Suggested Audio Candy:
Evil Clowns Town Music
What is it about clowns which chills the blood so? I mean, they’re first on the guest-list at children’s parties, indeed any celebration not graced by at least one of these harlequins is not considered much of an event in the first place. Yet, for all their balloon shaping expertise and jovial hijinks, they still come off as creepy motherfuckers. So what is it about these painted terrors which fills so many adults with a feeling of downright dread?
I blame Tobe Hooper and really should have known better after taking the tour into his Funhouse: Carnival of Terror. Until primary exposure to Poltergeist I was with the other kiddywinks in the schoolyard, not in the least bit fazed by these jolly jesters. 114 minutes later I had received baptism in fire and my entire outlook was altered. Needless to say, I checked under my bed each night before I laid me down just to be sure. Something involuntarily changed within me that day.
All of a sudden Ronald McDonald had an exclusive glimmer in his dead eyes which, instead of goading me into grabbing myself a box of nuggets and kicking back with my pals, was now informing me of his intention to gut me like a swine and use my intestines to strangulate my oxygen supply. Maybe that explains the gut-ache I receive directly after consuming one of their ‘wholesome meals’.
When the circus came into time, I no longer ground down my parents and was happy to give it rain check. Of course, being an avid horror buff, I had many subsequent introductions to these smiling assassins over the years and even now there is something about them which grants me distinct unease. There is such exquisite potential for terror as their thinly painted veils can’t disguise the hatred in their stare. Instead this simply emblazons it for all to see. The tears of a clown are that much more real as a result of any streaming mascara.
Recently the circus came trundling back into town. Tate Steinsiek was the ringmaster to this particular bawdy bunch of buffoons and his stylish 2008 short named purely Clown was introduced as the opening act. At six minutes long, there was nothing that ominous to contend with so I fired myself in like the human cannonball that I am and soaked it up for the first time…shortly succeeded by my second…then my third, which is the point you join me at presently. Keeper likes to be thorough, if a job’s worth doing and all that baloney.
By the second viewing I felt decidedly less adjusted than I had on the maiden outing. Something had changed and, more remarkably, it had done so with great subtlety. Now Steinsiek’s Clown is many things and subtle ain’t one of them, grungy?..yes, despicable?..most certainly, brilliant?..undoubtedly. But not understated. However, I barely registered the trepidation first time out and it wasn’t until view watch no.2 that it smacked me in the face with a bunch of daffodils and poured lactose down the crack of my strides.
It made its mark swiftly and precisely, deeply seeding its malicious harvest straight into my Hippocampus and pulling out faster than a sword swallower with gag reflex. Inside my cranial crust, Shamus’ filthy little love-child was gestating. I was unwittingly very much playing host, and who the fuck put me in charge of this shindig anyhoots? About the midpoint of the second play through I began to feel vaguely nauseous, not just a little seasick, more a parasite eating its way out through my cerebellum faster than you could say “can I interest you in an antacid Kane?”
Clown punches in and out in the time it passes to pass a troublesome stool and this just makes it all the more astonishing that you feel so brackish upon viewing it. On one hand, you have the Lord of The Rings trilogy which thinks nothing of pillaging 682 of your precious minutes and is culpable of $2,917,506,956 in receipts thus far. Then you have Clown which asks for a mere lobster’s handful and has had less than a thousand clicks on YouTube. Something stinks in suburbia and I don’t like it one iota.
The real psychological bludgeoning comes within the first half of this short and is courtesy of a succinct turn by Paul Sampson (Night of The Templar). He lingers like the scent of soiled linen, masticating on our senses…all five of ’em for the duration of his short stay. Now I love Tim Curry, and I believe I’d be correct in assuming I’m not alone here. But Shamus The Clown takes half of six bastard minutes in popping his balloon. That has to be some kind of “fuck you clown shoes” record if you ask me! Meanwhile panties may well be soiled by Shamus’ olive-skinned muscled body and I’m positive he would use those very briefs to remove his make-up after the performance.
He procrastinates not in getting all up in our grill, spitting his poetic bilge in our contorted faces in such a way that would have John Wayne Gacy sharting in his breeches. Every word cuts us like a cruddy blade, leaving behind its abrasions to fester as the rest of the short film plays out. Sampson’s Shamus manages another feat in that he convinces us there is so much more not yet told. If he could get this far under our pelts in 160 seconds then imagine the debauchery in pulling this taut into a full-length carnival. Reams of opportunity methinks. Ironically the last words he utters on-screen are “until then…miss me” and this sums up the sentiment entirely.
What would really tantalize would be the chance to watch Sampson and Norman Reedus reprise their roles as Shamus and Lucien. The Boondock Saints alone showcases what a delight Reedus is to play alongside and in Shamus he has the most delectable reprobate imaginable with whom to share the ring. Until such point as that is a realization I shall grab every six minutes I can with this prankster and, of course, religiously keep checking under my bed.
Sins of a clown,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014