Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Stitches (2012) UK/Ireland

Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.

You all know what I hate worse than seeing a bad horror movie once, right? Seeing it twice, of course. BUT This movie had been described as a good horror/comedy movie, with each slaughter being inventive although I didn't see anything special. Okay guys, I'll take another look but I warn you, I'm still reeling from Hitler in a jar-o so I'm gonna be a bit picky. Get ready... But first, let's check the IMDb on Google shall we?

Huh. That movie sounds AWFULLY familiar... I'm thinking massively popular, there were three of them, its' star is still a total hottie... oh well. 

I wonder who the incredible idiot was who first thought that putting a man in horrid clothes with a ton of makeup on his face would be entertaining for little kids. Sit down Braveheart, I'm not talking about you. Although a painted Mel Gibson IS pretty freaking scary. Actually ANY sight of Mel Gibson is freaking scary. No, I'm talking about the ones with the real big red noses, the ones who get right in little kids' faces and FORCE them to laugh... or wet their pants, either one.

So. Richard Grimble (Ross Noble, a stand-up comedian in his first acting role - which he does surprisingly well) is a clown who goes by Stitches. He has an egg with his likeness because all clowns MUST have an egg in a jar-o (Oh God, flashbacks!) to keep in some mausoleum in one of those monk-chanting type ceremonies that this little boy can conveniently see from a telescope in his treehouse (apparently this town is so freaking small he can see EVERYTHING from it).

Here's your Hey-I-didn't-ask-why-are-you-telling-me lesson for today: The practice of painting each clown's face on an egg is REAL. I shite you not. This is thanks to a website The Straight Dope at  http://www.straightdope.com/ :

The tradition began in the U.K. around 1946 at what was then the International Circus Clowns Club but is now called Clowns International. A member named Stan Bult started recording clown images on chicken eggs with the insides blown out. Clown Bluey became chairman of Clowns International in 1984. This time a professional artist was used and the faces were painted on china-pot eggs instead of chicken eggs. Over the years, many of the lost older eggs have been reproduced, and new eggs are added frequently.

In the U.S. collection, the faces are eggs-pertly hand-painted on goose eggs (more durable than chicken eggs), and decorated with various materials (such as clay, wire, felt, tiny flowers, glitter, etc.) to obtain as accurate a representation of the clown face and costume as possible. The collection is meant to preserve the uniqueness of each clown's face makeup. Quoting from the Department of Clown Registry information sheet: "It is an unwritten law among clowns that one must never copy the face of another." 

Stitches isn't a great clown. He isn't even a really good one - he's shite (look it up). He shows up late for Tom's (the boy with the telescope) birthday party and tries his tricks but kids are really jaded and they mock him and mess with him instead. And since we know this is about a zombie clown who gets revenge on the ones who killed him, he gets his eye non-comically (which is hard for a clown) impaled on a large knife sticking up in an open dishwasher (because everybody leaves them open with sharp implements sticking up around small children).

Stitches dies after spurting a couple of gallons of fake blood all over the damn place. I am not exaggerating. Through the WHOLE MOVIE it tries to tell you that most of the body's blood supply is in the head. Duh. Nice effect of a knife through a split eye though. After a clown funeral (which Tom watches with that magic telescope - MAN that town is SMALL!) everyone pretty much forgets Stitches, who lies, nicely preserved in his grave. 'Cause his egg is still intact. Does that even make a lick of sense? No? Well, I must have the right movie then.

Because the movie says so, time fast forwards to Tom turning 17. He wants just a small party with his best buds - you know, the fellow clown-killers? But they have other ideas - and a huge party containing more people than are probably in the whole bloody town are going to show up - including a girl Tom liked as a kid when he watched her... say it with me... SAAAAAAY IT.... THROUGH HIS TELESCOPE.

Now I'm going to stop for just a moment... HEY GET BACK HERE YOU COWARD!!!!  A moment with something I noticed and thought it was a nice nod to Wes Craven. Either that or they couldn't think of something original so hey, copy copy copy away, right? Since Tom was traumatized by the clown incident, he is now on medication. That medicine is called Hypnocil. That sounded verrrry familiar so I looked it up and yup, it is what the kids in Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors AND Freddy vs. Jason were dosed with so that they wouldn't dream. Cute. Fake, but cute.

Bobo... umm, I mean Baggy Britches... dammit I mean Bozo... <grits teeth> I. Mean. Stitches. Stitches the clown comes back to life because, uh, because the movie says so. That's their story and they're sticking to it. With one eye stitched up (GET IT????) he decides to join the party. He still has his red clown nose which is good 'cause he now only has a hole where his nose used to be... sometimes. Most of the time it is VERY obvious that his nose is intact. Duh.

Totally random, just thought this was a cool shot...
Now I was going to make my usual sarcastic remarks and ream this film out for its stupidity but soooo many horror sources say these killings were soooo inventive that instead I'll go through the characters then and now because each killing is supposed to be inventive and ironic. Names are not necessary 'cause who cares, right? We just want blood and gore. This movie tries to rival Dead Alive (Braindead) in amount of blood and guts, but also in trying to make the gore funny.

Kill #1: Male bully - at the party he made fun at the clown when he tried to perform a trick. First he gets his ear ripped off. When he swings (with his right arm), he misses and turns around for another swipe (with his left arm, duh). Stitches pulls the arm out of the socket and... very bloody, very gory - or is it? 

Stop the frame when the socket is shown. The top is clearly a half circle of plastic that is either stapled or stitched (no pun intended) to the shirt and there is definitely some sort of pin holding the gore to the plastic (that's the wrong kind of gore for a shoulder socket anyway) so a B- effect goes down to a C-. 

Good effort, sloppy effects. Stitches messes with him some more before kicking off his head. The head flies off and lands in a pond, eyes wide open. 'Kay. But when the head resurfaces, the eyes are shut. Sigh.

Kill #2: Homosexual friend - at the party he flung a scoop of ice cream at Stitches. He loves to eat. He shuts himself in the pantry and eats can after can of strawberries in light syrup. Urp. Stitches opens up his skull with the can opener and scoops perfect little balls of brains into a bowl. Too bad they show one of the balls bounce when it hits the bowl. Rubber brains? Sure, why not. Oh and as the kid dies, for whatever reason these 21st century kids suddenly listen to and sing along to Cutting Crew's I Just Died In Your Arms. That was popular in the 80's guys. Sheesh.

Kill #3: Female bully - she flipped him off at the party. She's the only one who puts up a fight and impales his neck with a shoe heel. He pulls it out and she attempts to get away. He throws his umbrella and it impales itself through her skull, pinning her eye on the end and shoving it into the camera. If this had been 3D this would have been a perfect shot for it.

But. The eye is perfect and blue. No ganglia, no gore. The pupil constricts. Uh, no. Fail on that one. But wait - now she falls backwards, shoving the rest of the umbrella through her eye socket and tons more blood shoots out. Huh, no eyelashes. Weird. Also when the camera pans out, no blood except for a bit on her face. Huh. The perfect eye pops off the end of the umbrella and she swallows it. The dead can swallow? Huh. That part was the hubby's favorite movie trick of the week. The umbrella opens and she is saturated with black... guck. Black? Really? Did they run out of red already? Huh.

Should we even talk about the fact that the model they used when shoving the umbrella through had no eyelashes, or that the 'patch' job they did to make it look real was so bad that it looked like a teenager had fun with Photoshop? No? Enough? Okay, let's go on...

Kill #4: At the party this boy wanted a dinosaur shaped balloon animal. When Stitches made a dog, he popped it. Stitches now slashes the boy's stomach open, does a little taffy pull (lots of blood and gore) and slices himself a section of intestine (now clean and pink). He makes a balloon animal out of it. The boy, guts hanging at his feet, tries to run away.

Stitches isn't done with him yet. He takes his balloon pump, shoves it into the boy's skull and pumps. The boy protests and yells as his head looks like... you guys are probably too young to remember Big Trouble In Little China, huh? 'Cause boom goes the dynamite and his head blows - twice. Guess they wanted to get their money's worth. Sparks are visible from the charges they set to get such a big spray - all blood, no skull, brain or other icky stuff.

With three survivors, Tom realizes that the only way to splat this clown good once and for all is to smash Stitches' egg. 'Kay. They make their way through the cemetery and Tom goes into the mausoleum and finds... hundreds of glass cases with eggs in them. This was actually a pretty elaborate set, and since the egg was on the top shelf and Tom knocks the whole thing over but nothing breaks, each case must have been plexiglass or something.

But inevitably, the egg is smashed and so then is Stitches in a scene that somehow was grosser than all the blood, gore, and body parts in the rest of the movie. Finally his yolky body is spread all over and we fade out to...

Tom is moving - down the street. Wow. His now-girlfriend Kate gives him a bigger telescope so he won't miss her bedroom which we assume not only can see the entire town, but can also see around corners, buildings, and whatever else is in the way of her bedroom window.

Meanwhile the high poobah of clowns is busy with brush and glue carefully putting Stitches' egg back together. Well, they couldn't afford all the King's horses and all the King's men... ahem. Sorry about that. We're done here.