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Clownhouse (1989)

R  |   |  Horror  |  21 April 1990 (Japan)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 2,905 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 36 critic

Just before Halloween, three young brothers alone in a big house are menaced by three escaped mental patients who have murdered some traveling circus clowns and taken their identities.

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Title: Clownhouse (1989)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nathan Forrest Winters ...
Casey
Brian McHugh ...
Geoffrey
...
Randy
Michael Jerome West ...
Lunatic Cheezo (as Tree)
Byron Weible ...
Lunatic Bippo
David C. Reinecker ...
Lunatic Dippo
Timothy Enos ...
Real Cheezo / Georgie
Frank Diamanti ...
Real Bippo / Charlie
...
Real Dippo (as Karl Heinz Teuber)
Viletta Skillman ...
Mother
Gloria Belsky ...
Fortune Teller
Tom Mottram ...
Ringmaster
Erika Young ...
Storekeeper
Jasper Watts ...
Storekeeper's Assistant (as Russell Jasper Watts)
Bobby Salem ...
Booth Barker
Edit

Storyline

Just before Halloween, three kid brothers who are alone in a big house are menaced by three escaped mental patients who have murdered some traveling circus clowns and taken their identities. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...A circus of the mind. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 April 1990 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Clown dolofonoi  »

Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Rockwell's film debut. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 2 mins) When Casey pulls the lamp out of the wall the power socket sparks, but the power is out in the house. See more »

Quotes

Fortune Teller: Beware, beware, in the darkest of dark. Though the mind is young, and the hearts are strong, precious life, cannot be long, when darkest death, has left its mark...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the credits role: No man can hide from his fears; as they are a part of him, they will always know where he is hiding. See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Creepy clowns chasing three brothers
30 March 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Slashers don't tend to be my favourite type of horror films, but this one is slightly better than most because it actually has some vision, and its gimmick, while not exactly original, is well used. Many people find clowns frightening, and it's not hard to see why; as these make-up wearing funny men definitely have a sinister aura about them, and that is something that director Victor Salva has capitalised on here. These clowns are particularly nasty as well, and the fact that they're escaped lunatics helps to ensure this. The film takes a while to get going, but this time is well spent on introducing the audience to the three lead characters. I'm not a big fan of movies that star children, but these three aren't too bad. We follow three brothers who find themselves under attack in their own home. The main plot is only one babysitter away from being the oldest one in the book, and the fact that the intruders are escaped mental patients doesn't exactly help it in this area. Luckily, the film is largely well done, and it's a good job because if it relied solely on its story, Clownhouse would have been easy to forget about.

Director Victor Salva is a notorious presence in Hollywood, which is down to the fact that he confessed to being a child molester a year before Clownhouse was released. You've got to question the wisdom of allowing him to make a movie with three kids, therefore, but really, I'm only interested in his film making ability, and it's obvious that Victor Salva is a talent. His use of the camera is superb, and he creates a brilliantly foreboding atmosphere around the house, which helps this kind of plot no end. The music too is well implemented, and helps the film at the right moments. The acting is nothing to write home about, but in fairness; the three leads do rather well. Nathan Forrest Winters puts in the best performance as the youngest of the trio, and receives good backup from Brian McHugh and a young Sam Rockwell, who both fit their roles as his brothers well. The film isn't very gory for a slasher and most of the movie is rather restrained. Salva goes for the scares without using gore and, for a change; it works in its favour. I can't say that Clownhouse is a classic or must see, but it's not bad and is undoubtedly better than either of the Jeepers Creepers films.


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