The Clown Murders (1976)

Directed by Martyn Burke [Other horror films: N/A]

While there are some horror aspects to The Clown Murders, fundamentally, this is a melodramatic flick with far too much talking and far too little killing.

As for the positives, there was a cool shotgun blast through the chest. Also, someone’s hand got stabbed in what was probably one of the most action-packed scenes in this otherwise kill-me-now-I’m-so-bored movie. I mean, this movie was just dull. It had potential, but it meandered and just entirely blew it.

Oh, I’m supposed to be talking positives? Well, I did like William Osler and his character, who had a thick Irish accent. He didn’t appear much, but he was consistently the most amusing thing in this dull piece of tripe.

The Clown Murders is strictly a drama movie for the first hour and five minutes or so. About fifty minutes in, once the group got to the farmhouse, things really could have picked up and gone a more traditionally slasher-esque route, but that’s not what happened. Instead, we got – more talking.

I didn’t get Susan Keller’s character or how exactly she was hoping the prank pulled on her and her husband would go. Half the time, she seems entirely complicit in everything, so when tensions start really rising toward the end of the film, I found myself getting incredibly frustrated.

Pretty much everyone besides Osler is rather annoying in this film. John Candy is probably the worst offender, but Gary Reineke and John Bayliss were pretty bad too. Because of the situation, there’s really no character to particularly root for, and half the time, you just want the characters to shut up and just think through how to best get out of the situation they got themselves into (which shouldn’t be too hard, because as I said, the woman they ‘kidnapped’ seemed to be fine with everything).

There were some slasher aspects for a few minutes, so sure, The Clown Murders is a horror film in my eyes. Many don’t believe it to be, and I entirely understand where they’re coming from. Does a drama that lasts an hour and 35 minutes become horror with just six minutes of horror scenes? Damned if I know, but I thought there was enough to count.

Unfortunately, just because it actually felt like a horror movie at times only makes this atrocity that much worse, since it was obviously marketed as a horror film. And while there are aspects of the genre, it’s really a stretch. I have long-heard this would be a boring movie, and it really is. There’s really nothing here to go out of your way to find this movie for. John Candy was horrible, the film overall was a mess, and there’s nothing to boast about when The Clown Murders is concerned.

4/10

Author: Jiggy's Horror Corner

Fan of the horror genre, writer of mini-reviews, and lover of slashers.

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