Movie Review: ‘Clownado’

Review by Jay Bowman

What can be said about Clownado that you don’t already know from the title? As the SyFy movie resurgence continues to captivate an audience somewhere, it was inevitable that someone (in this case, Todd Sheets) would try to combine the beloved killer clown trope with a natural disaster film and deliver the final package with all the ham and awful dialogue you’d expect from a cast who are making something bad on purpose. You’ll either like it, like it ironically, or complain about it, and you’ve probably already figured out which camp you fall into before you finished reading the first sentence of this review.

There’s a strange circus run by evil clown and abusive partner Big Ronnie (John O’Hara). After his wife Savanna (Rachel Lagen) and her wannabe rescuer Cash (Christopher Preyer) get caught plotting to rob Ronnie and flee the circus by the big man himself, Cash is killed and she is publicly abused as part of that night’s main event. The poor girl finds the strength to finally escape Big Ronnie thanks in part to witchcraft. Now Ronnie and his gang of interchangeable clowns are harnessing a wacky tornado to track her down, exact carny revenge, and kill loads of innocent people just because. A rag-tag group of strange characters (including, but not limited to: a cowboy, an Elvis impersonator, and a stripper with a heart of gold) must combine their unique talents and unimportant plot threads to stop the terror that is Clownado.

There’s no reason for me to point out what doesn’t work in a movie like this because it’s intentionally schlocky. There are no standout performances to point to because everyone is over the top. The oodles of CGI are quite noticeable, but even if that wasn’t an artistic choice it still plays into the “so bad it’s good” angle. Even the violence, which is shot quite sheepishly despite the beauty of the gore effects, can be chalked up to self-aware irony. Essentially, any criticism I or anyone else can level at Clownado can be dismissed by the very nature of the film itself. Even if I tell you that I thought the humor failed to land and the horror was desperately lacking, it’s easy enough to wave it away—because the joy of the experience, or so I’m told, comes from how awkward the movie is from top to bottom.

So should you see it? Well, did you like Sharknado? Have you yet to grow tired of the low-budget, over-cheesed parade that followed in its wake? Then sure, why not? All you have to lose is an hour and a half of your time. But if you somehow have high expectations for a movie about a murderous clown tornado, do yourself a favor and skip it. If you aren’t in it for the goofiness of the whole affair, there’s nothing for you here.

On VOD September 3 and DVD September 17 from Wild Eye Releasing!

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