Klown Kamp Massacre DVD Review
Directed and Written by Philip Gunn and David Valdez
2010, Region 1 (NTSC), 84 minutes, Unrated
DVD released on December 13th, 2011
Jared Herholtz as Edwin
Ashley Bryce as Valerie
Ross Kelly as Philbert
Lloyd Kaufman as Vic Vickers
Isaac Kappy as Buzter Pie
Mike Miller as Bonzo
Chris K. Payne as Puff
Daniel Gutierrez as Gerald
Reuben Finkelstein as Lenny
Nick Lopez as Vinnie
Miguel Martinez as Funnybone
Sandor Gattyan as Squirts
Clowns are pretty damn scary. Now just imagine a camp full of them training to perfect their creepiness! Well that there is the premise of Klown Kamp Massace, a slasher flick that’s brim-full of nods to the iconic genre that inspires it, along with a tongue-in-cheek attitude to keep you laughing and heaving all at once.
A group of aspiring clowns head to a recently renovated camp which had been closed for years due to a mass murder spree by Edwin, a crazed and vengeful classmate of the original camp. After failing to make his peers laugh at his final performance, Edwin went on a rampage and murdered everyone he worked and lived with. Despite the local weirdo trying to ward the new, hopeful clowns off, they ignore him and begin their classes. However, they soon realise that history is going to repeat itself in hideous fashion.
The main thing this movie has going for it is the great references to the classics that inspire it and a real ‘80s video nasty style which complements the clown subject matter, making it all the more garish. Along with this is a great sense of humour that is rather inevitable with this particular style, it has a good mix of jokes from obvious slapstick stuff to some pretty dry, intelligent humour. From the very start of Klown Kamp Massacre, it’s apparent this is going to be its strong point, a hand held camera gives us the point of view of Edwin as he looks at all his handiwork through the eye of the lens and he comments, “Why can’t I take the date of this? That’s rather obnoxious”. For whatever reason, that line in particular tickled me and from there on in it kept up that style.
When it comes to the acting, each character is incredibly exaggerated, but for what this is it works well and the acting is really good considering it is rather low budget. The stand out performance has to be Chris Payne who plays Puff, a clown who delivers each line with great timing and wit. Payne should be doing more stuff because whenever he appeared in a scene I knew it was going to be entertaining, a real indication of talent.
The main reference the film keeps going to is Friday the 13th, where it recreates a lot of the scenes. A crazy man meets the prospective clowns claiming they will be “doomed” if they carry on to their destination, which he falsely believes is “Camp Sparkling Lake”. It then goes on to show a hitchhiker jump into the car where the point of view is the serial killer. It’s fun to watch and not overdone, it’s a bit of a giggle.
This being a Troma distribution, it’s no surprise that Lloyd Kauffman makes an appearance. It’s more of a cameo as his presence is brief, but I don’t think fans of the B-Movie king will feel cheated. If that’s the only reason you’ve watched this, the bonus is you will have watched a genuinely entertaining film by the end of it.
It all goes a little bit haywire at the end, and I am still deciding whether it is a fitting conclusion to the madness that proceeded it, or just really very silly and pointless. I’m going to go with the former, as by that point you should be feeling the campness (pun intended) of it all to go along with it. If you like your horror ridiculous, over the top and drenched in clown’s blood, you really cannot go wrong here.
Video and Audio:
I found no problems with this 1.78:1 presentation, the audio at times may have had small issues due to its very loud-to-quiet moments, but all in all I was a happy camper. Huzzah another pun!
Special features ahoy ahoy! There are deleted scenes, an audio commentary, making of featurette, webisodes, two short films by Philip Gunn and a behind the music video. There is also plenty for you Troma nerds to get stuck with; there are a plethora of Troma trailers and a guide from Lloyd Kaufman on how to make your own green screen.
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