15 years ago a clown by the name of Edwin slaughtered everyone at Bonzo's Clown Camp. Now believed to be only an urban legend, Bonzo reopens his camp and with a batch of fresh faces everything seems to be going well. Unfortunately it isn't long before campers and camp counselors are picked off one by one in gruesome manners with everything from hay balers, to dynamite laced cream pies, and even acid filled seltzer sprayers. Is Edwin back for revenge for his humiliation and to make sure the camp stays closed, or is one of the campers hiding a dark secret behind face paint?
I've been following the production of "Klown Kamp Massacre" for a little over 4 years now so I was extremely excited when they finally announced that the movie was available on DVD. While extremely excited I was also nervous going into the movie; 4 years of anticipation and expectations being made. The trailers made the movie look like it was going to a lot of fun, but I tried to keep the expectations low by telling myself it's a low-budget horror comedy about a killer at a clown camp, so it's a slim chance of actually being good. But as it turns out I was grossly underestimating what the people at I Can't Believe Its Not Hollywood Productions could do.
"Klown Kamp Massacre" puts a new spin on a all too familiar tale for horror fans; 15 years ago after being humiliated in front of everyone, Edwin the clown viciously and brutally murders his fellow camp clowns. After being shut down because of the ghastly crime, Bonzo decides to re-open his camp due to his television show being canceled. With a fresh batch of painted faces on the way, everyone tries to warn them not to go because of the death curse. Naturally, nobody listens. From the start everything seems to be normal but it isn't before long that campers start disappearing and the body count starts to rise.
So, as you can tell we aren't exactly treading new waters here, but that's ok. "Klown Kamp Massacre" is almost a love letter to the slasher films from the 80's (most notably "Friday the 13th" and "Halloween") just with a clowny twist. At first I wasn't sure why it took them so long to get the movie out, and after watching the movie it became clear. They took their time on this movie to give the best bang-for-the-buck that they could and it paid off for them quite well. The production of the movie is slick and extremely good with great locations, cinematography, sound design and some surprisingly good performances. The sound in the movie is one of the things that stuck out the most because it has an impressive original score but they also pay homage to horror movies with sound cues that have this odd little humorous, almost clown-like twist to them. Much like the movie itself.
Go ahead and take that sigh of relief knowing that you'll at least be getting a quality product from the production stand point alone. As far as the story goes, yeah it's been done before but "Klown Kamp Massacre" is as much of a parody as it also a standard horror-comedy. While flipping the slasher element into a world where clowns are almost their own race (going by the fact that some have clowny chest hair and pubes), it still remains as a slasher, and a good one at that. Even though it follows that standard formula it does the right things that makes those movies work; keeping the audience in the dark and only reveals the killer in the end and building tension until then with a body count. The movie properly places in the comedy element throughout so the movie doesn't become a complete schlock fest no matter how silly it gets but it also doesn't take itself too seriously. With the kill scenes; instead of watching a victim take a knife to the face, here they take a cream pie to the face and then a knife. Or instead of a head explosion by shotgun, one of our campers loses his head from eating a pie and never noticing the giant stick of dynamite in it. All very silly stuff but it works well with what the movie is.
Equal parts comedy, parody, and horror; "Klown Kamp Massacre" takes the best things about 80's slasher movies and sticks a red nose and floppy shoes on them. Whether you like horror comedies or not this is still a low-budget feature done right and done well. It has the right pacing for this kind of flick and it knows when to be serious and when to be silly. If you don't like the comedy, you'll appreciate the not quite traditional slasher story that features an appropriate amount of nudity and carnage. If you're not that interested in another slasher flick, then you'll be entertained with the movie's quirky sense of humor that's stuffed into every nook and cranny of movie all the way down the music. "Klown Kamp Massacre" is the type of movie that can entertain either a small crowd of people or an individual viewer.