Sunday, April 21, 2013


There was a time in my life that killer clown movies were the pinnacle of entertainment. I was listening almost exclusively to the Insane Clown Posse, as were most of my friends, and things like Killer Klowns From Outer Space and The Clown at Midnight were on heavy rotation. I've since grown out of most of that stuff, I still like Twiztid and whatnot, but I'm not as into it as I once was. Still, I'd be lying if I said there wasn't still some appeal to evil clowns for me. Something about the makeup and outfits, the idea that they're supposed to be entertainment for children, then having them be evil, murderous psychopaths is just great. That being said, had I seen Stitches 10 years ago, it would've been my Citizen Kane. Today, it's not quite up to that standard, but I still loved the shit out of it.

Stitches is your typical "Carny" clown, he's not particularly funny, he doesn't appear to enjoy his job very much, as the years of performing to ungrateful, smart ass little bastards has gotten the better of him, and he's just going through the motions to earn a paycheck. Case in point, he's working a birthday party for Tommy and his friends, most of whom are cursing at him, throwing things, basically being kids. One prank goes too far, and causes Stitches to take a header into an opened dishwasher full of cutlery and such. He emerges with a butcher knife stuck through his head, and appears to have worked his last birthday party.

As you might expect, seeing a sight like that on your birthday as a kid, it takes it's toll on them, Tommy in particular. They're all in high school now, and haven't exactly remained best buds. Tommy takes medicine for anxiety, and is perpetually bullied in school. He also hasn't had a birthday party since the one with the mishap with Stitches. His mom is going out of town on his birthday though, and the kids at school are encouraging him to have a house party, which they would all be attending, of course. He eventually gives in, and as with any good unchaperoned teenage birthday party, cue the underage drinking and premarital sex! It wouldn't be a birthday party without  clown though, and sure enough, eventually Stitches returns from the dead and starts wreaking havoc.

There's actually a pretty cool little explanation for how Stitches comes back to life, but I don't want to spoil things here. It's not that it makes a hell of a lot of sense, it's just a cool idea and I liked that they threw it in there, instead of just having the clown come back and expecting us to just go with it. All that aside, the real reason we are all going to be watching this flick is for the kills, and  fear not, they're fantastic. There's some fairly imaginative stuff, most of which are clown related, and all of which are brutal and plenty gory. Despite the mean streak that Stitches has, the kills still have a bit of humor injected, but that's to be expected being that he's a clown I suppose. For instance, one kill has Stitches disembowel a kid, then hold his intestine up in front of him, blow it up like a balloon, and twist it into a poodle. Hilarious! The one minor gripe I had was the lack of practical effects. This flick relies on CG a bit too much, even when it wasn't really necessary.

Stitches starts off strong, but does drag a bit in the middle, leading up to the party. Things just seem to take a bit too long to get going. When it does get cranked up though, it's a hell of a good time. Decent "evil clown" flicks don't come around too often, trust me I've seen a LOT of bad ones, but all it takes is a movie like Stitches to remind me that there's still hope. It can be done. To all my fellow Juggalos out there, you will LOVE this shit, trust me. For everybody else, if you like a little humor thrown in with your disembowlment, Stitches doesn't disappoint. As with most things I watch, it's not going to be for everyone, but there are far worse ways to spend your 90 minutes.


J. Astro said...

I doubt I'll ever get around to this, but was interesting to hear your take on it, as I've seen it advertised here & there a lot lately. For me, the killer clown genre is waaaay overcrowded as it is.

Maynard Morrissey said...

Ah, I just love that movie. Inventive, surprisingly original and packed with the most gruesome kills I've seen in a long time.
Top notch review, Mitch!