Does anyone actually like clowns? The remake of It (out September 8), the terrifying 1990 killer clown TV double-bill based on a Stephen King novel and starring Tim Curry, means that Pennywise the clown will get to terrify another generation of teenagers. But he’s not the only creepy, large-footed entertainer causing us all to lose sleep. Here are some of the worst offenders.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space
Comedy horror: two worlds not traditionally filled with promise, but this cheep and cheerful 1988 slasher spoof is actually a hoot, featuring clowns who’ve crash-landed on planet Earth and wreak havoc with acid pies.
Zeebo from Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
Zeebo terrified us when were kid. You can forget about him for years, but then he comes flooding back and suddenly you’re 11 again. He featured in a episode of the spooky Canadian children’s show from Are You Afraid Of The Dark? (think Goosebumps vibes), which was broadcast on Nickelodeon, meaning a generation of British kids got to be scarred for life as well. Thanks, Nickelodeon.
The bad buggers in this daft 1989 slasher flick aren’t even proper clowns: they’re murderers who’ve done away with some clowns and pinched their costumes. Does that make them any less totally terrifying? Readers, it does not.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Slasher movie sequels have a bad rep, but this is one of the best, benefiting from the fact that there was no time to waste with back story of character development, meaning we just get stuck straight into the grisly action. Also features a murderous, clown mask-wearing little girl.
Based on the true story of real-life 1970s serial killer John Wayne Gacy, this straight-to-DVD 2003 biopic recounts his nightmarish actions and alter-ego Pogo the Clown. Sometimes truth really is freakier than fiction.
Insane Clown Posse
Juggalos, aka Detroit hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse’s fans, are classified as a legitimate gang by the FBI. These badly behaved tykes have been branded “America’s nastiest rappers” and rhyme about committing violence and murder. Will Smith they ain’t (though, surprisingly, considering the nature of their material, in 2010 they claimed they’d been Christians all along).
This forlorn fella did the rounds online a couple of years ago with his vaguely troubling cover of ‘Royals’ by Lorde. Puddles is the creation of Philadelphia performance artist Michael Geier, who was formerly in an all-clown band called Greasepaint – a prospect even scarier than that of a Westlife reunion.
The Toy From Poltergeist
From the moment we see this evil-looking fucker, we know he’s going to be a troublemaker. He’s a lesser powerful sprite who’s sort of just there to support the other sprites in the movie by being a ghoulish irritant. It’s the same role Richard Hammond played in Top Gear.
Twisty from American Horror Story 4
There was plenty of hype about this cheery looking chap, and justifiably so. The man nicked kids and kept them in a bunker. Who does that? The face beneath was almost as scary as his clown mask, thanks to a failed suicide attempt, and no-one bought it when he insisted, “I’m a good clown.”
The Northampton Clown
This fella caused consternation in the Midlands town back in 2013, as he kept being photographed milling about in the middle of the day. Turns out it was local uni student Alex Powell, much to disappointment of the worldwide news organisations that covered the story. Bloody students.
Shaun Crahan From Slipknot
You know, Clown from Slipknot, a band so badass they have two drummers. He’s not quite as horrifying as Dicknose, the member of Slipknot who quite literally has dick for a nose, but he still gives you a chill as he stalks the stage.