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Troma’s KLOWN KAMP MASSACRE (2010)
Directed/written by Phillip Gunn & David Valdez
Starring Jared Herholtz, Ross Kelly, Ashley Bryce, Isaac Kappy, Miguel Martinez, Lloyd Kaufman
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This movie frightened me. I’ve never really had a fear of clowns. I know a lot of folks do have the phobia and I always found the fear to be pretty irrational. But after sitting through KLOWN KAMP MASSACRE, I kind of understand where the fear comes from. I’m not going to leap up and down screaming that this is a good film, but it does contain some scenes of utter depravity and damn creepy clowning around. Though amateur, there’s something maniacally off kilter about this film, as if the minds behind it were off kilter themselves, or maybe they’re just really good at depicting off kilter things. Either way, the experience wasn’t necessarily a great one, but KLOWN KAMP MASSACRE leaves an impact.
The story follows a failed clown named Edwin who was humiliated on the day of his graduation from Clown Camp. In retaliation, he returned and killed his entire graduating class in various clowny ways. The thing that makes this film stand out among other gimmicky serial killer yarns is that it is an almost line by line homage to the original FRIDAY THE 13TH. Fans of the original slasher opus will be able to recite lines almost exactly in the early moments of the film. Unfortunately, like a lot of Troma films, things derail at the end into a chaotic hodge podge of the weird, the depraved, and the odd, in the end chucking conventional storytelling in favor of the over the top showmanship that often goes hand in hand with a film produced by the age-old company.
So if you’re a fan of Troma, you’ll find KLOWN KAMP MASSACRE right up your alley. Had they continued to follow the original format of doing a shot for shot remake of FRIDAY THE 13th with the only distinction that it’s filmed at a clown camp, I would have liked this film a lot more. As is, it’s entertaining and ends rather limply–but the clowns, especially Edwin, are creepy as hell.