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Shakes the Clown (1991)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  13 March 1992 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 3,508 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 15 critic

Shakes plods about his duties as party clown, and uses all of his free time getting seriously drunk. Binky, another clown, wins the spot on a local kiddie show, which depresses Shakes even ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bruce Baum ...
Steve Bean ...
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Eliza Coyle ...
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Gerald F. Edelstein ...
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Mime Class Instructor (as Marty Fromage)
Jack Gallagher ...
Paige Gosney ...
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Scott Herriott ...
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Storyline

Shakes plods about his duties as party clown, and uses all of his free time getting seriously drunk. Binky, another clown, wins the spot on a local kiddie show, which depresses Shakes even more, and his boss threatens him with unemployment if he can't get his act under control. When someone murders Shakes' boss and makes it look like Shakes did it, he goes undercover, posing as a hated mime, and tries to find information that will clear his name. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Loved by children. Desired by women. Adored by bartenders everywhere.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

13 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bohóc-sztori  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$115,103 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Binky, you ever been kicked in the head by a bull?" Is sampled for the song Goin' South on the album Trashed by the punk band Lagwagon. See more »

Goofs

When Shakes confronts Binky at the clown bar, the clown with the bright green hair loses his bright green chest hair. See more »

Quotes

The Unknown Woman: You're my first... clown.
See more »

Crazy Credits

No identification with or similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or drunk or to actual events is intended or should be inferred. See more »

Connections

References The Howdy Doody Show (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Me and the Boys
Written by Terry Adams
Performed by NRBQ
Published by Hi Varieties/Tomata-Du-Plenti Music, Ltd. (ASCAP)
Copyright Administered by Bughouse (ASCAP)
From the Album "Peek-A-Boo: The Best of NRBQ"
Available on Rhino Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Much maligned in its time, but it aged like fine wine
5 January 2004 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

A reviewer at the Boston Globe once called this, "The Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies." Given the number of points of comparison, who could argue?

I was reminded of this when I recently saw the 2003 movie, "Bad Santa" -- which was a similar one-joke, cynical comedy about an obnoxious alcoholic employed as a character meant to bring joy into the lives of children. (The name "Shakes" takes on a whole new meaning when the lead character attempts to detox.) If that one joke works, so goes the movie. So for comparison, I recently rented it not long after seeing "Bad Santa."

While Bad Santa received a great number of favorable critical reviews, this movie wasn't as fortunate. Upon further review, I have to say that this movie never got the credit it deserved.

Is it a great movie? Oh no. This is a movie that attempts to be so bad and foul, rolling in its own filth, that best targets people with the right, low-expectation mindset. But you could also say that of "There's Something About Mary."

It employs humor in some of the background scenes a la "Airplane." Its use of cheesy 70s actors is pure genius and helps complete the joke. (Nevermind Robin Williams, an early Adam Sandler, and the then-future voice of Sponge Bob Squarepants as the evil Binky the Clown.) If you can manage a smirk during John Waters' "Mondo Trasho," you'll likely find the movie to be quite funny overall.

It's Bobcat's opus, and its no wonder he never really made much of anything since; the same was true for Orson Wells after "Citizen Kane"...


13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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