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Clowns in the Woods

USA 2021
produced by
Kristina Nomeika (executive), Adrian Esposito (executive) for Espocinema
directed by Adrian Esposito, Curt Markham
starring Dalton Letta, Roselyn Kasmire, Biz LaChance, Adrian Esposito, Arlowe Price, Greg Lentz, Luther LeBron Layne, John Karyus (voice), Hailey Anne, Anthony S. Creek, Michael Ciesla, Kevin Millane, Nolan Tierce, Amelia Favata, John Renna, Amy Zubieta, Paul McGinnis, PJ Ryan, Jason John Beebe, Karl Farmer, Simonas Zmuidzinas, Jon Christiano, Bill Kennedy, Mark Bogumil, Michael Hawerbier, William Meyer, Rhonda Parker, Jayne V. Vendetti, Bill Brown, Mark Parker, Bill Smith, Amy Tierce, Curt Markham, Kristina Nomeika, Janae Genna, Pam Johnson
story by Adrian Esposito, screenplay by Adrian Esposito, Curt Markham, music by Humberto Colon, Scotty "Flatl1n3" Catuzza

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Marcus (Dalton Letta) is a special needs person whose heart is in the right place and who really just wants to live his life - but a quartet of college kids (Hailey Anne, Anthony S. Creek, Michael Ciesla, Kevin Millane) just won't let him and bully him every step along the way. And after they play an especially mean prank of him, Marcus just runs away - and right into a speeding car. Thing is, for Marcus death is not the end. Even before his death, he has attracted the attention of a quartet of clowns from the netherworld (Adrian Esposito, Arlowe Price, Greg Lentz, Luther LeBron, plus a handpuppet voiced by John Karyus) with a predilection for underdogs, who now offer him to have his revenge - by helping him kill all those who have wronged him, not just the college kids but also others like Marcus's evil landlord (John Renna) and the like. All these murders baffle the police, but it's reeally Marcus's fest friend and next-door neighbour Amy (Roselyn Kasmire) and his estranged brother James (Biz LaChance) who manage to tie the murders to a similar murder series that has never been solved about 20 years back and a quartet of clowns who have been lynched in the nearby woods decades ago just for being gay. Of course, this is a story that nobody will believe Amy and James - but what's worse, once Marcus and the clowns have killed all who have wronged them, they go after Marcus's friends and family ...

 

Now this is of course a low budget slasher (and the lack of funds shows every now and again), so don't expect this to be the greatest cinematic revelation since Citizen Kane - but that said, this is a film that most certainly has its heart in the right place (something not often said about slasher movies, at least not unironically), dares to take a very compassionate stance to special needs persons and the LGBTQ community, and actually carries a message of empowerment. And thanks to a script that manages to bend the genre rules to its own needs, and interesting and believable characters who serve as more than just cannon fodder, this one manages to not only bring its message home very nicely and subtly, but also has turned out to be very nice genre entertainment.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD