A group of filmmakers based out of Brooklyn have concocted a trailer for a fake movie called 'Clown' that manages to balance the creepy with the funny. Waverly Films has mocked up a professional-looking trailer that even includes credits from Lionsgate and Screen Gems and purports to be "From Master of Horror Eli Roth," who Tweeted, "This is so good even I thought it was real... I WANT TO SEE CLOWN!!" Well, guess what? Me too!
Chances are that unless someone gives these guys a break, it will be a while before we can see 'Clown' in theaters. Calling Robert Rodriguez, who managed to make a totally out-there trailer into a full-blown movie with 'Machete'! Here's why we'd watch an actual, feature-length version of the trailer:
1. Clowns. Are. Creepy.
Clowns are a staple of the cheesier side of horror for a reason. When we're kids, they're weird and scary, much like sitting on Santa's lap at Christmas time. Why are their noses so big and red? Why are their mouths and feet so huge? It doesn't make sense! When we're adults, we can see that they're either manically happy for no apparent reason, or, as one friend put it, "What darkness needs to mask itself with such artificial joy." What are they hiding? It can't be anything good! Look at John Wayne Gacy.
2. Kids are creepy, too.
Watch the trailer until the very end. "That's not funny, Daddy," says the cutely precocious son whose birthday party plans went so horribly awry. It's his fault that his family is all effed up because Daddy dressed up as a clown and is now going crazy. Of course it's not funny. Daddy is a clown now and it's all your fault. He can't go to work, his wife is repulsed by his clowny visage and he's overtaken by the horror of not being able to take off his hideous accoutrements.
3. PG-13 horror is where it's at.
Peter Hall's piece about PG-13 horror makes a great point about how fear and MPAA ratings don't necessarily go hand in hand. How much gore does there really need to be for a clown movie to be scary? Plenty of people are scared of clowns on a regular basis. PG-13 movies get away with an awful lot these days and it wouldn't take much for 'Clown' to up the creep factor with a few well-placed face gnawings or boob shots.
4. There's pathos.
In 'Clown,' the father puts on the clown suit and make-up because the real clown he and his wife hired for his son's birthday didn't show up. He finds a mysterious clown suit in the attic (nooooo!) and dresses up so his son can have a great birthday after all. But then he can't get the make-up or the big red nose off, and the fright wig keeps growing back, and his life is falling to pieces. There's horror, there's pathos, there's Daddy Clown getting really angry! "Don't look at me," he growls, and holy crap, are his teeth suddenly pointy and sharp? Not being able to take off that clown nose would drive anyone to murder, methinks, and all he was trying to do was be a good father. You know, the kind that calls his son "buddy." Aw.
5. 'Clown' is a gateway drug to body horror.
The idea of your body and all its icky functions taking over your life, destroying you and all you hold dear while you watch your flesh disintegrate and mutate, is my favorite type of horror. 'Clown' is funny and tongue-in-cheek, but it's still horrific in its own way. The dad is mutating, and while it's played for laughs, it's still gross as hell to think about not being able to control what is growing out of your skin, even if it's a fright wig and a red clown nose. That's classic Cronenberg.
Watch the trailer above and let me know if I'm taking things a tad too seriously, or if you'd watch it too!