Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a 1988 American science fiction comedy horror film written, directed and produced by the Chiodo Brothers, and starring Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson and John Vernon. It is the only film to be written and directed by the Chiodo Brothers, who also created the practical effects and makeup for the film. The film is about a clan of evil aliens from an unknown planet, who all resemble circus clowns. They arrive on Earth and invade a small town in order to capture, kill, and harvest the human inhabitants to use as sustenance.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space was filmed in Watsonville, California, and at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The film utilizes practical effects, including rubber suits. The score was composed by John Massari. The film received generally positive reviews and has been considered a cult classic.
A sequel has been in development hell since the original film's release, with Stephen Chiodo having stated that he hopes to produce a series of films with a total of four installments, or a television series based on the film. The SyFy channel announced on October 22, 2018, that it was in talks to purchase the rights to the film in order to produce a sequel.
Just outside the town of Crescent Cove, Mike Tobacco and his girlfriend Debbie Stone are parked with other couples at the local lovers' lane when they spot a strange glowing object falling to Earth. Nearby, farmer Gene Green, believing it to be Halley's Comet, ventures into the woods to find the impact site. He stumbles upon a large circus tent-like structure, and he and his dog are captured by mysterious clown-like aliens, the "Klowns". Mike and Debbie arrive to investigate for themselves. Entering the structure, they discover a complex interior with bizarre rooms and eventually realize it is the object and a spaceship. They find a gelatinized Green encased in a cotton candy-like cocoon and are spotted by a klown, who shoots popcorn at them from a bazooka-like weapon and then chases them aided by another one who uses a living balloon dog.
Narrowly escaping, they report the incident to Debbie's ex-boyfriend, Deputy Dave Hanson, and his curmudgeonly partner, Deputy Curtis Mooney. Mike takes Dave to the site of the ship, only to find it has disappeared and left a large crater in its place. They travel to the lovers' lane, only to find all the cars abandoned and covered in the cocoon's substance. The klowns begin encasing townspeople in cocoons using toy-like rayguns. Several klowns perform pranks and mock circus acts which result in the deaths of several onlookers.
Mike and Dave witness a klown using shadow puppets to shrink a crowd of people, then dump them into a bag full of popcorn, which are revealed to be klowns in larval form. Back at the police station, another klown arrives and Mooney arrests it, believing it to be a teenage prankster. Dave returns to the station to find the place ransacked and the klown using a deceased Mooney as a ventriloquist's dummy. Dave shoots the alien in the nose, which causes it to spin wildly and explode.
Mike meets with his friends Rich and Paul, the Terenzi brothers, and using the PA speaker on their ice cream truck, they drive around town attempting to warn people of the klowns. At Debbie's house, popcorn from her earlier encounter with the klowns evolves into juvenile klowns and attacks her. As she attempts to escape, she is intercepted by the klowns, who trap her in a giant balloon. Mike, Dave, and the Terenzis witness Debbie's capture and give chase, following the klowns to the local amusement park, where they have relocated their ship. Journeying through a funhouse, the Terenzi brothers become separated. After Dave and Mike witness a klown using a crazy straw to drink gelatinized townspeople blood, they rescue Debbie and flee into a maze full of traps.
The trio then finds themselves surrounded by klowns. The Terenzis arrive in their ice cream truck and use the PA to distract the aliens. A gargantuan klown marionette, Jojo the Klownzilla, appears and destroys the ice cream truck, apparently killing the Terenzis, Dave creates a distraction and Mike and Debbie escape before the ship begins to take off. Dave uses his badge to pierce Jojo's nose, causing it to explode and destroy the ship. A klown car drops out of the sky and Dave emerges along with the Terenzi brothers, who miraculously survived by hiding in the ice cream truck's freezer moments before it was destroyed. As the group watches the fireworks created by the ship's destruction, pies fall from the sky and land on their faces.