Tag Archives: sci-fi

Potted Film Review: Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)

Starring: Grant Cramer, Suzanne Synder, John Allen Nelson, Royal Dano, John Nelson

What’s it all about?
An alien craft – which has the outward appearance of a travelling circus – lands in the woods behind a small town in the middle of America. The aliens who emerge are clowns. They carry guns that fire popcorn, and they kill people; or at the very least, they encase their victims in a plethora of pink candy floss.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space is (if you didn’t already know) a parody of all those bargain basement sci-fi B movies from the fifties that you have either seen or heard about, and it probably helps if you know that going in. Those movies were almost uniformly bad, which makes it hard for a parody of that style to be anything other than bad as well… So you see the dilemma?

Some of the practical effects are amusing in an eighties Muppets kind of way, and the writers should certainly be given credit for using the clowns in a variety of creative ways, but I didn’t find myself laughing much during the very brief running time.

Watching it with the kids…
Yeah, sure. Don’t let the title fool you. These may very well be killer clowns, but most of the actual deaths that appear on screen are characters being either vapourised or cocooned courtesy of special effects that would make even a fan of the original sixties Star Trek show balk. Everything is done with its tongue so far in its cheek, that even when there is a little blood on screen, it’s hard to take it seriously. Language is very mild, and despite there being ample opportunity for some skin, there’s none of that either.

I’m really torn on this one. On the one hand the acting is terrible, the script is less than basic, and the effects are a constant reminder that nobody behind the scenes gave a shit about realism; but on the other, it’s a fairly accurate reflection of those old genre tropes. So how can I hate on a movie that does exactly what it sets out to do?

I would wager that this movie is great to watch with a bunch of friends and a bottle of your favourite tipple. Ultimately however, while it has entertaining moments, I am just apathetic towards it, and I can’t give a pass to something that makes me feel that way.

Not Recommended ↓

Tuesday TV Testimonials #18…

Alien Nation (1989 – 1990)

16ce8145892626b59a82e65548b1f588--movie-sequels-tv-movieFinancial difficulties for the network it was on ensured that Alien Nation – one of my favourite shows growing up – got the axe after only a single season of 22 episodes. Several years later five TV movies were produced, which continued the story, but it was never the same.

Alien Nation was set several years after an extra-terrestrial ship had crash-landed in the desert and these aliens had been integrated into society. It was another in the long line of California-based cop shows that proliferated TV at the time, but its unique selling point was its overarching sci-fi theme, and the fact that it offered a human and alien partnership in place of the usual mismatched cop premise.


The Newcomers – as the alien race is called – have many quirks, which is the genesis of much of the show’s humour. They are bald with spotted or striped skulls; they have two hearts; they get drunk on sour milk; and the male of the species gives birth… after roughly four months.

Almost every episode of Alien Nation is a somewhat blatant social commentary on (usually) racism and (sometimes) sexism. It’s rarely subtle and never particularly clever, but these are such emotive subjects that sometimes obvious works just as well.

This is What’s Under the Bed…

I’ve written hundreds of stories in my life, over a million words (you’ll have to trust me on that one). I’ve written comedies and thrillers. I’ve written romance and drama. I’ve written sci-fi and fantasy. I’ve written westerns and stuff for kids. I’ve even penned some erotica (much to my mother’s embarrassment), but what I’m writing now is possibly the first real monster story I’ve tried… well, ever.


I mention this only because for the longest time – in my head – I was a horror writer. I think somewhere in there I still am. I read horror and that’s what I wrote, or so I thought. But looking back over those hundreds of titles and those million words, it turns out that very little of it would actually fit in the boundaries of the genre. Maybe ten percent; fifteen at a push.

I’ve always wanted to write a pure, no-nonsense monster tale – one that doesn’t necessarily live in the real world, and doesn’t feel the need to apologise or explain itself either. Sometimes horror just is and creatures just are.

This may just be my first time.

Is This What Death Smells Like…?

At the height of my fever yesterday, I finished my first full length sci-fi story, called Wyrmhole, which I thought was quite impressive given that I could barely remember my own name for most of the day.

And in the cold light of the following afternoon, it feels like death has smeared itself all over me, and isn’t going away anytime soon.

Enjoy your dinner folks!