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Dead Clowns (DVD)



Dead Clowns DVD (click for larger image)Starring Lucien Eisenach, Kimberly Lynn Cole, Debbie Rochon, Jeff Dylan Graham, Brinke Stevens

Directed by Steve Sessions

Distributed by Lionsgate

… Send in the clowns. There ought to be clowns …

I agree. Especially when said clowns are bloodthirsty zombies armed with sharp implements. Do I have your attention yet? Good! This little film courtesy of the fine folks at deserves some spotlight because as it stands, Dead Clowns is one of the most surprisingly good indie efforts to come along in quite some time.

Some people are scared shitless of the normally happy-go-lucky jesters with the painted faces and floppy shoes. Coulrophobia is the technical term for this fear, and Dead Clowns hits the mark more than it misses in terms of exploiting this phobia to the tenth power. Before we get into the particulars, let’s get into the story.

Dead Clowns DVD (click for larger image)Many years ago during a hurricane a circus train crashed deep into the water while crossing a bridge on the way to the small coastal town of Port Emmett. The people of the town chose to ignore this ever happened, and thus, neither the train nor the corpses of the circus workers were ever recovered. After all, why should they risk their lives to save others? Bastards. These poor souls just laid there rotting beneath the crashing waves for decades. That is until another strong hurricane stirs some of them from their rest. Once awakened, a troupe of dead clowns start their rampage by taking out the descendants of the folks who left them there. Dead men may not tell any tales, but man, can they hold a grudge!

In truth, Dead Clowns feels very much like an indie update to the John Carpenter classic The Fog, and that is not a bad thing. It shares plenty of common themes and even some quick homages to the goodness that was the horror that befell the folks at Spivey Point. There is one thing that kept bothering me a bit though: The people in the film who encounter these undead creatures barely react. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that anyone in the flick should go all screamy, but hardly any characters react beyond a wide-eyed glance at the horrific sight that stands before them. I mean, come on, a simple “Holy shit!” would have sufficed.

Yet, this silence also lends itself to one of Dead Clowns‘ strongest points — its usage of eerie silence and ambient sound design. This flick is all atmosphere and very light on dialogue. Director Sessions does an amazing job given what he has by creating a truly cut-off from the rest of the world playground for his characters to exist in. One whose main accompaniment is the sound of howling wind and the non-stop beating of torrential rains. Every now and again some circus music will softly play in the distance during the storm to create a ghostly landscape, and to say it is effective is without question an understatement.

Dead Clowns DVD (click for larger image)I know what your next question is — “Creepy, we’ve got killer zombie clowns! How are the gore and the effects?” Honestly, given that this movie had a budget the size of a funeral, pretty damned good. Things get nice and squishy toward the end, and the clowns themselves (minus a couple of ludicrous puppeteering gags) do a lot to evoke fear. All in all, the final package works, and given the bullshit we’ve all been subjected to over the last few years, that’s really saying something.

Sadly, this DVD kind of gets the shaft in terms of extras. All we get is a trailer. Come on, Lionsgate! You throw stuff on DVD’s for some of the worst films ever. We could have at least gotten a commentary! Sheesh!

Dead Clowns is a film made with passion and reverence for this genre. While certainly not an amazing movie by any stretch of the imagination, it cuts a clear path through others crowding the indie film zombie scene by delivering a taut and effective little fright-fest that’s built purely on heart and soul.


Special Features


3 1/2 out of 5

Special Features:

1/2 out of 5

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American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review



Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

Directed by Colin Bemis

Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

  • Strawberry Flavored Plastic


Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

User Rating 3 (1 vote)
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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)



We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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Totem Review – It’s Not Always A Bad Thing To Look Up From The Bottom Level, If You Like That View



Starring Kerris Dorsey, James Tupper, Ahna O’Reilly

Directed by Marcel Sarmiento

Following the untimely death of a family’s matriarchal figure, a young woman finds out that managing to hold all of the pieces in place becomes increasingly more difficult when otherworldly infiltrators make their presence felt. We’re going to have to work our way up this Totem, as

17 year old Kellie is the leading lady of the home following the passing of her mother Lexy, and with a needy father and tiny tot of a baby sister, she still keeps things in working order, regardless of the rather large hole that’s been left in the dynamic due to the death. Kellie’s dad after a while decides to ask his lady-friend to move in with the family, so that everyone can move onto a more peaceful existence…yeah, because those types of instances always seem to work seamlessly. As fate would have it, Kellie’s sense of pride is now taking a beating with the new woman in the mix, and her little sister’s new “visitor” is even more disturbed by this intruder – only question is, exactly who is this supernatural pal of sorts? Is it the spirit of their dead mother standing by to keep watch over the family, or is it something that’s found its way to this group, and has much more evil intentions at hand?

What works here is the context of something innately malicious that has found its way into the home – there are only a couple moments that come off as unsettling, but the notion of having to weave through more than half the film acting as a sullen-teen drama is rather painful. The presentation of the “broken family” is one that’s been done to death, and with better results overall, and that’s not to say that the movie is a complete loss, it just takes far too much weeding through at times stale performances and even more stagnant pacing to get to a moderately decent late-stage conclusion to the film. Under the direction of Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), I’d truly hoped for something a bit more along the lines of a disturbing project such as that one, but the only thing disturbing was the time I’d invested in checking this one out. My best advice is to tune into the Lifetime channel if you want a sulky teen-melodrama with a tinge of horror, or you could simply jump into this one and work your way up…but it’s a LONG way to the top.

  • Film


Sulky, moody, and ridden with teen-angst buried in the middle of a supernatural mystery – SOUNDS like a decent premise, doesn’t it?

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