I’m sorry. That’s not true. Actually, God, I do know what to make of it. I knew the minute it started … or, well, only a few minutes thereafter. It might disturb you – oh wise one – but despite my best interests and probably yours, too, I liked this one. No, no, no. I didn’t love it. Don’t banish me to the Underworld for that. You’re not doing that any longer, are you? Banishing us to the Underworld? For something as benign as liking a film? Jeepers, if so, then I guess I’m going where it’s hot. I’m in Arizona, after all, so I guess I’m used to it.
Anyway, that’s really all I wanted to say at this point. I’ll have more to say – not so much to you as to my readers – after the usual disclaimer.
Peace out, God. Lemmeknow what you thought of this one … if we’re still speaking.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip on down to the last few paragraphs for the final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
From the product packaging:
“Out-of-work actor Eddy Pine stumbles upon the key to the universe and is drawn into an intergalactic conflict between killer clowns and sneaky green aliens. Now the fate of the planet hangs on his shoulders …”
I have never been in the business of recommending comedies to those who follow my stuff. That isn’t because I don’t like them; it’s because that it’s been my experience over the years that what I find funny many don’t agree. Consequently, I do tend to avoid them … not “at all costs” but as a general practice.
Now I have to admit I had some fun watching Aliens, Clowns & Geeks?
Sigh. What’s a reputable critic to do?
In all fairness, Aliens – perhaps a bit more than the other two films mentioned – truly falls into the realm of the bizarre cult followers. Though it has a relatively traditional storytelling structure (i.e. boy meets girls, boy births celestial object from his anus, dueling enemy civilizations descend on Earth, George Wendt cameos, hilarity ensues, etc. … we all know the formula), it still blends in some of the screen’s more surreal captures in equally logically and bawdy ways. It shouldn’t make narrative sense, but it does … and that’s likely because all of this sprang from the mind of auteur Richard Elfman. His film Forbidden Zone (1980) has a curious place in art history in that (from what I’ve read) it’s kinda/sorta considered the ‘Citizen Kane’ of cult films. Far be it from me to quibble with history, but I’m far more inclined to agree with those who suggest Zone – definitely an acquired taste – more accurately launched the modern era of cult films … yet I’d rather stay out of the weeds on that topic. Weeds make me itch.
Aliens – by contrast – is far more relatable to this watcher, and that’s probably because this live-action cartoon flips and flops about with understandable comic progression: isn’t it perfectly natural once you’re hunted down by a murderous clown that you’d want to get rid of the thing that brought the face-painted man to your doorstep to begin with? I know I would, and Elfman’s story moves craftily from there into yet another layer of dementia – it’s not just one clown but an entire civilization of evil clowns, and their blood lust won’t be satiated until they’ve wiped the Earthlings as well as a competing alien species off the galactic map.
As one might expect, Aliens is loaded with a plethora of familiar and unfamiliar comic faces. Besides the aforementioned Wendt, the always hilarious French Stewart tries to steal every scene he’s in as the German-sounding ‘Professor von Scheisenberg’ attempts to assist Eddy Pine (Bodhi Elfman) in his attempts to both dispose of such life-changing power as well as profit from having had it. Funnyman Steve Agee turns up in a few small roles, but his comic timing is put to best use as the gigantic chicken-suited comedy-team-partner to the diminutive Nic Novicki, a clown so sad he tries to extort payment for their failing comedy routine from the church pastor. But the biggest surprise came from the ladies as relative newcomers Rebecca Forsythe and Angeline-Rose Troy both kick butt, take names, and turn heads as dueling sisters ‘Helga and Inga Svenson,’ the hottest looking pair of budding astrophysicists this side of Pamela Anderson. (She was an astrophysicist, wasn’t she? If not, why did I see stars when she was around?)
Aliens, Clowns & Geeks (2019) was produced by Elfmaniac Media, New Island Associates, Salem Street Entertainment, UnLTD Productions, and Unfound Content. DVD distribution (for this particular release) is being coordinated via MVD Visual. As for the technical specifications? Again, it might be ‘shlock,’ but it’s definitely very well-made shlock as the sight and sounds are exactly what one expects from such craziness. As for the special features? The Blu-ray offers up a 30-minute series of interviews with the cast and crew, a brief session with Elfman, a related music video, and the original theatrical trailer. It’s a nice collection, though I was looking for a bit more reflection on the process of putting something this zany together for digestion. It is what it is.
As I’ve often said, Science Fiction and Comedy are difficult enough to do (and do well) on their own, so I’ve got nothing but deep and learned respect for folks who knowingly, willingly, and deliberately mix them into their own nefarious concoction as I’d never attempt it. Despite its ten layers of sheer lunacy, Aliens, Clowns & Geeks has a central story and structure that delivers the comic goods in perhaps the most absurd, most childish (in a good manner), and most surreal way possible. Be forewarned: the flick’s obvious cult sensibilities are not going to be for everyone … but for those of us who can turn off the brain and enjoy a bit of the outlandish from time-to-time? It’s probably exactly what the good doctor would prescribe. Imperfect. Occasionally raunchy. Occasionally VERY raunchy. Yet never imperfect.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at MVD Visual provided me with a complimentary Blu-ray of Aliens, Clowns & Geeks (2019) by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review; and their contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.