While combing the deepest, darkest depths of Amazon Prime, I found this film by chance and was immediately intrigued- not by the plot, but by the cast, featuring the likes of Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Before Dark, Pumpkinhead) , Sean Young (Blade Runner, Dune) Brad Dourif (Child’s Play) and Tim Curry himself. Surely a film containing such an illustrious list of actors had to be worth some merit.
Alas, I was wrong. So wrong.
The tissue-paper thin plot of Gingerclown (2013), written and directed by Balázs Hatvani, is instigated when a group of cliched, anachronistic 80’s-era bullies, who feel like something from the 1950s, who dare hapless nerd Sam (Ashley Lloyd) to venture inside a mysterious abandoned theme park. Having more hormones than sense, he agrees to, accompanied by Jenny (Erin Hayes), the girlfriend of his main tormentor Biff (sadly not played by Thomas F. Wilson, but rather Michael Cannell-Griffins), where they encounter a host of bizarre monsters, who are all voiced by the aforementioned celebrities and struggle to survive the night.
Sadly, the stars’ performances are hampered by the performances of a human cast so stilted and wooden that I’m still not entirely convinced they’re not puppets too. But that would be an unfair comparison, as the entire cast of the original Dark Crystal movie mustered more humanity in under two minutes than the main cast does in the film’s entire eighty-three minute runtime. This results in the antagonists, despite some brief but impressive animatronics, being sorely undeveloped. Special mention goes to Brad Dourif, who makes a mildly amusing appearance as the grotesque ‘Wormface’ and especially Tim Curry, who plays the titular and bafflingly named antagonist, who appears so little throughout the film that he’s practically vaporous.
The dialogue feels like someone translated a Taiwanese coffee machine repair manual into Spanish, then to English and repurposed it into a film script, which against all odds somehow got greenlit. Scenes meander by without any meaning and the film becomes an endurance test to even the most seasoned B-movie lovers. As the credits rolled, it was as if a weight had been lifted off my back. Even the poster recognises the absence of anything redeemable, clearly trying to capitalise on the far better IT, both the original miniseries which Tim Curry starred in and Andy Muschietti’s films, which made more money in its opening weekend than this film probably laundered in its entire production.
I recommend giving this one a skip. Trust me, this is one clown you do not want to get down with.