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Stitches - Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
Written by Jay Creepy   
Wednesday, 14 September 2016


AKA: Dark Clown, Stitches – Boser Clown, Bohoc a pokolbol.

Directed by: Connor McMahon
Written by: Connor McMahon, David O'Brien
Produced by: Brendan McCarthy, Julianne Forde, John McDonnell
Cinematography by: Patrick McDonnell
Editing by: Chris Gill
Music by: Paul McDonnell
Special Effects by: Aoife Noonan, Ben O'Connor.
Cast: Ross Noble, Tommy Knight, Gemma Leigh Devereux, Shane Murray-Corcoran, Tommy Cullen, Jemma Curran.
Year: 2012
Country: Ireland
Language: English
Runtime: 1h 23min

Distributor: Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment

For all those unaware of the alternative comedy boom in the eighties in the UK, there was a time of chaos and anarchy. Recessions and extreme poverty. Strikes and riots. You get the picture. Out of this mass confusion came alternative comedy. Born from the minds of gifted highly educated kids, they took the persona of down to earth students or fast paced slick joked stand-ups.

One such person was a man called Alexei Sayle, whose jokes revolved around politics, surrealism, and Marxism. He was a smug bastard who knew the posh kids pretended to understand him. “Oh, Gertrude, he's so – ho ho ho – with it. Let's go play squash and laugh at the unemployed.” Whilst the upcoming anarchists tried to understand him because they heard about Karl Marx somewhere or other. In other words he truly wasn't very funny. However, like L. Ron Hubbard, he cashed in on sheep minds.

Ross Noble as a stand-up reminds me of Sayle. He isn't very funny. He's worth a titter, a chortle now and then (“Oh, Gertrude, I got that one. Aren't I simply amazing? Now let's go make the beast with two backs and then laugh at single mothers.”) However, not a 'slap yo momma' belly laugh. He's surreal. There you go, a marketing ploy to capture the minds of the unaware. He's funny because he's random and surreal.

Luckily, as an actor, he's far better in my opinion. Especially as a slobbish children's entertaining clown, which comes back to life after a tragic accident at a children's party. Stitches takes its influences from such creatures as Captain Spaulding, and Jimmy Saville, to be a creepy, eyebrow raising, yet funny as hell, get-your-mates-together-for a-beer classic gore flick. It's almost back to the ‘80s slashers with some bad jokes thrown in.

“What the fuck is that?” pants a girl who's got Stitches from behind banging her. “Is that an egg?” She stares in amazement at a small object in a sealed glass which bears a kind of resemblance to him. “They made me paint that when I signed up. Some stupid clown thing.” cigarette hanging from his mouth, he thrusts back and forth without much pleasure. “Fuck me, clown! Fuck me, clown!” she cries over and over. Suddenly he throws her aside. “Fuck me, I'm late! I gotta do some little bastard's party!” She lays there not too impressed.

He lives in a battered caravan overlooking, well, overhanging a cliff top in the middle of the coast. The party doesn't go too well for him. First off, as the boy's mother states, “You're late!” To which he replies; “Yeah, and you're fuckin' ugly! Jus' kiddin', love.” The kids are horrible little sods, who throw things at him, give him the finger, that sort of thing. One thing leads to another, and poor Stitches ends up dead with a huge kitchen knife through his eye plus tons of blood splashing the birthday boy, Tom.

Tom witnesses a macabre party clown ritual in the cemetery wherein Stitches’ egg is placed amongst so many others. “A clown that doesn't finish a party can never rest. And a joke is never as funny the second time round!”

Years pass by, and Tom has grown up to be a teen (played on point by Tommy Knight of Waterloo Road and The Sarah Jane Adventures/Doctor Who), covered in acne and suffering a mother who basically ignores him. He still has a few flashbacks to the terrors he witnessed. Gradually, we meet all the kids who have grown up to be either outcasts or sex mad alcohol abusing messes. His mother is going away with work, so he decided to invite his mate Vinny, over for a few drinks and a boxset. It's his birthday, so he's lead by his mates into having a huge house party. Centrally so he can invite Kate, the girl of his dreams over. She also, like most of them, witnessed the fateful afternoon those years ago. Word spreads -- mainly via Vinny, and the house is rammed.

Horny teens, sarcasm, drinks and the usual. Poor Tom wanders around bewildered. He doesn't even know most of these guests. However, Kate has arrived. She seems on the verge of breaking up with her fella, Dan, so Tom can live in hope.

As the evening progresses, however, one guest needs to come back. Stitches has to finish his party. It's his comeback show! Testicles, arms and ears are torn off. Brains are ripped out, eyeballs get popped by umbrellas… These magic tricks are amazing! Tom and Kate sit quietly as he tells her what he witnessed at the graveyard. Meanwhile, Stitches quips and makes his way through the ones who were responsible for his death. The jokes are truly comical -- down to visuals including the 'I just died in your arms tonight' moment, and the 'hare in your throat' scene.

 All the while, Tom flies around in terror when he sees Stitches, and desperately attempts to convince the party posse they're in danger. There's only one chance, of course. The secret of the clown eggs.

The characters are well written and rounded. Even the obnoxious ones (the one bitch who you want dead actually puts up a bit of a fight), gather enough sympathy so you feel their deaths more than a usual slice and chop teen flick. Additionally to the fun is a well selected soundtrack. From the atmospheric use of The Hollies and their classic song, Clown, to the above mentioned epic ‘80s one by Cutting Crew, it all adds to the madness.

“He's not gonna attack us in front of everyone.” says Tom at one point. Erm, right. Stitches doesn't give a damn. He's an out of control clown train ready to crash into anything.

Let's forgive the dodgy CGI which appears from time to time. Stitches and his spring loaded fist is truly a shake your head moment, and it's used more than once. Some of the gore has splashes of bad CGI as well, but a majority is old fashioned crimson liquid and an ample amount of rubber is thrown in for effect. Plus, yep, there's a corny set-up at the end for a sequel which will probably never happen. 

All said and done, though, Stitches is a grisly underground gorefest from this part of the world which makes a change from the gallons of gangster and crime movies which are produced. Stitches falls into a category with Alex Chandon's Inbred, and possibly Steven Sheil's Mum & Dad. A shelf devoted to out of control different films born in and around my shores. Director/writer Connor McMahon did a good job previously to this with the countryside set zombie movie, Dead Meat in his homeland of Ireland. Most of the young cast have done so much on TV and in low budget movies, you could almost say they're veterans.

Stitches is worth a discovery, or a second viewing if it's already caught your attention. On the UK DVD release from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment we have a few extras. Bloopers, a making of, and a Q&A with various people. Not much but it passes the time away once you've seen the main feature.





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 Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 16x9
 Region: PAL R2
 Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0,
Dolby Digital Stereo 5.1

 – The Making of Stitches
 – Live Q & A
 – Bloopers

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