SCREAMING AT 2017’S IT!

Howdy there, Scream Freaks! As you must have heard, the new IT remake did really well at the box office openin’ weekend, and people are goin’ goofy over it! For those who care, we have our own two cents to share on the flick, and who better to present it than our favorite ghost girlfriend, Mandy! Copied over from her blog Mandy’s Screaming Reviews, here’s our thoughts!

. . . as Bill Denbrough might say.

The much-anticipated remake of Stephen King’s coulrophobic classic did not disappoint! In fact, IT (2017) is the most exciting retelling—dare we say in at least 27 years?

True to the original novel and the 1990 TV miniseries, IT assembles the best kid cast since Stand by Me (Yes, we’ve seen Stranger Things) and avoids useless updates like changes in race or gender. Two members of The Losers Club, later known as Lucky 7, were packing personality punches we knew they had in them all along.

Sophia Lillis plays a more mature, less wholesome version of Beverly Marsh, but before you start worrying about Bevvy—worrying a lot—we assure you IT’s producers did not do to Bevvy what Rob Zombie did to Laurie Strode and her gal pals. A few F-bombs are harmlessly and hilariously tossed by quick-witted Richie Tozier, whose eccentricities are effortlessly brought to life by Stranger Things sensation Finn Wolfhard. The real surprise is Jack Dylan Grazer whose version of Eddie Kapsbrak is less frail and more delightfully neurotic. He still has his inhaler—along with a fanny pack and a backup fanny pack—but he eagerly sheds the shackles of hypochondria that were placed on him by his controlling mother.

Speaking of fanny packs …

One savvy switch-up for today’s audiences was the shift from the 1950s to the 1980s. The vocabulary was never gratuitously grody, and the wardrobe didn’t pop like a neon Wham shirt. The homages are apt and unexpected. Bully Henry Bowers sports a mullet versus the greaser style, but every look, every bit of language, and every location contribute to the doomed, small-town setting that resonates throughout time with King’s fans. Isn’t that what a great story—in all ITs adaptions and iterations—is supposed to do?

In his book On Writing, King says there is no “Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of Buried Bestsellers.” He indicates that creative writing is almost a fallacy, and the only way to make something new under the sun is to bring previously unrelated ideas together in one’s own way. King did that in the novel IT, telling a familiar story of childhood fears and friendships that featured killer clown Pennywise, whose very name is a juxtaposition of the basic and the complex.

King is said to have told director Andy Muschietti he loved the licenses they took with IT (2017). Indeed, his New Line team does an incredible job of strengthening the house that Freddy built—and subsequently tarnished—with the Nightmare on Elm Street remake. They cut some things that perhaps weren’t worth repeating like the giant spider. Catch phrases like Beep beep, Richie are given a tap rather than a pounding, and concepts like the “deadlights” are shown rather than spoken. Scenes like the one in which Beverly’s sink spews blood are amped up to wow big screen audiences, but effect never overpowers story. Emotion is not an afterthought as demonstrated by Jaeden Lieberher’s (as Bill Denbrough) memorable monologue that inspires the gang to help him fight the monster that killed his little brother Georgie.

So many will be writing this week about Bill Skarsgård’s enthralling performance as Pennywise, our comments are unnecessary. Simply put, he was undeniable in the gritty Netflix series Hemlock Grove, but even with a family pedigree that includes brother Alexander (Eric Northman of True Blood), Deadwest and I didn’t expect him to make the horror hall of fame this fast. As a side note, their famous dad, Stellan, once delivered a line that explains why many victims become just that. Portraying a serial killer in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, he says that people’s fear of offending is often greater than their fear of pain. Remember that the next time a stranger with a funny face offers you a balloon, Scream Freaks!

DW and I are heading to the casting couch now to choose our fantasy line-up for the IT sequel that will have the Lucky 7 fighting the monster again as adults. Check back for more on that, and if you haven’t already, go get the sh-IT scared out of you at your local theater this week!

Be sure to check out the rest of Mandy’s reviews at Mandy’s Screaming Reviews, Scream Freaks!

In the meantime, be sure to catch up on all past Screaming Soup! Seasons, check out this week’s Howl’n Hottie, read recent reviews for the newer horror films and comics we’re checkin’ out in our blogs, R-Rated Reviews and Sequential Slime, and help us get the word out about the web’s #1 animated horror host show! Please use our social buttons in the upper right corner of the site and follow our tweets, subscribe to our YouTube channel, like our Facebook, watch and share all our vids, and keep that fan mail coming.

Warm up some Screaming Soup! leftovers with reruns currently playin’ on Beta Max TV and Sluggo’s The Vortexx!

If you need the hook-up with instant Troma and Full Moon movies, we’d suggest watching Troma’s films for free on their Youtube channel, and you can get full access to Full Moon’s catalog of work from their movies to their Videozone clips at Full Moon Streaming and their Amazon channel.

See ya later, Scream Freaks!

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SCREAMING AT KILLER CLOWNS!

Howdy there, Scream Freaks! With the premier of Stephen King’s new It this week, we’ve been kickin’ our boots up and rewatchin’ some of our favorite slap happy flicks featurin’ horror’s scariest grease face slashers. We’ve obviously had our fill of annoyin’ ass-clowns with Buzzkill in past seasons, but luckily that experience hasn’t diminished our appreciation for the funnier side of fear. Here’s a quick rundown of clowns we think are worth the price of admission!

KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988)

An interstellar circus tent lands near a small town and one loyal boyfriend with the help of his ice cream truckin’ buddies must save his girl and the rest of the townsfolk from bein’ turned into cotton candy spun snacks for hungry e.t. clowns. This is an instant classic from the ’80s every B-movie fan’s gotta see, because it’s burstin’ with awesome special effects, fun characters worth rootin’ for, and an all around fresh take on the all too familiar small town invasion story. Balloon bloodhounds, nabbed dogs, dangerous shadow puppets, sinister puppet shows, clown girls with bustin’ bosoms, corrosive pies, human puppet shows, giant clown tops, big ass dino-clowns, meltin’ security guards, popcorn guns, e.t. growin’ kernels, pizza delivery ambushes, body snatchin’ parades, ball prisons, compact clown cars, street fightin’ decapitations, and funny road rages! 5/5! 

xstitSTITCHES (2012)

If Sam Raimi and Tim Burton worked together on a killer clown flick, this Irish horror would be it! After accidentally dying at a young kid’s birthday party, Stitches the clown returns from the grave 6 years later to complete his performance with some new deadly gags as the kids reunite for a high school house party. I cannot begin to describe how awesome this movie is! It’s kinetic, beautifully shot, has a memorable cast of characters, unforgettable kills, gore, new ideas I haven’t seen before, and lots of laugh out loud moments! Exploding heads, scooped brains, umbrella deaths, eye gouging, go-go gadget arms, victim seeking nose, ventriloquist corpses, peeping tree house toms, clown funerals, clown sex, eye eating, clown crypt, tricycle chases, eternal eggs, speeding clown cars, and decapitations! 5/5!

IT (1990)

30 years after defeatin’ a young’n killin’ clown that preyed on their fears like Freddy Krueger, a gang of childhood friends reunite for the final showdown when they hear their hometown’s supernatural terror has returned from the sewers. Amazingly, this iconic TV mini-series holds up after all these years, and that’s thanks to such a timeless story about friendship and childhood fears with a compellin’ cast easily makin’ you feel the terror of bein’ harassed by a sinister clown that’s really an alien . . . or a big ass spider . . . maybe a spotlight? Hell, it’s fear incarnate or some bullshit like that, but regardless, a great flick. Sewer clowns, asthma defenses, great drain escapes, clowns in the shower, kiss and make-up tricks, whore worthy moments, imaginary annoyances, light snacks, manipulated minions, crazy escape plans, stabbin’s, dead young’ns, talkin’ skeletons, bloody balloons, library gags, misfortune cookies, slingshot silver, mutilated bodies, wife nappin’, near death therapy, rub-a-dub suicides, talkin’ heads in a fridge, haggish daddy issues, live action scrap books, bloody sinks, and wolfman disguises! 4/5!

DRIVE THRU (2007)

A high school girl is stalked by a fast food mascot named Horny who’s the murderous reincarnation of a classmate her mom accidentally killed years before. A killer clown flick that deserves waaay more attention, this unsung horror has a solid story, slick cinematography, and a sequel worthy killer with a memorable look. Ball pit terror, drive thru ambushes, haunted house ambushes, heads in microwaves, hung classmates, meat cleaver hackin’, possessions, human matchsticks, séances, stabbin’s, decapitations, and dead surprise parties! 4/5!

KILLJOY 3 (2010)

The game changin’ sequel that turns the Killjoy series around for the better, Full Moon’s demonic slasher is trapped in a magic mirror with his newly created hench clowns and preys on a gang of unsuspectin’ college students whose souls will help him escape. This is Killjoy at his best with a near flawless story, smart victims, memorable kills, and unforgettable villains. Invisible Siamese mimes, body painted succubae, boxin’ mad clown bums, magical forcefields, insta-hench recipes, adventures in house sittin’, dark funny romances, fart gags, flesh eatin’ feasts, decapitations, eye gougin’, face rippin’, ghost kids, name callin’, and humorous rituals! 4/5!

There you have it, Scream Freaks! Our top picks for killer clown flicks sure to tickle your twisted funnybone. Obviously there’s a lot more silly slashers out there you might think are missin’ from this list, but these are the sickos we think stay funny no matter how many times you watch them. Who’s at the top of your evil jester list? Or better yet, what’s the worst killer clown movie you’ve ever seen and need to warn everyone to avoid? We want to know!

In the meantime, be sure to catch up on all past Screaming Soup! Seasons, check out this week’s Howl’n Hottie, read recent reviews for the newer horror films and comics we’re checkin’ out in our blogs, R-Rated Reviews and Sequential Slime, and help us get the word out about the web’s #1 animated horror host show! Please use our social buttons in the upper right corner of the site and follow our tweets, subscribe to our YouTube channel, like our Facebook, watch and share all our vids, and keep that fan mail coming.

Warm up some Screaming Soup! leftovers with reruns currently playin’ on Beta Max TV and Sluggo’s The Vortexx!

If you need the hook-up with instant Troma and Full Moon movies, we’d suggest watching Troma’s films for free on their Youtube channel, and you can get full access to Full Moon’s catalog of work from their movies to their Videozone clips at Full Moon Streaming and their Amazon channel.

See ya later, Scream Freaks!

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