Saturday, December 17, 2011

Grease Painted Death: Funland

Welcome to a world of fun, fancy and murder!  Well, that's actually a bit of a lie.  Despite its cover art and promotion, this movie is much more of a comedy than a horror film.  Yeah, I would see a clown with a shotgun and think 'Laughs ahoy!'  First off, I should mention that this is by Michael A. Simpson, the man behind Sleepaway Camp II and III.  That's your first hint that things are going to be more skewed by comedy.  There are two other Writers involved, but I won't spoil that just yet.  Needless to say, they aren't anything like Steve Miner!  The film is a bit the titular amusement park which goes through some turmoil, leading their mascot to go a little crazy.  What he does next is...not exactly what you might think.  To find out the joys of Funland, read on...
As you can see, this film is Written by Simpson alongside Bonnie and Terry Turner.  If you don't know, this pair wrote Wayne's World and created Third Rock from the Sun.  Weird, right?
Anyhow, Funland is an amusement park preparing for its yearly opening in the Summer.  They're mascot is a somewhat-deranged Accountant turned Clown.  Get used to him.
Things take a turn for the worse when the Owner dies a week or so before the opening.  The new owners are a bunch of mobster cliches.  Cue Clown funeral make-up.
The new owners decide to replace the Clown, bringing in the national mascot.  This pushes the guy over the edge just a bit...
Which explains why he is conversing with a wax figure of Humphrey Bogart from Casablanca and, later, the dead owner- complete with a hole in his head.  He's slightly-crazy, yeah.
He finally snaps and plans to assassinate the new Clown with a gun stolen from one of the mobsters.  However, things don't quite work out how you would think...
He actually ends up killing the mobster's son, getting credit for stopping his actions and manages to buy the company, after getting rid of the other mobsters via exposition.  In The End, they reveal that- make-up or no make-up- he's still crazy.
It's hard to laugh while I'm being shot.  The plot of this movie is good, although a bit unfocused.  You see, there's a bit more to this plot than I put in the overall synopsis.  Throughout the movie, a few comedy characters get random scenes and/or sub-plots.  For example, a crazy lady ripped right out of Police Academy does stuff like blow someone's door off of their car when they get the keys locked in.  In addition, there's a whole sub-plot where the Park Photographer both hits on a lady working there and 'feuds' with a guy named the Assistant Park Supervisor.  It's a good thing that guy can't fire you...and that your plot just sort of peters out.  This helps pad the film out to about 86 minutes.  The movie has a lot of moments that drag and, quite frankly, the comedy is hit or miss.  If you are inclined to like the jokes, you'll like this movie.  If you don't find the jokes funny/polished, you will just find it kind of dull.  The biggest problem is that all of the marketing makes you think that it's going in a horror direction, but it barely does that.
Up next, the final Killer Clown movie involves a Haunted House that's, well, haunted.  Didn't see that coming, did you?  Stay tuned...

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