Awful Battle… Clowns On Film

Homey don't... work anymore "My Wife & Kids" went off the air.

One day at lunch, a discussion occurred that revolved around how Saturday Night Live characters had their own movies, but In Living Color did not.  We threw around Actor! names and characters, and it was decided that Damon Wayans’ Homey D. Clown might have the best shot at a movie.

But I disagreed.

Clown movies have never done well at the box office (by my summation).  Here are the ones I could think of…

1) Vulgar the Clown Vulgar

Howard Stern was repulsed by this movie.

  • This early production by Kevin Smith covered a lot of dark themes, such as clown stripping, clown rape, clown vengeance, and attempted clown murder.  Well, I don’t know if those are themes for sure, but they’re indeed dark.

2) Shakes the Clown

Adam Sandler's the clown in blue.

  • Actor! Bobcat Goldthwait wrote, directed, and starred in this film about an alcoholic clown.  He eventually would follow this one up with a film about a woman that had sex with her dog.  Moving on…

3) Escaped mental patient – Clownhouse

Creepy much?

  • Director Victor Salva went to prison for molesting his child star in this film.  I mean, he didn’t do it in this film.  It happened behind the scenes.  But not necessarily on the sets.  Once again, moving on…

4) Killer Klowns from Outer Space

I'm not afraid of clowns, per se, but aliens - yikes!

  • Of the first four films on this list, there’s a good chance this is the only movie you’ve seen or at least know exists.  That still doesn’t make it a success.  Everybody’s heard of Sarah Palin, too.  (BONUS PARTISAN POLITICAL BURN!)

5) Drunk birthday party clown – Uncle Buck

Deleted line, so I heard - "Buck off, bucko!"

  • Now we’re getting into some well-known movies.  This John Candy classic is on the list mainly because it possibly inspired Bobcat’s Shakes (as well as giant pancakes… why am I so hungry all of a sudden).

6) The Violator a.k.a. Clown – Spawn

Apropos of nothing, John Leguizamo also starred in "The Pest"

  • This comic book character brought to life on celluloid isn’t as scary as he is gross.  Speaking of gross, remember how gross the CGI was in this film?  Relive the horror here.

7) Pennywise the Dancing Clown – IT

The source of my brother's Coulrophobia.

  • This televised miniseries based on Stephen King’s book is well-known for being the source of many twenty-somethings fear of clowns.  Also, did you know that in the book, well, I’ll let the very cool TVtropes fill you in:

Beverly Marsh has sex with the other members of the Losers Club (all six of them, one after the other, in a sewer) in order to re-forge the connection between them after defeating IT as pre-teens. It’s supposed to be a metaphor for moving from childhood to adulthood, but triggered many readers’ Squick.

8) Clown doll – Poltergeist

This one... it kinda gets me. Not a fan of ghosts.

9) Lou Craddock & crew – A Boy and His Dog

Don Johnson played the boy. I don't know who played his dog.

  • Okay.  Even though the people who lived in underground Topeka were painted more like mimes than clowns, it was still weird.

10) Captain Spaulding – House of 1000 Corpses & The Devil’s Rejects

He's as patriotic as he is psychotic.

  • With or without makeup, the leader of his so-called family sure can give Leatherface’s brood a run for the money.  And leave me running for the hills have eyes.

11) Clowning around, though not quite clowns – The Joker, Jigsaw, & Beetlejuice

jack nicholson heath ledger michael keaton tobin bell

Fairly successful as Not-Clowns

These guys are arguable as clowns.  Why?  Well Jigsaw’s a marionette, Beetlejuice is the self-proclaimed “ghost with the most,” and The Joker… well… yeah, he’s a clown.




  1. Scott · January 27, 2010

    Wrong. Just plain wrong.

  2. sgottahurt · January 27, 2010

    Did I miss any?

  3. swandiver · February 1, 2011

    Let’s not forget “Killer Klowns from Outer Space”. I actually own that movie. Scared the shit out of me as a kid. “It” kinda topped it off and gave me full-fledged clown fear.

  4. swandiver · February 1, 2011

    Sorry, didn’t see it. Ignore previous comment.

  5. sgottahurt · February 2, 2011

    Too late. Smelt, and dealt.

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