STITCHES **** UK 2012 86 mins Dir: Conor McMahon
Irish filmmaker Conor McMahon follows up his earlier small-scale zombie apocalypse movie DEAD MEAT with this novel, gruesomely inventive coulrophobia-enhanced homage to 80’s slasher movies. Miserable clown Ross Noble (treading the fine line between being genuinely funny and just plain disturbing) hates the little bastards who regularly ruin his act, especially the ones directly responsible for him copping a fatal knife to the eyeball. A few years later, the kids have grown up to be horny / bitchy high schoolers and Noble returns as an undead avenger courtesy of some amusing made-up clown mythology. Cannily exploiting clown characteristics with as much vigour as 80’s cult classic KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE, McMahon’s surprisingly stylish movie is a spirited mix of bad-taste gags, deliberately obnoxious characters, throwaway Rolf Harris jokes and show-stopping splatter. Outstanding gore set pieces feature imaginatively deployed umbrellas and balloon pumps, but the highlight involves one character’s head opened up like a soup can.
Review by Steven West