Halloween Countdown: Dead Clowns

We began our written October reviews with a current, top-rated film that features strong elements of suspense. This week, we return to 2004 for something really horrible.

No, really. Dead Clowns is one of the worst movies ever made.

Title: Dead Clowns

Cast, Crew, and Other Info:

Directed and written by Steve Sessions

Lucien Eisenach as Thrill Killer/Clown
Jenn Ruliffson as Thrill Killer/Clown
Jeff Samford as Lou
Eric Spudic as Timmy/Clown
Debbie Rochon as some woman they didn’t bother to name
Brinke Stevens as Lillian
Will Riordan as Darrin
Jeff Dylan Graham as Night Watchman
Robyn Griggs as Camille
Kimberly L. Cole as Councilwoman
Krystal Stevenson as woman with shotgun

Full Cast and Crew information is available at the imdb.


Decades ago, an accident involving a railway train killed a bunch of clowns. Now, possibly because they’ve been roiled up by stock footage of a hurricane, the dead clowns rise to stalk the seven or so people who live in the town.

To make matters worse, a serial-killing couple has taken refuge from the storm in the same community.

To make matters worst, no one involved in this film had even the slightest idea what the hell they were doing.

High Points:

The poster/box cover for this film features a suitably creepy image that lives up to the expectations one might have for a film called Dead Clowns. A sinister, axe-wielding clown stalks the viewer. Behind him looms the rusting carcass of an amusement park. Unfortunately, nothing approximating that image appears anywhere in this film.

Low Point:

The premise suits a low-budget, indie horror movie. You don’t need much in the way of money to make zombie clowns, and they’re a natural for cheap horror. You just need some inventive ideas and a few competent actors. This should have worked, at least a little bit.

Think of the possibilities for rampaging zombie clowns. What would you put in your movie about rampaging zombie clowns? Got an idea, something that might work in such a film?

Well, the makers of Dead Clowns didn’t think of that idea.

The Scores:

Originality: 1/6 Isolated location where something sinister happened decades ago. Zombies. Clowns. Scared people. Sure, throw in some serial killers, too. Pass me another drink; we shoot in ten.

Effects: 1/6

Production: 1/6 Go to Youtube. Search for the most recent video uploaded with, say, “wedding” or “sleepover” or “kitten” in its title. Play.

What you are watching has higher production values than Dead Clowns.

Acting: 2/6 The visiting thrill killers attempt character. Everyone else appears to be recalling their lines while in drug-induced dissociative states.

Story: 2/6 The tedious pace of their narrative breaks occasionally with standard creepy dark shots and some clowns chawing down on body parts but, really, the Zeebo the Clown episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? holds more genuine terror.

Emotional Response: 1/6 This movie would have improved significantly if they had run out of film sooner.

Overall: 1/6. I have watched some bad films before. Werewolf vs Vampire Women, for example, comes to mind. Youtube videos disputing the reality of the moon landing and the Sandy Hook shooting. Oh, and the Star Wars prequels.

Of all the films that I have seen that actually received distribution, this is the worst.

Dead Clowns receives a total score of 9/42

October Written Review Countdown


Weekend 1: Gravity
Weekend 2: Dead Clowns
Weekend 3: Carrie (2013)
Weekend 4: Lifeforce
Halloween: The Thing and Creature