Despite often limitations due to funds and exposure, independent film (truly independent) has always been known to push the envelope and create some of the most original concepts that Hollywood could never produce. That being said, the indie scene is also where the most generic ripoffs of “hit” movies can be found. While the concept is incongruous, the motivation is clear. Knock off movies appeal to those who just can’t get enough of a good thing. Unfortunately, most of these retreads are completely void of any substance.
Sharkado was a hit that surprised everyone, probably even Syfy. The movie itself is a sort of parody of the Shark movie. So what happens when you take an over the top tongue in cheek plot and make a K-mart version of it? Todd Sheets has the answers.
Mr. Sheets has been a hard working indie horror director since the mid 80’s and he isn’t showing any signs of stopping. While much of his work is arguably hit or miss, he does have a following of fans who continue to support him. His latest offering, Clownado, takes a stab at the tornado fused with anything fad by adding clowns into the mix. Adding clowns to everything has also been a trend for a while so the two were bound to merge at some point.
Clownado‘s plot(?) centers around Savanna (Rachel Lagen) who is cheating on her man Big Ronnie (John O’Hara) and plans to escape with her lover and leave with Big Ronnie’s money. Her plan gets foiled and ends with her becoming part of Big Ronnie’s twisted macabre circus. Savanna escapes and recruits a witch to curse Ronnie and his gang of clowns so she can leave without worry of the clown coming after her. This is when the silliness begins.
A dark storm forms and a tornado takes the circus freaks and turns them into killer tornado ghost clowns? Then we get a few subplots: a runaway girl, a feisty stripper, and a driving cowboy picking up an African-American Elvis impersonator. The plots eventually all come together in a diner as Savanna learns that Ronnie and his crew aren’t dead but rather supernatural clowns now hell bent on killing everyone in their way. Through the killings and Savanna eventually becoming a sad version of Return of the Living Dead Part 3, we learn that the only hope of destroying the clowns is our ragtag group of a stripper, macho cowboy, black Elvis, runaway teenager, and two weather chasers that are introduced right in time to be integral to the plot. Then there’s another guy right near the end.
Clownado is definitely not for everyone. It has boobs and plenty of blood and cheap gore to keep some horror lovers happy. The story, however, is so outrageous that it makes the movie hard to watch. While it seems that Sheets and his cast were having a good time making the movie, the acting is very lackluster and somewhat annoying. Black Elvis and macho cowboy command the best on screen presence but in the end it isn’t worthy of your time. This one is for the die-hard Todd Sheets fans.
Clownado is available from Wild Eye Releasing on DVD September 17th, 2019.