Welcome witches and warlocks,
I had the great pleasure of attending Bump in the Night’s 30th anniversary screening of Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) and figured I would offer up my thoughts on the experience. For the uninitiated, here is a plot summary of the film:
Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town.
Yep, that is an accurate description of the story. Of course, with a B-movie styled plot like this, it is less about depth and more about the various gags. This feature has some of the most amusing tableaus ever put to film crammed into a swift eighty eight minute running time. There is next to no fat here, just crazy alien clowns killing people in a variety of humorous ways. Really, that is about all I want to say about the movie itself, as that should be enough to let the uninitiated reader decide whether or not they want to see this fantastic flick.
I would rather focus in on the experience offered up to attendee’s of Bump in the Night’s recent screening.
As we entered the cinema, there was a line just outside our theater where the Chiodo Brothers (the directors of the movie) as well as John Massari (the composer) were signing merchandise and talking with the fans. Passing by them, we entered the theater to see the screen filled with various concept art used in the making of the picture along with some technical blueprints of objects appearing in the piece. The images were accompanied by the incredibly memorable theme song as well as excerpts from the score.
Needless to say, this was a respectful tribute to a famous B-movie that gave us a nice behind the scenes look at some of the work that went into the making of this feature.
Then, as the showtime drew near, a killer klown came out from the side of the theater and began to re-enact the famous shadow puppet scene from the film. The movie screen itself was used as his backdrop as he waved his hands in ridiculous ways to create larger than life images that in no way matched his movements. When the final image came up and scared the klown himself away, the guests of the evening took to the stage for a Q&A.
The Chiodos and Mr. Massari offered up some great behind the scenes tidbits about this cult classic in a fun fashion while also teasing that they are closer than ever to getting sequels made. In addition to them waxing nostalgic about how they would bring the klowns to a new generation (a requel as they called it) they also debuted some footage from the recent concert show they put on. This show, which saw a live orchestra (directed by composer John Massari) performing a reworked version of the score while the movie itself played in the background. This accompanied an announcement that sometime soon this performance, which had been recorded for posterity, would be making its way to DVD in some fashion.
All in all, Bump in the Night put on a fantastic evening that felt like a great tribute to Killer Klowns from Outer Space fans everywhere. From the lovely guest stars to the audience based Q&A, this captured the spirit of the film while also offering some behind the scenes tidbits that most fans would not already know. Fans of this movie have the concert film to look forward to while those seeking out events that offer a peek behind the scenes of beloved cult classics should definitely keep their eyes on what Bump in the Night has to offer.
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