Oct. 15th: The Clown Murders (1976)

clown-murders-1976Our next selection is a strange Canadian picture I might have stuck earlier in the month had I seen it previously. However, I just watched this one, so here it is.

From 1976 comes The Clown Murders, a slow building slasher that takes place on Halloween night, but is honestly a little light in the Halloweeniness department.

It’s an all right film despite that fact though, plus there’s a lot of clown costumes, a brief Halloween party and some Halloween referencing throughout.

As a prank, 4 friends dress as clowns and kidnap a local real estate tycoon’s wife from a Halloween party. They take her to a farm house to wait out the night, meanwhile the town begins taking their joke very seriously. With mounting tensions, their prank soon goes south, as the accomplices begin turning on one another and a mysterious figure steals a clown mask and begins stalking them.

If you can handle the slower pace and look of a mid-70’s slasher film, and want something mildly Halloweeny, it’s not a bad selection. It’s got a young John Candy and a few other Canadian actors who’ve turned up in some genre pictures and Cronenberg films. Particularly notable is Lawrence Dane, whom Shindiggers may recognize from Happy Birthday to Me or Scanners.

Like I said, it’s not bad. There’s certainly some pretty creepy moments (particularly if you’re afraid of clowns) and the film is not poorly made by any means. I wouldn’t break your back trying to get a hold of it if it’s something you’ve never seen, but it’s good for a random October night to Halloween completists looking for something new they haven’t seen.

Coincidentally and interestingly enough, there’s a scene where the stalker plays “London Bridge” over the farm house’s PA system. It’s a wonderful and unintentionally Halloweeny moment that I thoroughly enjoyed. I couldn’t stop myself from humming right along.

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