edge. And yet, the film never takes itself too seriously, injecting humor and campy moments to keep the tone light and fun.
It’s no wonder that Killer Klowns from Outer Space has endured as a beloved cult classic for so long. It appeals to horror fans and comedy lovers alike, offering a unique blend of both genres that is hard to find elsewhere. Whether you’re revisiting it for the umpteenth time or experiencing it for the first time, there’s no denying the irresistible allure of this one-of-a-kind movie.
“What’re ya gonna do with those pies, boys?” – security guard at the amusement park
Top 10 Trivia From Killer Klowns from Outer Space
- Conceptual Origins: The idea for the film was conceived by the Chiodo Brothers, a trio of special effects artists and filmmakers known for their puppetry work. They initially developed the concept as a short film but eventually expanded it into a feature-length movie.
- Clown-Focused Horror: The Chiodo Brothers aimed to create a unique horror-comedy film centered around clowns, as they believed clowns had inherent creepiness. Their goal was to combine humor and horror in a way that hadn’t been done before.
- Independent Production: “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” was an independent production with a modest budget of around $2 million. It was released by the independent studio Trans World Entertainment.
- Alien Aesthetics: The design of the killer clowns was a collaborative effort between the Chiodo Brothers and Charles Chiodo, who sketched the various clown characters. The clowns’ appearance took inspiration from classic circus clowns but with an otherworldly twist.
- Cotton Candy Cocoon: One of the film’s iconic moments involves the killer clowns capturing their victims and encasing them in cotton candy cocoons. The Chiodo Brothers used over 900 pounds of cotton candy during the production.
- Hidden Klowns: Throughout the movie, there are various hidden Klown faces in the background, often integrated into the set designs. These subtle details add to the overall atmosphere and provide hidden surprises for eagle-eyed viewers.
- Signature Theme: The film’s memorable theme song, titled “Killer Klowns,” was performed by The Dickies, a punk rock band. The catchy tune perfectly captures the film’s tone and has become synonymous with the movie.
- Amusement Park Setting: The film’s primary setting is the fictional Crescent Cove, which is centered around a closed amusement park. The Chiodo Brothers chose the location to add an extra layer of creepiness and make the clowns’ presence more unsettling.
- Limited Release: “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” was not a major box office success upon its initial release in 1988. However, it gained a cult following through home video releases and midnight movie screenings, eventually becoming a beloved cult classic.
- Potential Sequel: Over the years, there have been discussions and rumors about a sequel to the film. In 2018, the Chiodo Brothers confirmed that they were actively developing a sequel titled “Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space in 3D.” They are currently in talk with Netflix