Category Archives: Editorials

Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Ultimate “Kult” Horror and Why We Haven’t Seen a Sequel Yet

Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Ultimate "Kult" Horror and Why We Haven't Seen a Sequel Yet

I’ve been horror blogging for close to ten years now and other than a Blu-Ray review, several lists, and news-worthy jammers on the flick, I have yet to dedicate a full article to the beloved, and ultimate “kult” horror movie, Killer Klowns From Outer Space. Welp, here’s to fixing what’s been ailing me for ten years now.

I could give 101 reasons as to why Killer Klowns is the ultimate cult horror, but I’ll narrow it down to just a few for little patience. The Chiodos’ driven 1988 horror-comedy came swinging through the mom-and-pop rental shop doors, (another door!) as a straight-to-VHS Friday night flick. Giving another wholesome reason as to why those video shacks were a memorable staple of our youth as this was the way we got to see these movies. But it became so much more than that. The original title was to be simply “Killer Klowns”, but the Chiodos Brothers’ didn’t want their film to be mistaken for a slasher flick. So in turn they added “From Outer Space” to the title to give it that goofball- klowny jazz.

The Chiodos themselves were so heavily involved in everything about making this film happen that it’s almost as if the film itself mirrors their own minds of the perfect cult horror would be, on a very limited budget! I guess one wouldn’t think that two million bones is nowhere near small potatoes, but for a film that relays heavily on special effects to get the story across, it is peanuts. But, the Chiodos, who at the time was only known for their effects portfolio, made that shit work but working alongside other hired artists on the set and pulling triple-duty working on a full-scale miniature set for the Klownzilla sequence; while Charles Chiodo donned a rubber mask and suit to play JoJo himself.

Now because of the Chiodos’ genius to work under pressure on a tight budget, MGM wanted to do the sequel for the same amount of money. I first got wind of a sequel in the talks back in 2017 during a trip to Monsterpalooza where I had a lengthy chat with Stephen Chiodo himself and I had asked him, “What was up with Killer Klowns 2?!” While at the time, my 7-year-old son was playing with a replica cotton candy gun from his table, which he so generously offered to him while we talked about how legendary this movie is. He answered, off the record, and didn’t want it out there at the time, that the movie was to be released in conjunction with SYFY if all goes well and in 3D. Which was marvelous to hear! Until MGM fucked us all out of a sequel because they didn’t think it was worth any more than that.

YEAH, I SAID IT.

That being said, if we the fans want a Killer Klowns sequel, we just have to be loud about it to MGM directly. Now, I’m not saying to get nasty or anything, but they do need to know our thoughts and I think if enough of us bitch about it, something may spark. It’s got to happen sooner or later, right?

In the meantime, I’ll just cherish the movie we have now and that Monsterpalooza moment that was pretty much the coolest thing ever.

Infamous Friday the 13th Promo Image That Was Never Even Apart of the Film

On May 9th, 1980, Paramount unleashed a holiday slasher that would forever change the slasher game in the 80s’- Friday The 13th. Certainly, Friday wasn’t the first slasher film in the game, but with their continuous sequels that came year after year until the 90s’, horror icons like Michael Myers and Leatherface soon followed suit with sequels of their own to cash in on that horror-slasher mania that overtook the decade. And we couldn’t get enough of it. In 1980, Pamela Voorhees would soon join the slasher roster with her special baby boy Jason to become the face of the franchise a year later and Paramount studios made sure to plant her famous face all over the place for this heavily promoted little film. However, according to Fridaythe13thFranchise.com, one promotional still sent out in media kits was in fact, a deleted scene that never made it into the final cut of the movie.

It’s not uncommon that promos from films harbored some images that we never actually got to see in the final movie. The one that comes to mind most directly is the original trailer for Rocky IV; where we see quite a few scenes that never actually made it into the theatrical cut, but were later added to the director’s cut released last year. The image seen below of Pamela Voorhees (Palmer) with her face smashed up against a plastic sheet, was an image sent as part of a Paramount media kit sent to theater chains and media outlets and not something anyone saw in the final version. So, for the longest time, everyone just assumed it was a deleted scene; however, in the infamous doc Crystal Lake Memories, unit photographer Richard Feury sets the record straight:

The Friday The 13th cast and crew were taking a lunch break in a dining hall at Boy Scout Camp, Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco in between shoots, and the open-aired part of the hall was covered with plastic sheets to contain the heat inside, as Fall weather had arrived. Feury instinctively asked Betsy Palmer to lean into one of the plastic sheets and scream. Well, she did as you can see above and one of the most famous images promoting the film came to be that we never actually got to see on film.

A pretty neat little bit of Friday trivia for those who never knew and even better for those who never have seen this image prior to now. You’re welcome for the new screensaver.

The Alien Franchise: Horror’s Ultimate Tribute To Motherhood

When it comes to the horror genre and motherhood, there’s no short supply of films that touch, or wrap an entire plot around the subject. From the age-old days of horror with films like Psycho to modern movies like A Quiet Place and mother!, the eternal bond between mother and child is ripe for storytelling in a twisted way for the genre. However, no movie, and as a matter of fact, the entire franchise has executed the theme of motherly love in such a beautiful and fearful way quite as the Alien films.

And I’m here to celebrate Ripley, Queen Alien mama, and that bastard hybrid-Alien child from Alien: Resurrection in all its glory.

ALIEN

From the beginning of the franchise, the theme of motherhood and birthing life into existence came as a punch to the face, or through an abdomen, if you want to get technical, with the thought of just how messy life can start from the get-go via one of the most infamous horror scenes of all time. As someone who went through giving birth twice, I can relate to those screams godammit; also, eh, yeah it’s pretty bloody and messy. It’s the most badass, metal thing a woman can endure, and our boy John Hurt got a taste of it on board the Nostromo with the systems operated by fittingly named, MU-TH-UR 6000- or just simply “Mother.”

Oddly enough in the 1979 film, the birth of life and what a woman goes through is shown through men rather than women; which, all things considered, one could perceive as truly groundbreaking. Sure Ripley touches on her own motherhood background and is a FurMom to Jonesy, but the ugly parts of the process are shown through Kane and Ash.

YES, ASH. This guy right here who bleeds milk and not blood. Sort of ironically beautiful don’t you agree?

To me, and many others whom I’ve discussed with this before, Ash represents that ugly Postpartum Depression no one ever likes to acknowledge exists for mothers. In the film, Ash is chaos with confusion and rage wanting to be in control. PPD is a beast in its own right and can only be tamed with a swift kick from loved ones. In Alien‘s case, Ripley is the one who kicks it in the face, and rightfully so as the heroine of the films’.

ALIENS

Ahh, Aliens. The sequel that many fans not only deem superior but mostly associate with via said theme; in which case, makes my job here fairly simple.

Ripley’s motherly bond with little Newt is undeniable in the wake of the loss of their own via the news that Ripley’s own daughter has passed on Earth and Newt now being the sole survivor of the alien attack on the colony. They both lost all they knew and just kind of gravitated toward that parental/child bond in both survival and therapeutic move; because mentally speaking, do what you got to do to keep your head on straight. So Ellen spends the entire film protecting Newt at all costs, but she’s not the only one protecting her baby.

The Queen Mother Alien is busy laying her own eggs all over the place, and while the little “buggers” hatch, Ripley and the rest of the crew are taking them down. Which, in turn, really pisses this Mama Bear off, and I can’t even be mad about that. In the same sense, Mama Alien also goes into rage mode trying to protect her babies, same as Ripley. While some the Queen as the villain here, she is cut from the slice of bread here as Ripley. Different species, same attitude. Don’t fuck with Mama Bear.

ALIEN 3

That’s right Ripley. You get what you asked for.

In Alien 3, Ripley finds herself alone again with everyone she knows dead, including little Newt. Well, not so alone actually as we come to find out that in Aliens, the enraged Mama Queen gave Ellen a parting shot by laying one last egg on the ship they escaped on to ensure her race would live on despite Ripley’s best efforts. With Ripley serving as the new host and Surrogate mother for the Queen’s baby, those motherly instincts go right out the window and we now head into the theme of abortion, which hey, is also a part of the whole parenting discussion.

What a savage move, eh?

However, the baby alien growing inside her does give her an advantage, as the Xenomorph which is loose on the prison planet can sense the Queen embryo; in which case, doesn’t want to kill or harm Ripley in any way. Kind of like, you can be pissed off at your family, but blood is thicker than water and you never resort to blows, seeing as how Ripley and the Aliens are somewhat related now.

In any regard, Ripley succeeds in aborting the pregnancy and the alien race future by killing herself, or so she thinks. Alas, not before both she is cloned making way for ALIEN: RESSURECTION.

ALIEN: RESSURECTION

It took 200 years after the events of Alien 3, but curious scientific bastards have finally done it. A xenomorph specimen has been successfully reanimated thanks to Ripley’s DNA samples while still having that Queen embryo inside her before her own suicide. However, in lieu of Ripley, we now have CLONE 8, who as an alien/human hybrid, is very enduring to her fellow alien relations in a way that only a mother would understand. As the saying goes, “a face only a mother could love”, Clone 8 makes that the understatement of the century with her own Alien/human relative. The Queen Alien clone taken from Ripley’s body surprisingly has a human reproductive system rather than laying eggs. Now the alien race can finally endure what a human feels while giving birth.

What a gift to give your child.

And what can be given, can also be taken away as Clone 8 has to come to a terrible decision regarding her own baby as it poses a serious threat to humanity. The hybrid alien that was birthed via the Queen clone, rejected its Queen mother in favor of Clone 8. While Clone 8 has some emotional feelings towards the creature, who I honestly think is sort of adorable albeit vicious, she uses this to her advantage by using the creature’s trust to lure it into a death trap in an effort to save humanity.

Motherhood isn’t all sunshine and rainbows folks. It comes with serious emotional baggage and tough, sometimes impossible decisions. Although I would HOPE offing your child isn’t one of them- leave that one exception to little hybrid mongoloid here. Ok and maybe, Henry from The Good Son. Seriously, fuck that kid.

PROMETHEUS

Prometheus does a fine job of exploring the creation of life in a much broader way than even its predecessors. Serving as a prequel to all the Alien films, witnessing the evolution and understanding of the birth of both humanity, and of this strange alien race is a wild ride, much like motherhood itself. Instead of Ripley, we have Elizabeth Shaw, who has a strong religious faith and can bear no children. Again, focusing on another topic concerning motherhood that is brought to the forefront of the franchise: Infertility. With that in mind, some women find this problem frustrating and a toll on their own mental health and self-worth as a human. As Shaw clearly states in the film, “I can’t create life, what does that say about me?” Good to know that in the future this narrative of a woman is useless if she’s infertile, is still a goddamn thing.

Welp. Let’s just fix both those problems with an alien implant, shall we?

Prometheus tackles every single theme about motherhood within the Alien franchise and takes it full throttle even throwing in the modern, and now wildly used form of giving birth, c-section to boot. Gross. But cool, nonetheless.

Alien: Covenant

With the final entry that is Alien Covenant, we come full circle back to the roots of the franchise with gender switching roles of giving birth, and David the android taking Ash’s PPD into full swing Post Partum Psychosis as he nurtures this race into a healthy existence at the expense of the human race. Even MU-TH-UR 6000 makes an appearance, bringing the franchise together in a twisted circle of life metaphor.

As a mother of two, I can wholeheartedly relate to every single motherhood angle the Alien films have thrown at us. Motherhood isn’t always easy, and the movies do a great job of hammering that aspect home. I’ve given birth naturally, through cesarean, spent a year struggling with PPD, and went through the trauma of abortion to boot. While I’m no expert, I can certainly feel all the emotions throughout the series; which I hold very dear to me. And it goes without saying, the Alien movies have done an even better job of being inclusive, making ALL mothers feel heard and seen. Whether you’re a parent struggling, infertile, a step or adoptive parent, surrogate, or hell, living the white picket fence family dream, (seriously who are you) then you can probably relate as well to the roller coaster of emotional and beautiful chaos that is motherhood.

A tip of the hat to all you Queens out there. No matter where you stand, you all deserve to be recognized.