New Horror Releases: Clownado (2019) - Reviewed

What do a good ole’ country boy, an Elvis impersonator, a stripper who just quit her job, a teenage runaway, and a couple of storm chasers have in common? Filthy mouths, bad attitudes, and last but not least, the desire to survive and defeat the Clownado! Yes, you read right- CLOWNADO, and it’s exactly what it sounds like; a group of clowns who, with the aid of witchcraft, possess super human strength, odd shape-shifting abilities (like nipples turning into mouths), and of course, most importantly, can travel by tornado.  

Savanna Dane (played by Rachel Lagen) is fed up with her creep clown-boss boyfriend, Big Ronnie (John O’Hara). When her plan to kill him backfires, he blackmails her and forces her to be his captive performer in the circus. Desperate, she enlists the help of Autumn (Jeanne Silver), a witchy woman who is also part of the circus, and together they cast a revenge spell. The spell is so evil that it spirals out of control, creating the CLOWNADO. Meanwhile, a group of would be losers who would normally have nothing to live for, and no reason to know each other, band together and try to put a stop to the terror. 

This movie is just what experience you’re looking for when you sit down to watch a movie called Clownado. This one doesn’t seem like it was produced for a buck for Syfy network, where the filmmakers think what they’re doing is stupid, and they don’t care about horror films or the fans and it shows. Writer/director/editor, Todd Sheets (who has a filmography chock full of modern exploitation and horror type films) shows care in his craft. Not only does each shot look amazing, with inventive set ups, and rich colors that are evocative of comic books, but the dialogue is over-the-top, with a great sense of humor. I found myself repeating some of the lines because I loved the way the characters delivered them; with vitriol, and dripping with vulgarity.  

Each character is likable, from Big Ronnie, to Alice, the sad waitress who everyone calls “Flo” and who ends up with her guts falling out of her panties as she is violently ripped apart. Each actor plays these characters to the hilt. It is obvious that they had fun with the material, and I don’t know how they couldn’t have considering how ridiculous it is.

The kill scenes are the main draw of this film, as there are many and they are quite disturbing, inventive and especially disgusting. The effects are practical, and while not realistic, it is gut churning to look at so it gets the job done. The shock of some of these scenes is intoxicating. The only drawback is that these scenes are in the middle of the movie, and the climax involves storm chasing.  The money shots in the middle of the movie made it so my excitement waned before the end and it became more difficult to stay engaged towards the last 15-20 minutes of the film. That aside, this film has a ridiculous premise, maintains a great sense of humor throughout, and is disgusting and unique. If that sounds intriguing to you, you will love this movie.

--Mara Powell