Newest Reviews
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
White Chamber
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
My Sister Eileen
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Last Picture Show, The
Skatetown, USA
He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not
Mary Poppins Returns
Beyond the Sky
Newest Articles
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
  Shakes the Clown Red Nose DaysBuy this film here.
Year: 1992
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Stars: Bobcat Goldthwait, Julie Brown, Tom Kenny, Adam Sandler, Blake Clark, Kathy Griffin, Jeremy Kramer, Jack Gallagher, Paul Dooley, Bruce Baum, Greg Travis, Paul Kozlowski, Dan Spencer, Sydney Lassick, Florence Henderson, Robin Williams
Genre: Comedy
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Shakes the Clown (Bobcat Goldthwait) awakes in his underwear on the floor of a bathroom in a strange apartment with a roaring hangover. It is the apartment of his latest one night stand (Florence Henderson) and after being accidentally pissed on by her son, he retrieves his clothes and realises he's late for the birthday party he's supposed to be entertaining at. Off Shakes hurries, stopping at a garage restroom to apply his makeup and menace the station owner, and then he's ready for work. But he has a big problem: although he's a fairly successful clown, he is an alcoholic, and his girlfriend Judy (Julie Brown) is planning on leaving him if he doesn't get his act together...

Sort of what would happen if Krusty the Clown from The Simpsons went seriously off the rails and took all his clown friends with him, this film marked the only directorial effort to date of distinctive comedian Bobcat Goldthwait. He also wrote the screenplay, coming across as a comedy scripted by Charles Bukowksi, at least for the first half, with Shakes looking no further than the next drink and hanging around in his off-duty hours in a clown bar. That is, a bar for clowns to go to drown their sorrows, bemoan their lot with their cohorts and snipe at the others.

There is a clown baddie, too, in the shape of Binky the Clown (Tom Kenny, yes, the voice of Spongebob Squarepants), and if you find clowns disturbing then he's the one you will want to avoid - and if you're scared of them, what on Earth are you doing watching this film? When Peppy the Clown (Sidney Lassick) leaves his popular children's television show (he says he's retiring but everyone knows he's been sacked for being over the hill), Shakes is one of the hopefuls who want the job as replacement, but to his anger Binky wins the post. This doesn't help Shakes' temperament any and he dives straight to the bottom of another beer bottle.

In the film there is a clown society, a hierarchy if you will, that sees party clowns like Shakes in the middle of the scale, and able to pick on and beat up mimes, who make claims to art; however, tough rodeo clowns are above the party clowns and waste no opportunity to intimidate them. The world of these entertainers, set in the city of Palukaville, is portrayed in a sleazy fashion but Goldthwait knows it inside out, with the slog through Shakes' miserable life featuring an absorbing attention to detail, and when he is encouraged by his friends Dink and Stenchy (Adam Sandler and Blake Clark) to stop drinking, he's only one disastrous party away from falling off the wagon spectacularly.

When Shakes is left in a stupor by this latest binge, the halfway-through film enters its next phase and transforms into an unlikely thriller. His boss, Mr Cheese (Paul Dooley) is murdered by the drug crazed Binky, Shakes is framed for the killing and when he wakes up, he goes on the run. In truth, the movie is better in its unconventional first half as the second could have the plot of any number of comedy thrillers, only this one has the novelty of actors in full clown makeup playing it out. Still, there's plenty to enjoy, especially its world weary atmosphere and bitter, expletive-filled dialogue, and the cast show a commendable dedication to Goldthwait's eccentric ideas, including Robin Williams as talkative a mime teacher. That said, Shakes the Clown is probably best as a one-off. Music by Tom Scott.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 4276 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
Stately Wayne Manor


Last Updated: