New streaming on Tubi from Screamtime Films!
THE CLOWN CHAINSAW MASSACRE (aka NIGHT OF THE CLOWN, 2016)
Directed and written by Dustin Ferguson.
Starring Dan Peters, Breana Mitchell, Kerrie Waybright Smith, Daniel Joseph Stier, Lucas Schmidt, Jennii Caroline, Jeff Claflin, Shuylar Craig, Sydney Henricksen, Eric Moyer, Jzun Lankford, and Cody Banks as Gilbert Gacy!
Find out more about this film here!
Ten years after murderous clown Gilbert Gacy (Cody Banks) was burned to death by an angry mob in his home, a group of thirty-something high school kids party on down on Halloween night in the same house. Their antics reawaken Gacy’s vengeful ghost and he happened to bring his chainsaw with him.
Dustin Ferguson not only manages to rip off TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, but also HALLOWEEN and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET while making THE CLOWN CHAINSAW MASSACRE, which itself is a remake of a 1998 film called NIGHT OF THE CLOWN. I think had Ferguson latched on to one of these films as inspiration for his homage to slasher horror, he might have been more successful. As is, other than direct lifts from those classic horror movies, there’s very little substance to this film. Clocking in at 38 minutes sans credits, it’s more of an extended short than anything else. Added to the fluffiness is an extended scene of two cast members going to a Halloween store and trying on random costumes, a long homage to HALLOWEEN where a trio of gals chat nonsensically as they walk down a street home from school, and an uncomfortably long scene where seven people dance in place and try to act like they are at the best party they’ve ever been to.
In no way is THE CLOWN CHAINSAW MASSACRE a good movie. In fact it’s quite bad and I don’t know if the intention was just to do an direct homage/rip-off of old slashers or if the director/writer was trying to actually say something. It certainly doesn’t say anything new about the genre. Still, as soon as I saw this film pop up on Tubi, I simply had to watch it and once I began watching it, I couldn’t stop. It’s no doubt Ferguson is a fan of the slasher genre. And the look of Leatherface with his mask painted like a clown is actually kind of cool. It’s reminiscent of his Pretty Woman mask Leatherface wore in the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Ferguson doesn’t even deliver the good in terms of inventiveness of kills or gore, two things even the lowest of low budgeters put their money into. Instead, he just kind of half-assedly has Gacy work his way through the cast quickly, with little tension, variety, or gore.
There is a single shot in THE CLOWN CHAINSAW MASSACRE that really impressed me. It’s the one used on the poster for NIGHT OF THE CLOWN, which is another title this film goes by. It has a group of partygoers walking in silhouette across the screen along an orange evening skyline. Yes, it’s reminiscent of HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH, but a wonderful shot. There is also a nice gritty Super 8 feel to the film that fits the retro subject matter. I guess, I now can say I’ve seen a film that incorporates clowns, chainsaws, and a love of slashers. It’s not a good film, but it’s a film—one made by someone who has seen and assuredly loves the same films we all do.