Halloween is in the air… well, if not in the air, it’s certainly making an appearance on store shelves. With all the paraphernalia necessary for a post-modern Halloween—costumes, spooky CDs, eyeballs in the punch—there is also a plethora of horror hitting the street. No, we’re not talking about the 2011 automobile models here, we’re talking entertainment.
Capitalizing on the world’s fear and hatred of all things jestery, Lionsgate released Jingles the Clown on August 10. The only fitting use imaginable for this piece of cinematic silliness is background for a Halloween party (or mass murder). Not a kiddie party.
There is a parental advisory for explicit content on the box in which this bloody gem arrives, and it should be taken very seriously. Jingles the Clown is 81 minutes of stabbing, bludgeoning, gore, and foolishness. There is so much blood (and the director wasn’t worried about realism in his blood splatter), viewers will find themselves craving Bob’s Pirate Punch by the end of the film.
Movies about clowns are nothing new. Movies about homicidal clowns are nothing new. In that tradition, Jingles the Clown offers nothing new. The transparent premise is that a woman who is trying to launch a new ghost chasers reality show is going to film her pilot in the ancestral home of Jingles, the TV clown gone amok who butchered a lot of people before he was shot to death. And came back to life. (The audience knows he’s still around, but the producer doesn’t.)
A television crew and a team of psychics are assembled, none of whom channels the spirits of good—but deceased—performers. The producer has somehow managed to convince the little-girl-now-grown-up who witnessed the butchery of her family to appear in the show.
With a TV crew, psychics, TV executives, and sundry strangers running about his house, the pickings are ripe for old Jingles. The audience already knows what he can do; they’ve witnessed the massacre of the little girl’s family and the slaughter of two lovers-laners who happened to be in the neighborhood the night before the television people arrived.
One could compare this to movies such as And Then There Were None, but would be elevating it to a level it never aspired to achieve. The sole purpose of Jingles the Clown is to have a clown commit carnage. This, Jingles does.
Jingles the Clown is an uninspired rehash of countless slasher movies that came before; the writing and technical aspects are all dismal and the performances amateurish. For an enjoyable Halloween movie night, try Beetlejuice, Arsenic and Old Lace, or Sleepy Hollow. Heck, why not just go for the Halloween series if you really need scares and blood!
This unrated, uncut, special edition of Jingles the Clown includes “Jingles Commentary,” “Producer’s Rant,” “On-Set Interviews,” a photo gallery, a trailer, coming attractions, “Jingles Killer Montage,” and more. Sadly, the review copy I received had none of these, so I am unable to give you the gory details on them.
Bottom Line: No.