• Clownado (Extreme Entertainment) Movie Review

    Clownado (Extreme Entertainment) Movie Review
    Released by: Extreme Entertainment
    Released on: 2019
    Director: Todd Sheets
    Cast: John O'Hara, Rachel Lagen, Bobby Westrick, Antwoine Steele, Dilynn Fawn Harvey, Linnea Quigley, Jeanne Silver, Eileen Dietz
    Year: 2018
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    Clownado – Movie Reviews:

    Todd Sheets’ latest pictures opens with noirish scene complete with atmospheric shadowy lighting where we meet a woman named Savanna Dane (Rachel Lagen) and her boyfriend Cash Mahoney (Christopher Preyer). They’re in the midst of a plot to rob her old man, a cruel circus owner named Ronnie (John O’Hara), hoping to make off with his cash and live happily ever after. Of course, how should immediately walk in but Ronnie himself, and he’s understandably unhappy with what he’s just over heard. He forces Savanna to shoot Cash and then uses her in a twisted and dangerous clown act at his circus.

    Later that night, a woman named Autumn (Jeanne Silver) shows up to comfort Savanna, who tells Autumn that she wants out. She can’t do this anymore. Ronnie deserves to die. Luckily for Savanna, Autumn is a witch and she helps her out with a spell that summons a funnel cloud and scoops up Ronnie and his gang of evil clowns just as they’re chopping up Cash’s body and disposing of the evidence. Autumn wisely tells Savanna to get out of town, and so she does just that.

    Elsewhere, a teenager named Rachel Carpenter (Sierra Stodden) tases her abusive father and he drops, while things escalate at a nearby strip club where a woman named Spider (Linnea Quigley) tends bar. Here a dancer named Bambi (Dilynn Fawn Harvey) gets into it with a touchy patron. A black guy in an Elvis costume named Dion (Antwoine Steele) and a well-intentioned redneck named Hunter (Bobby Westrick) intervene. When Spider cans Bambi, they take her to a diner around the corner. Who else is at this diner? Savanna and Rachel… and not too long after their arrival, a funnel cloud full of evil clowns made up of Ronnie as well as Satchel (Cayt Feinics), Chuckles (Nate Karney Cole), Boppo (Eric Danger Dionne) and Wizzo (Micah Dillinger). The clowns attack, people die, and our group wind up on the run from Ronnie and the rest of the murderous circus performers who seem to be able to follow them across town via funnel cloud! Before it’s all over, Autumn will watch Dolemite in Violent New Breed, characters named Chris (Jeremy Todd) and Molly (Millie Milan) will offer help, a man (Douglas Epps) from Rachel’s past will offer clues to her past and the great Joel D. Wynkoop will show up!

    If you’ve ever wanted to see a man get eaten by killer, toothy clown boobs, then this is the movie for you. There’s a couple of genuinely unexpected twists here that we won’t spoil, and a whole lot of twisted humor, the kind you’d expect about a… bunch of clowns that travel around via tornado. Yeah, the concept is ridiculous and impossible to take seriously but Sheets and company are clearly having fun with it and to their credit, manage to conjure up a few surprisingly tense scenes.

    And then, of course, there’s the gore. It wouldn’t be a Todd Sheets movie without the gore. And in typical Todd Sheets style, it’s done pretty much entirely with practical effects. Yeah, there’s some CGI that’s obviously been used for the tornado effects and the storm effects but when someone’s throat is torn out or someone’s chest cavity is cut open, it’s done the good old-fashioned way and the movie is all the better for it. It’s all very over the top, almost cartoonish in spots, but it’s fun and the effects work in the picture is admittedly pretty impressive. The clown makeup is also really well done. For those of us who find clowns creepy, present company included, it lends the movie some effectively eerie moments.

    For a movie made on $10,000, Clownado has some pretty strong production values working in its favor. The cinematography is pretty polished and not only do we get a couple of nice aerial shots here, but we even get some airplane action included towards the end. The film uses a few different locations pretty effectively – the circus, the diner, the nudie bar, an ice cream shop, an air port and a few streets – that give it a bigger feel than you might expect for a movie made for the cost of a good used car. The movie is probably about ten-minutes longer than it needs to be, but for the most part it’s a pretty engaging watch and has no trouble holding our attention. The movie also benefits from a pretty solid sound mix. The mostly instrumental soundtrack is also pretty solid, there are a few spots where there sounds like a John Carpenter influence working its way into the mix, but that’s not a bad thing at all.

    As to the acting, it’s fun to see Sheets get Quigley back after her turn in Bonehill Road. In fact, quite a few of the cast members here have appeared in earlier Sheets films. The leads - Rachel Lagen, Bobby Westrick, Antwoine Steele, Dilynn Fawn Harvey – have all appeared in films like Bonehill Road and Dreaming Purple Neon and in the case of Westrick, well, he even appeared in Madhouse and Goblin! It’s also interesting to see ‘Long’ Jeanne Silver show up here and hey, The Exorcist’s Eileen Dietz also has a cameo. The leads all do pretty decent work here. Lagen and Harvey in particular are pretty brazen, both ladies delivering pretty fearless performances here. I’m not sure that the choice to have Lagen and O’Hara speak in old timey crime movie accents was the right call, but it doesn’t hurt the movie and it does add to some of the humor in the picture. O’Hara steals quite a few scenes as the heavy, he’s really solid here, chewing just enough of the scenery to make it work. Subtlety isn’t a strongpoint in this film, but it doesn’t need to be. Jeremy Todd, Millie Milan and Douglas Epps, all Bonehill Road holdovers, are also pretty fun here and the rest of the clowns, Cayt Feinics in particular, are pretty entertaining. And of course, we’d be remiss if we forgot to mention Wynkoop, an SOV/B-movie stalwart for decades now, with a career spanning back to the eighties where he got his start in movies like Twisted Illusions and Killing Spree. He’s a blast to watch here as always.

    Note that the version of the film reviewed here isn’t 100% finished, some of the effects and audio are still being tweaked.

    Clownado – The Final Word:

    Clownado is every bit as ridiculous as it sounds but it does make for a really fun way to kill an hour and forty minutes. It’s gory, often pretty funny and occasionally shocking but so too is it freakishly creative and, considering its budget, surprisingly polished. There’s no shortage of entertainment value to be had with this one, it’s pretty crazy stuff.