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Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown - Mycho Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 0
Written by Richard Taylor   
Wednesday, 09 November 2016
Review of Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown on Severed Cinema

Directed by: M.J. Dixon
Written by: M.J. Dixon and Jason Harlow
Produced by: M.J. Dixon, Jason Harlow, Anna McCarthy
Cinematography by: M.J. Dixon
Editing by: M.J. Dixon
Music by: Hockeymask Heroes
Special Effects by: Anna McCarthy
Cast: Andrew M. Greenwood, Stephanie Price, Vicki Glover, Jimi James, Georgie Smibert
Year: 2015
Country: UK, USA
Color: Color
Language: English
Runtime: 1h 11min

Distributor: Mycho Entertainment

Killer clown movies are generally a sore spot in the horror world. Companies, directors and horror fans in general seem to be fascinated with evil clowns. Now recently clowns have become an even more controversial topic. It seems as if there have been a number of real life mischievous clowns committing creepy and even illegal acts, so much so that itís been featured in the news, and itís gotten to such heights of absurdity that people this year (2016) have been forbidden to wear clown costumes for Halloween. Stores have even been pulling "evil" or "scary" looking clown costumes off the shelves.

Personally, a ďscaryĒ clown is something that hasn't scared or interested me. I vaguely remember Stephen King's It, but otherwise the subject hasn't offered great interest or fascination. Unfortunately, my first look into the clown horror genre was nothing impressive, and rather just another Halloween-style remake with a typical background story offering nothing new or exciting, or even doing the same re-hashing very well. This time Mycho Entertainment from the U.K. has taken the reigns and they just haven't given it enough solid direction or feeling. I understand Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown is part of a wraparound story involving a number of villains the company is trying to establish -- the first movie was called Slasher House and features a number of villains, including Cleaver, the killer clown.

Director M.J. Dixon was obviously heavily inspired by Halloween for this but instead of using that inspiration to create his own vibe, the whole thing just ends up feeling derivative. The story follows a young girl named Carley (Stephanie Price) who is behind on her college tuition and lo and behold she gets a phone call from a family she used to babysit for years ago, who are in a jam and need a babysitter. The husband agrees to pay Carley $200 for the night (usually itís $20 with all the popsicles you can eat in the freezer), and Carley obviously accepts and ditches her Halloween plans. The funnier thing is, $200 is actually what she is behind on her tuition, dun dun dunnnnnnn!!!!! We see Carley walking to the house all Jaimie Lee Curtis with pumpkin in hand, as the not so eerie John Carpenter-like music plays in the background. The music in this was done by Hockeymask Heroes. Itís okay if you like Carpenter renditions. Even that sudden heightened audio squealing when someone is getting killed is used in this.

Cleaver the clown is actually a fellow named Carlton Layton (Andrew M. Greenwood), who went bat shit crazy after discovering his wife cheating on him. Instead of just killing the two cunts, he takes it a step further by donning a clown costume!? It seems as if Layton is back in town and on a killing spree in an Oklahoma neighborhood. The bad southern accents in this don't do it any justice either, especially when the lead character, played by Stephanie Price, involuntarily drops it when she's in a high stress situation in the film. The effects are sometimes just the use of a side camera angle, especially in one scene, as Cleaver uses a cleaver on a girls face, and when there are effects they are dull and forgettable. There is one shocker of an effect at the conclusion of the film where it seems the face may have been computer generated.

I will give Dixon credit for the great shooting style he used. That is actually the one thing that caught my eye, big time, and made me want to check this out in the first place. I love the use of the neon reds and greens in the film but it can't save the weak material. Even Cleaver himself is not menacing enough. He's just some guy whose wife cheated on him so he committed a crime of passion. Itís nothing truly evil or significant to structure a voracious killer around. Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown fails to hit the mark on all accounts and ends up in the slow lane of Halloween knockoffs. 






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