Monday, March 26, 2012

DVD Review: CLOWN HUNT (2012)


Label: MVD Visual
Region: 1 NTSC
Duration: 90 mins
Rating: Unrated
Video: 16:9 Widescreen
Audio: English 2.0 Dolby Digital
Director: Barry Tubb
Cast: David Keith, Barry Tubb, Brandon Wayne, Eliose DeJoria, Robert Earl Keen, Tuff Hedeman, Tanner Beard
Tagline: Clowns: they're not just for laughing anymore

Synopsis: In the wilds of Texas, grown men gather to hunt the rarest game of all: Clowns. Once plentiful and common now one must pay a hefty some to hunt clowns, and for some it’s become an annual tradition. However this season the appearance of Albino Willie, a rare albino clown, poses a special prize and danger.

In recent years we've seen a few interesting entries in the clown sub-genre of horror from the artfully demented and depressing Spanish film The Last Circus to blood-soaked Troma schlockfest Klown Kamp Massacre, entertaining fare that offer tons of clown-centric shenanigans though fair warning friends The Last Circus might have you reaching for the razor blade, that's a seriously depressing film right there but I highly recommend checking out for both you sillies and sads out there.

Here we have yet another clown entry of note, Clown Hunt, a low-budget silly from Texas-filmmaker Barry Tubb (Javelina) which presents us with the notion that clowns are now hunted for sport ala whitetail deer, elk and moose. We join a hunting party in Texas (where else) right at the start of the "Silly Season", the sad clowns aren't yet in season you see. The sport is government regulated and you need a license to hunt the clowns and large hunts are organized all over the country, interestingly the clowns are also eaten, it's bizarre conceit and the execution ain't too bad either.

I wouldn't call the men and women of the hunting party rednecks but they're definitely rural-minded folks out to bag their limit of clowns. Growing up in Upstate New York I can see they're not that much different than the folks in my neck o' the woods come opening day of deer season, avid sportsmen. I don't think the film exactly villafies hunting or sportsmen but it has some fun with the stereotypes for sure, even throwing some homo-eroticism our way with some mud wrasslin', it's an interesting array of characters including one who's a closeted clown, fun stuff.

The clowns gather in a village called Gigglestown, USA where they ply their trade; juggling, performing tricks and a few more off kilter practices like crushing baby chickens to death underneath their over sized clown shoes, torturing kittens by trampolining them to the death. The clowns are pretty easy prey for the sportsmen 'cept for one named Albino Willy, a legendary clown who's evaded the hunt for two decades whom has his own agenda, to exterminate the hunters and he comes equipped with a prop-engine plane which he dive bombs the hunter encampment with, dropping water balloons and rubber chickens, when this fails to deter the hunt he resorts to corn-holing one of the unlucky bastards and picking 'em off the others with a 30 .06 rifle.

It's shot on the cheap but the film benefits from decent production value, on the down side the acting is pretty shit across the board but it's not without it's lo-fi charm either, sadly the clown make-ups are pretty uninspired and there's little to no gore (or nudity) to be found but the films is pretty damned funny at times with loads of low-brow lunacy. At 90 minutes the film is a bit of a slog and I could see it being slightly more successful as a short film but for those demented enough to seek out a lo-fi indie feature about a clown hunt that's chock full o' quips like "Why don't you eat clown meat?", "It tastes funny" there's some definite silliness to be had, like clown meat it's probably an acquired taste. 2 outta 5