ByJohn Mountain, writer at
John Mountain

Directed by Conor McMahon

Written by Conor McMahon and David O'Brien

Review by jmountwib

Coulrophobia-an abnormal fear of clowns.

Let's all laugh at the death of a clown-The Kinks "Death of a Clown" (paraphrased)

I don't know if I have a fear of clowns so much as I have a suspicion of them. I've always seen them as the perfect visual example of the duality of our nature. John Wayne Gacy was a community man who shook hands with the wives of presidents and dressed as Pogo the Clown for the benefit of children; he was also a rapist and murderer of over 30 young men that he buried under the crawlspace of his house. How's that for duality?

Stitches, the Irish horror-comedy from director Conor McMahon, don’t help much in alleviating my suspicious nature. That's not to say that it's a bad movie; then again it's not to say that it's a good one, either. For every joke or sight gag that elicits a laugh there is one that falls flat that seems to follow on its heels. For a while I thought I was playing 'follow the bouncing ball' given the uneven nature of the humor of Stitches.

Ross Noble is Stitches, a has-been of a clown with a nasty attitude who lives in a trailer on the edge of a cliff by the sea. When we first see him he is taking an unknown woman sexually from behind (clowns do have groupies, believe it or not). Every time he thrusts in you hear the familiar 'beep-beep' of a clown horn. This should give an indication of the type of movie Stitches will be.

Hired as the entertainment at a children's birthday party, Stitches does metaphorically what no clown ever wants to do: he dies. Then he dies literally when a prank gone wrong causes him to fall head first into a butcher knife facing blade up in the open dishwasher. Later, Stitches is laid to rest and Tom (Tommy Knight), the birthday boy, witnesses a strange ritual among a troupe of clowns inside a mausoleum in the graveyard where Stitches is interred; a graveyard that is conveniently near Tom's house.

Cut to six years later and Tom is now a young man scared of his own shadow and who sees clowns in everything, including his breakfast. It's birthday time again for Tom and therefore a party is planned that unites the same kids that were there the day Stitches bought the Clown College. Of course this also means that Stitches will rise from the dead to seek vengeance on those responsible for his demise. Will Tom and his friends become the punch line to Stitches murderous joke; or will they send him back to the clown graveyard once and for all and if so will the funeral procession all travel in the same car?

I get the feeling that Stitches would be a better film if I had been under the influence of some mind-altering narcotics. It's a great time waster; so if you have the time to waste then by all means check it out. If not then don't bother, you will not have missed anything. Unless of course you are curious to know what a balloon animal made out of human intestines looks like.


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