Cult movie fans have been wanting to see a sequel to Killer Klowns From Outer Space since the late 1980s, and despite several stops and starts as it snaked its way through development hell, it’s now been over 30 years and it still hasn’t happened. It was only a few years ago that Syfy announced the network would be making the long-in-the-works Killer Klowns sequel, but in a recent interview, director Stephen Chiodo explained exactly why that version of the movie fell apart before it really got going.
Speaking on Slasher Radio (via Movieweb) earlier this week, Stephen Chiodo – one third of the beloved Chiodo Brothers, the trio of siblings who are masters of low-budget special effects – talked about why the most recent planned iteration of the sequel didn’t happen. It was supposed to be called The Return of the Killer Klowns From Outer Space in 3D, but it turns out Syfy didn’t want to sufficiently invest in making it:
“There was a deal,” Chiodo said. “MGM controls the rights…and they went to SYFY. They did [2019’s] Critters [Attack!], and you saw what that turned out to be like. But they wanted to do Klowns for like two million [dollars]. And we don’t want to do that…we did it for two million back in the ’80s. So we didn’t want to do it. And even MGM didn’t want to do it…they said it was a more valuable property than just signing off for that little money.”
The original Killer Klowns From Outer Space is an example of what I call a pure cult movie. It has a real personal touch to it, and there’s a palpable feeling that this is genuinely interesting and entertaining to the Chiodos, as opposed to more ironic modern cult films that can sometimes feel a bit more designed to generate a certain type of response from audiences. This one feels as if every single dollar of its two million dollar budget made its way onto the screen, giving the bizarre costumes and creature effects and visual effects as much oomph as they could muster. I don’t blame them for not wanting to make a sequel for the same amount of money they had in ’88.
But according to Chiodo, it sounds like the most effective way fans can help get a sequel made is to let MGM know that they want one. Somehow I doubt that the Killers Klowns fanbase is big enough to be able to convince a studio to spend big money on a follow-up all these years later, but I’d love to be proven wrong about that. (And please, fans: don’t harass anyone at MGM about this. Maybe just tweet at the studio’s account once and move on.)
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