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When reality intrudes....

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Posted 16th March 2011 at 11:33 PM by keirarts

Ever gone off a movie? By that I mean a film you previously either liked or loved then one day you find something out about the people involved or the production.
I raise this point namely after recently selling my copy of victor salva's clownhouse on Amazon, and already I wonder if I made the right decision. In case anyone is wondering, clownhouse is the story of three brothers left alone overnight in an isolated house. Earlier in the evening the boys visit the circus and the younger brother gets freaked out by a clown. Afterwards the brothers head home not realising for arbitrary reasons not well explained several escaped psycopaths kill the circus clown and follow the boys home and, well I think you can guess the rest.
Ok, firstly clownhouse is a SCARY film, and uinlike the directors jeepers creepers films it doesent go off the boil at any point. Once those clowns are set at stalking and killing the brothers off after a fair amount of psychological terror the film doesent let up for a second and for quite a while it was one of my favourite horror films.
Lets face it folks clowns are SCARY, if stephen kings it, Funhouse, clown at midnight, john wayne gacy and house of a 1000 corpses taught us anything its that Clowns are not to be trusted, not one bit. In an interview on the dvd for house of a 1000 corpses, Rob zombie, an ex-carny, reliably informs us that chimpanzees freak out at the site of the white faced smiling creeps and will attack them on site, and as irrational as monkeys are i'm willing to back them up on this clowns freak me the hell out! (though at least their not mimes)
It wasnt the clown thing that stopped me watching clownhouse however.
I was doing some research on the director, he'd become pretty famous after jeepers creepers became big but he'd made a bunch of films before that, and clownhouse was WAAYY scarier, plus it featured an early appearance from sam rockwell so why wasn't it more well known?

nope. Heres the reason why.

Basically Salva had molested Nathan white, one of the young actors in clownhouse, and finding this out gave the film a creepier dimension. Early in the film, theres several scenes with the actors wandering about in their underware, and honestly for the first time I noticed that the camera seemed somewhat 'lingering'... the whole film took on an added creepy dimesnsion when I realised I was probably looking at the fantasies of a dangerous sexual predator and after that the film went back on my shelf and I havent watched it since.

To cut a long story short, the dvd has become somewhat of a collectors item and fetches quite a high price on amazon marketplace, with bills going up and job security non-existant I sold the film, at a healthy mark up for what I origionally paid, so I thought that would be the end of things...

Well now I kind of miss the film... ok here me out here. Victor salva is a scumbag, he's a total scumbag who ruins lives and should be in prison, but can I really say hand on heart that clownhouse is a sick depraved pederasts fantasy committed to celluloid, or just a damn scary horror movie made by someone with severe sexual 'issues'.. I just dont know. Clownhouse is genuinely scary, and well executed and very atmosphic and its got clowns and maybe, just maybe I was reading too much in to the film... maybe.

Then its worth noting I have pretty much most of the italian cannibal movies, totally uncut including real-life animal slaughter, the Blue-underground mondo cane box-set including africa addios, possibly the closest thing cinemas come to a real-life snuff movie with its scenes of real life african atrocities and murders. Then theres Birth of a nation, a film i've seen several times, and lets face it thats a piece of racist filth (well made racist filth but racist filth nontheless) so i'm not entirely morally clean with my viewing habits to say the least, I even bought Blu-undergrounds snuff!
So then, perhaps i'm a hypocrite or just reading too much into the film, or maybe i'm right to shun the films of a child abusing asshole, but then maybe I should stop listening to the music of richard wagner, an avowed anti-semite.

Honesty its a dilemma!
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