Halloween Horror Nights Preview: ‘Killer Klowns’ is a Treasure

The ’80’s was an amazing time for horror cinema. While most of the genre was pushed by slashers like “Friday the 13th” and the “Nightmare on Elm Street” films, some truly weird and campy films found their way to theaters. “Killer Klowns From Outer Space” remains one of those definitive works that combined absurdity,  comedy and some really cool practical effects. The film was produced, written and directed by the Chiodo Brothers and starred a group of decent young actors. Oh yeah,  and the awesome John Vernon, who basically steals the movie everytime he’s on screen. The film follows a group of young adults and college kids as they try to survive the night that a group of alien clowns attack their town.

One of the great things about Halloween Horror Nights is when the production team dives into little known or cult favorite IPs. There’s no better way to describe “Killer Klowns,” which is the definition of a cult hit. There are considerable effects to recreate for a scare zone, and the Klowns will fit great into a potential house in the future. This is a great way to drum up support for that down the road, while still showcasing a great area for guests to explore and get spooked by hilarious Scareacctors. Plus it’s got its own awesome rock song by The Dickies.

EXPECTED WAIT TIME ON A GIVEN NIGHT

None! Depending on where they put the scare zone, there is a chance some areas will bottleneck. It shouldn’t be too difficult to see the scare zone. Other sites and prognosticators are predicting it to be located in New York as you make your way from Transformers toward Fast & Furious: Supercharged. If they stretch it all the way over to Mel’s, this could also play into the theming quite a bit. With Fast & Furious as the brand new attraction, it’s doubtful they will cover it up this year. Ideal placement would be in the Simpsons area, where chain-saw clowns have run amuck for the past couple of years. It doesn’t seem likely though.

CHARACTERS/EFFECTS WE HOPE TO SEE

The area is likely going to have a lot or prosthetic and costume based characters, similar to HHN 27’s INVASION Scare Zone. Expect a couple different units to trade out and give the other group a minute to rest and recover. Potentially 30-minute sets seem about right.

Another big element to expect is the use of smells. Throughout the movie, humans are continually turned into Cotton Candy or plastered against a wall. Considering the large role it has in the movie, the smell could be present throughout the night.

Jumbo – He’s the first Klown we see in the movie, and also one of the most prevalent. He will almost certainly show up. He also kills John Vernon, turning him into a puppet of sorts. This could be a fun scareactor to interact with. He’s a given as he’s essentially in charge of the Klowns for most of the movie.

Spikey – We should get this one for two reasons. Spikey puts on a puppet show during the film, which could be a very easy set piece to recreate without taking up too much space. Second, and perhaps more importantly, he makes a balloon animal dog that he follows through the streets as if it’s a bloodhound.

Shorty– Rides around on a mini-bicycle, punches a motorcycle gang’s head off with his boxing glove. I don’t expect that part to be involved, but he’s still one of the iconic Klowns on posters so it would be weird if he wasn’t involved in some way (Yellow suit, short one in the middle).

Slim– He’s best known for the Tyrannosaurus shadow puppet, which could be possible to replicate with the light projections. It’s unsure if they’ll go this route, but even HHN doesn’t go that route, there are still two reasons to have him show up. First, he’s tall. Like really tall. Either a stiltwalker or one of the taller scareactors could take on the role.  Second, he imitates human voices, which could allow for cool sound effects (purple suit, far right).

Sergeant Curtis Mooney – After he’s killed, he’s turned into a ventriloquist dummy. Having Mooney wander through the streets could be very creepy.  With the limited makeup needed he’s also easy to recreate. There’s a chance we see generic cops with the same effects.

The Terenzi Brothers – The two brothers are the kind of loveable idiots that provide true comedy throughout “Killer Klowns.” Another easy setpiece to deliver will be their ice cream truck, which should be able to have a speaker to allow them to yell jokes into the crowd in real time. It could be a cross between the Purge stage at HHN 27 and Straight Outta Food Truck. Heck, just paint over the Straight Outta Food Truck trailer and I’d be fine with that.

Jojo the Klownzilla – Okay, this isn’t happening. But how cool would it be? Maybe if the scare zone drums up enough interest, this could show up in a house.

WHAT TO WATCH: 

Killer Klowns from Outer Space” – Available to Stream on Hulu. Obviously, this is the one to check out. Enjoy it for what it is, a cheesy horror throwback that’s actually appropriate for kids. It’s not actually scary, it’s not actually horrifying. It’s fun, good-natured, and making fun of the Baby Boomer generation’s attitudes towards the 1980s. It’s perfectly silly and should make for a fun street experience the same way that Trick ‘R Treat did last year.

Team America: World Police” – What? This isn’t a horror movie. Yeah, definitely not. Instead, it’s some other great work from the Chiodo Brothers, who made over 270 puppets for the film. That’s right, there’s now a direct link between HHN and “Team America: World Police.” The comedy is still funny and absurdist, so if you enjoy “Killer Klowns,” this should make a fun double feature.

The Blob” (1988) – Another movie that came out the same summer that featured teenagers and young adults trying to get through to the town was “The Blob.” The remake is based on the 1958 classic starring Steve McQueen.  The original is good for the time, but the remake is awesome. A great choice for a remake, and nice cult classic pairing. It was also directed by Chuck Russell, who directed “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” in 1987.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” (1978) – There’s little chance that the Chiodo Brothers weren’t at least aware of this film when they started making “Killer Klowns.” This film is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen, and it’s definitely way weirder than our scarezone. The fact that it begins with telling you about “The Birds” lets you on the joke early. It’s lower than low budget, and might actually be one of the worst movies ever made. Enjoy it for what it is.

Plan 9 From Outer Space” (1959) – One of the definitive “Z-Movies” in history, “Plan 9” is probably the worst film ever made. It also has some very interesting things going for it, including the fact that it is the icon Bela Lugosi‘s last role.  Ed Wood‘s story about making the film was later retold by Tim Burton in “Ed Wood,” a forerunner to “The Disaster Artist.” Movies like “Plan 9” are what spawned the Chiodo Brothers to make “Killer Klowns” so watch the worst of them all.

What do you think of the “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” Scarezone? Let us know in the comments below!

Check Out Breakdown of Halloween Horror Nights 28 Here! 

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