You've probably gathered by now that Killer Klowns From Outer Space is one of my absolute favorite movies, which I like to talk about pretty much any chance I can get it. I just have such a blast every time I watch it, which is usually at least once a year. As the composer in the film suggests in an interview included on the Blu-ray, there's kinda something wrong with anyone who can watch this movie and not have a good time with it!
So yea, I totally love it. In fact, I even credit Killer Klowns with making me realize I had met the woman of my dreams when I met Jen several years back, who I ended up recently marrying. I went over her house a few weeks after meeting her for the first time and I was surprised to see the Killer Klowns DVD on her DVD shelf. I really couldn't believe that I had met such a beautiful girl, and that she was as into this weirdo little movie that I was, so that was definitely a source of bonding for us. Needless to say, the film nowadays means even more to me than it did back when I first discovered it, many years before we met, when I was a lonely pimple faced sad sack who didn't even have a blog to ramble about it on.
Killer Klowns received its long awaited Blu-ray release yesterday, which I of course pre-ordered on Amazon (only $11.86 at the time of writing this!). Been waiting for this one for a while, and I dove head first into the disc earlier tonight. Here are some thoughts on what you can expect when you too pick up Killer Klowns in high def!
First off, the cover art, which people have been talking about more than they have the actual disc itself. The art has become the subject of much debate in regards to this release, with many hating it and many loving it. I'm personally kinda torn on the art. On the one hand, it looks pretty damn cool. But on the other, it just doesn't look right for the movie that Killer Klowns is. It's just not colorful and vibrant enough, and doesn't reflect the fun tone that the movie has got going for it. In fact, it presents the film as more a scary movie, and less a horror comedy. Again though, the art is solid, just not exactly fit for the movie. It's almost as if MGM made it a point to try and market the film to people who may not know what it is, as something it's not. Really wish they had either stuck with the original DVD art, or had an artist whip up a brand new piece of colorful, cartoony art. Or at least spruce up the font a bit. Oh well though, not a huge deal at the end of the day.
When it comes to the transfer, Killer Klowns looks better than it ever has on home video here on this Blu-ray release, though it doesn't exactly blow the roof off the big top. From what I understand, MGM simply upconverted their DVD release of the film from back in 2001, so it doesn't look all that much better than that DVD does on my PS3 (the PS3 in fact upconverts DVDs to 1080p, all on its own). It's really hard to tell much of a difference between that DVD and this Blu-ray, but I will say that the very colorful scenes in the film really popped out to me, and looked damn good. Considering much of the film is quite colorful, that's a good thing. It could probably look better, and maybe someday will, but for now I'm just glad that MGM didn't decide to smooth over the film and try and make it look like something made this year, which unfortunately companies tend to sometimes do with older movies. Bottom line being, it's not gonna blow your mind, but it looks as good as it can probably look.
Now in regards to the special features, the disc is pretty much comprised of the same material as MGM's DVD. There's an audio commentary with the Chiodos (which I've yet to listen to), 2 short deleted scenes (with or without commentary), a small blooper reel, the original theatrical trailer and about an hour of featurettes, covering everything from the score to the visual effects. Some great behind the scenes footage and stories in there. There are also two short stop motion films included on here that the Chiodos made when they were kids, which are pretty impressive given their ages at the time and the lack of resources they had at their disposal. The Chiodos have always done things in the most clever, creative and cheap ways possible, and it's cool to see their early beginnings, where they were honing that all in the family on the cheap style.
All the features I just mentioned were ported over from the DVD. Where things get different is that the storyboard and photo galleries that were included on the DVD are not included on the Blu-ray, instead replaced with a three minute clip of Klown auditions, showing various actors practicing their movements, in full Klown getup, and a three second clip from the edited for TV version of the film, where John Vernon's use of the word shit is replaced with the word smoke (as in, HOLY SMOKE!). While the newly added audition footage is pretty cool to see, it's a bummer that the photo galleries were cut from the release, because they were pretty extensive and full of a lot of gems, including concept art, behind the scenes photos and original advertising materials. A few of those images pop up during the featurettes, but most of it is completely gone. Don't know why MGM chose to add the audition footage but take that stuff out, and it's kind of a shame that they did. Would be nice to have EVERYTHING on there, this being a new Blu-ray release and all. But hey, at least the bulk of the DVD features are there.
All in all, given how cheap the disc is, and the fact that it looks a bit better than the DVD does, I'd say it's worth upgrading to Blu-ray on this one. It's not something you absolutely need to rush out and do, but hardcore fans of Killer Klowns are gonna want to pick this one up. That said, I kind of do wish that a little bit more love was put into the release, with some better art and some new features. But alas, this is MGM we're talking about, not Scream Factory or Arrow Video, so I guess you can't expect too much.
By the way, in case you didn't hear, Killer Klowns star Grant Cramer spilled some details on the upcoming sequel last week, a sequel that he in fact first announced to the world right here on Freddy In Space, back in June of last year. Check out the full plot details over at Fangoria!
Don't want to be negative here, but I'm starting to wonder if this sequel will ever actually come to fruition. It seems like it's starting to happen, but the featurettes on the Blu-ray were filmed back in 2001, and even back then the Chiodos were talking about how they were beginning to work on a sequel. So only time will tell on that one. As they mention in those featurettes, it's a shame that several sequels haven't already happened at this point, considering there's so much potential there for franchising!
We shall see ...