Clowns

By AL J. Vermette

  You step into the big top, your skin is crawling with fear as the tent is draped
in what feels like forever darkness.  You walk across the temp structure as you
spy a figure standing just on the other side the of center ring.  Even within the
dark you can tell just what the figure is.  He stands there with bright green hair,
silly make-up and costumed in a red and white tunic with bows laid down the
front.  His feet are big...far bigger than you own and as he stands there, he is
holding in one hand a string of five balloons as well as bike horn of which he
starts to toot as it blows.  He's funny....down right silly in fact.  He brings a smile
to you face as you walk toward him now without a care in the world.  On your
approach, the low light of the big top brings in more features of his face and the
once funny and almost play full clown before you now bares the sight of
something much more demonic.  With eyes of black death and a row of teeth of
shining red blood, the funny man of the big top has now become a God living
nightmare.

  They are Clowns and whether you love them or hate them, they have been
making us giggle or scream since they first came to be.  They are truly the main
image of any circus even more so than the trapeze artists, the elephants, lion
tamers and even the Ring Master himself.  Clowns, they are the one thing on
this Earth that can be funny and scary all at the same time.  Most people find
them silly as they dance about with big red noses, silly colored hair, pasty white
faces with red, blue and other colors painted all over their faces.  They can be
seen performing in parades, TV shows, movies, fairs, rodeos and of most of all
the circus.  These performers date back to the time where Jesters danced for
Kings and throughout time they have made us feel better about ourselves and
make us smile.  There are many kinds of clowns from hobos, mimes to those
who help sell burgers at nation wide fast food stores.  Some have even had
there own TV shows such as in the case of Bozo, a child hood delight from the
60's and 70's. There are funny clowns, sad clowns, silent clowns, dancing
clowns, singing clowns, all to do nothing more than to entertain us.  The rock
band Insane Clown Posse use the image of the clown as their iconic staple of
performances.  Like its not a circus already but even in pro-wrestling there was
Doink The Clown to makes things even more big top like in the ring.  With the
use of a clown as a pro-wrestling and rock group gimmick both parties gain
world wide exposure with an image that everyone knows and understands.  
Though maybe a little strange.

  Most people find them as funny as they intend to be, but to others there is a
more demonic source behind these jolly comics.  Ask any child....any child at
all...in fact ask any gown up and ask them what they think about clowns.  They
will say one of two things......they love them or they scare the hell out of them.  
Again the painted face and the large out of portion face and body features to
some are not funny, not cute but something of fear and a dread that puts a fear
into their hearts like any monster to roam the darkness.  The very thing that
makes some giggle about these artists in red noses and crazy paint jobs is the
very thing that to some make them nothing more then creepy things that make
little kids scream and cry.  After all, most are out right weird looking, say nothing
and are just pain creepy even then they don't mean to be.  Or do they?

  The horror genre has really taken the funny nature of the clown and like the
genre will do with just about anything has turned the friendly nature of the clown
and twisted into its own evil use with the Demonic Clown.  These sinister painted
foes may even look just like the ones others will find funny but these dark
comics are looking to eat your soul then to make you smile.  The true star of the
novel "It" is a scary ass clown named Pennywise who hunts children in the
Stephen King 1986 book.  Here this clown was not looking to make kids laugh
but to invoke fear deep within their souls.  The use of this creature hiding
behind the face of a clown brought him closer to the children....his prey than his
true monstrous form.  This use of getting in close to the prey is the ammo of the
famed Boogie Man as well.  Here is a creature who among the many forms they
hide within some take the identity of that of a clown.  The beast would make
them feel safe with little magic tricks, keep them in a state of wonder before the
creature would snatch them up, drag them away from their homes and feed
upon their little souls.

  Films with crazy clowns are in abundance in the horror genre like the manic
clown of the movie "Killjoy" or Captain Spaulding in "House of 1.000 Corpses"
and "The Devils Rejects."  Clowns also make for great superhero villains as in
the case of the demon known as Clown who battles Spawn the demon hero of
the Todd Mcfarlane comic book series as well as the TV series and feature film.  
If there was ever an evil clown to face a hero down, that honor would go hands
down to none other than Batman’s arch nemesis The Joker.  He is the super
villain to the hero who can be funny and scary both at the same time.  Brought
to life for the first time by Cesar Romero in the 1966 Batman TV series and then
again by Jack Nicholson in the 1989 movie.  Lastly The Joker was played to his
most creepiness and most menacing by the late Heath Ledger.

  If there were ever a crazier clown movie, that would go to the insane 1988
movie "Killer Clowns From Outer Space."  Here the Earth is visited by a alien
race that look like monster clowns who come to our world by way of a big top
spaceship.  With cotton candy and red noses, the space bozos are as funny as
they are very creepy and make this movie a cult classic.  But evil clowns are not
just the stuff of myth and movies but live among us as well.  The serial killer
John Wayne Gacy would dress up as a clown to lure in his victims much as with
the monster in the movie "It" or the Bogey Man. Gacy would on to kill over 33
people and was called the Killer Clown who went by the name Pogo.  This sick
comic in big red over size shoes would work childrens Birthday parties and other
kids venues to get in close to those he may want to murder.

  As one can see even when you walk the Halloween store lanes ales each and
every October, that clown masks, costumes and even full body clown props are
always ever present.  Just this past Halloween season alone, I myself saw so
many clown related things that one should truly wonder are these painted
jesters really nothing but icons of terror.  Mask were hung on hooks one more
creeper than the last.  The best and most disturbing were the life size clown
props that seemed to be everywhere.  There were even do it your self make-up
kits to turn ones self into a killer clown.  This just goes to show you that people
really do think of these once silly souls as nothing but monsters under make-up
and red noses.  They have now taken their place in the Halloween stores beside
The Werewolf, Vampire and Frankenstin Monster as some of the biggest
Halloween masks and props sold each year.

  Yes they are creepy and yes they can be funny too, it all depends on their
make-up, their actions and their names.  Some come from space, others make
us smile and others scare us from the dark corners of Hell itself.  They are
Clowns......love them...hate them but one thing is for sure....we don't know who it
is under all that make-up......so beware.
Creature Feature
Clowns