Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 4/19/00
Shakes the Clown
1991 (2000) - Columbia
review by Todd Doogan of
The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras):
Specs and Features
87 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced,
single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, cast and
crew bios, theatrical trailers for Shakes
the Clown and Big Daddy,
film-themed menus, scene access (28 chapters), languages: English
and Spanish (DD 2.0), subtitles: English and Spanish, Closed
Citizen Kane of alcoholic
clown movies." - The Boston Globe
I love clowns. They utterly terrify me, but I love them. Hey, for
me... the surlier the better. Its funny, but one time I was
looking through The
Internet Movie Database for clown movies and when I pulled up
Shakes the Clown I started
reading everything on the screen. The film is funny enough even
without this entry on the site: if you scroll down to the bottom of
the main screen, you'll see an area that suggests other films if you
liked this one. The only recommended title: The
Butcher Boy. Now that's frickin' funny.
Shakes (Bob Goldthwait) is an alcoholic. It's effecting every
aspect of his life. His lisping/bowling girlfriend (Julie Brown) is
all messed up about it and leaves him, his job is in jeopardy and
his friends (Blake Clark and Adam Sandler) are not always there.
What's a guy to do? Don't answer yet, because here's the best part:
this film takes place in a sort of alternate reality where most
everybody is a clown of some sort. Shakes and his friends are all
party clowns. Sure they're cussing, smoking, fighting and er, lovin'
clowns, but they are most certainly clowns. They hang at their
favorite bar, they drink and converse and on their days out, they
beat up mimes. Its just your average day in Palukaville. When
Shakes wakes up from one of his binges and discovers that he
murdered his boss, all hell breaks loose. But did he kill his boss?
Well, no... but thats a funny story that I'll leave you to
Written and directed by Goldthwait, Shakes
the Clown is an epic if there ever was one. There's
enough stuff going in this film for just about everyone's taste.
There's a love story, some character study, a murder mystery and
more laughs than you can shake a balloon animal at. If you like
dark, toilet bowl humor, then this is gonna be right up your alley.
On DVD, this is a keeper. Columbia, as usual, presents this in a
nice anamorphic widescreen, preserving the bold dark colors and
keeping the blacks very solid (for the most part). There is some
residual grain, but for a small budget film this is to be expected.
This is in no way a flawed transfer. The sound is also pretty good.
Its a Dolby Digital 2-channel stereo mix and it works. No one
is going to expect full-blown 5.1 for this, but what you get is
nice. There are a few trailers, cast and crew bios and there are
some production notes in the liner insert.
Shakes the Clown will make you
laugh. He will make you cry. He will make you wish that you too
might be able to throw yourself into the gutter fully clad in wacky
colors and face make-up. Okay, he wont do that. But he will
make you laugh and that should count for something. Now will
somebody PLEASE get me a copy of Killer
Klowns from Outer Space on DVD? Ill produce the
damn thing myself - just show me who has the rights.