Throwback Thursday: ‘Killer Klowns From Outer Space’ (1988)

Posted Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 03:46 pm GMT -4 by

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It’s Thursday! You know what that means! It’s time for Throwback Thursday, ScienceFiction.com’s ongoing column dedicated to the great science fiction of the past.

Or maybe… in today’s case, the great science fiction B-movies of the past, of which I am of course talking about ‘Killer Klowns from Outer Space’.

The title ‘Killer Klowns from Outer Space’ doesn’t leave much to the imagination for plot, so if you think this movie is just about killer clowns from outer space you may not actually want to watch it. If that is the case, I will implore you to reconsider. Yes, it is about killer clowns from outer space. Yes, every single character is about as one-dimensional as you would expect from a horror/sci-fi B-movie. But somehow, it is greater than the sum of its parts and is wacky in all the bad ways that are incredibly genius.

From the victims being cocooned in cotton candy, liquefied and sucked out through silly straws, to the clown’s weakness (their red noses being popped), this movie revels in so much camp it’s practically a masterpiece. Yet, even as it epitomizes the stereotypes of what a B-Movie, it also turns them on their head. For one, its special effects are surprisingly ahead of their time. Secondly, and more importantly, the movie actually consciously inverted classic movie roles where the woman is the one has figured everything out and is trying to save the day, while her dumb blonde boyfriend remains oblivious. I also think the movie ended by inferring that the two men fighting over the female lead end up in a three-person polyamorous relationship… but that could just be me…

Now, I can hear you guys saying, “Great movie recommendation, but is it really sci-fi?” The answer is not really. The clowns come from outer space, and that’s about as science fiction as you get. It’s not asking any deep meaningful questions or supposing what the future could be like. It only asks “What if aliens were killer clowns?” and that’s about as profound as it gets. So, if you’re hardcore science fiction fan who actually likes to think, you may want to pass on this movie.