Tuesday, 27 January 2015


Like many of you, I was very interested to see the slew of images from the upcoming, Eli Roth-produced horror movie, Clown.

This is the latest in a long line of terrifying, greasepaint wearing nightmares and coulrophobia seems to be as prevalent as ever before.
So what better time than to take a look at six of the nastiest, most maniacal and generally unspeakable smiling psychos of all time?
Read on…


The hulking, cannibalistic Noodledome, as portrayed to gleeful, giggling perfection by Ryan Clapp, is monstrous. Present in both of the very talented Billy Pon’s directorial efforts, there can be few sights as terrifying as this behemoth looming after his victims, laughing maniacally as he measures them for a cranium splattering mallet shot. Despite his limited screentime, he steals the show in Doll Boy and has the most shocking of scenes during the INSANE mid-movie murder montage in Circus Of The Dead. I could have picked any of the troupe of psychotic clowns in CotD for this list, but Noodledome was the first of the gang to terrorise audiences. And I for one cannot wait to catch him again when Circus of the Dead hits our screens.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space, 1988

God, I love the Chiodo brothers’ cult-classic, popcorn comedy-horror masterpiece. Dammit, we NEED a sequel. 
The humour throughout is marvellous, but it is the practical effects triumphs that are the Klowns that really rock. These are incredibly ghoulish latex creations and, best of all, their M.O. really embrace the clown theme. Flying in a Big Top spaceship, wrapping victims in candy floss/cotton candy cocoons and using a variety of hilarious attacks (shadow puppet dinosaur anyone?) to rack up a huge body count — and massive laughs along the way. 
If you haven’t seen Shorty and the gang in action yet, you NEED to set that right, pronto.

American Horror Story: Freak Show, 2014

Not a big screen bad guy here, but this TV terror (and arguably the best thing in Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story: Freak Show) is still one of the most frightening clowns EVER. Sporting the most disgusting outfit and mask (and hiding an even more hideous facial wound underneath), Twisty struck a chill chord with audiences from the very second he appeared on screen, right up until the point his tragic backstory was revealed. Few who have witnessed his bloody and brutal interruption of a young lovers' picnic will ever forget that or the heart-stopping chase to camera that follows.
Brought to life with diabolical relish by John Carroll Lynch, Twisty was a brutal murderer, kidnapper of children and all-around living nightmare. 
Scary, scary stuff. 

The 9th Circle, 2008; Terrifier, 2011; All Hallow’s Eve, 2013

Most of the following is from a previous feature in which I heralded the sheer terror of Mike Giannelli as Art the Clown. I’m repeating what I said then because it still rings true three months on. 

Creepily clad in black and white, including his make up, Art has an impossibly angular face and rotting, pointed teeth in his grinning mouth. With dismemberment, mutilation and decapitation his raison d’ĂȘtre , Art does his job in complete silence. This doesn’t mean that he’s a typical, hulking silent slasher though, oh no.
Art is animated, his face expressive, especially when he descends into fits of silent giggles… the problem is, when he does, you aren’t laughing along. Art’s sense of humour is as dark as it gets. Art is one of the most terrifying screen boogeymen I’ve ever seen and well deserving of his place on this list.

Circus Of The Dead, 2014

I know I’ve already included one of the Circus of the Dead’s villains on this list, but they deserve more representation. Especially THIS one.

Long-term readers of Hickey’s House of Horrors know I’m a huge fan of Bill Oberst Jr, the hardest-working man in the industry and one of the nicest gentlemen I have ever had the pleasure to converse with. From his roles in Deadly Revisions, A Grim Becoming and Coyote, he is always on top of his game. But it was in his role in ‘Bloody’ Bill Pon’s Circus Of The Dead that I first came across his work — and I was blown away. 
The character is hideous — a sadistic, necrophiliac, serial rapist. Oberst’s portrayal is spine-chilling, switching from a manipulative, charming sociopath to a drooling, psychopath in an instant. The performance is wonderful, as is the way the character is written by Pon and collaborator Lee Ankrum. 
When CotD hits the masses, it will be a massive hit, thanks in no small part to the magnificent performance from Bill Oberst Jr as Papa Corn. This is quite possibly the greatest horror villain to come along in the past decade and the only reason Papa isn’t number one on this list is because of a bona-fide genre legend in the top spot.

Stephen King’s It, 1990

‘They all float down here!’
When writing about Tim Curry’s performance as the demonic being that goes by the name of Pennywise, I mentioned that I know a grown man who is now terrified of clowns due to watching Stephen King's It as a young boy. This is a true statement and a real testimony to Curry’s work. 
Obviously Curry is a magnificent actor with scores of brilliant performances to his name, and when combined with one of the greatest stories by the undisputed master of modern horror fiction, real magic was created.
The sneering, growling, shape-shifting Pennywise was a genuine boogeyman, an otherworldly monster that preyed on children, using fear to its advantage and stalking the town of Derry for decades.
Tommy Lee Wallace’s tv mini series may have its detractors but few will ever find fault with the way in which Pennywise is brought to life. The It remake, consisting of two feature film releases is on the way and I'm excited to see what happens with it, but one thing is for sure — whoever steps into the antagonist's oversized shoes this time has his work cut out for him.
The reason Pennywise takes this number one spot is simple: this is an iconic performance in an iconic role. 
Plus how many horror clowns can say they have petrified audiences in two different media?

So what do you think of the list? Are there any glaring omissions or choices you disagree with? Do you have a particular favourite creepy clown that you feel I've overlooked (and trust me, there are plenty that nearly made the cut).
Leave your comments below or drop me a message, it'd be great to hear from you.

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Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.