DVD Review: Wrinkles The Clown

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Having grown up in West Germany, the local clowns were more creepy than hilarious to me. There was a sadness to their make up. I never wanted to go near them for suspicion they weren’t trying to be a comical, but hide their identity from what they did a few decades before or more recent bad decisions. When the circus came to town, I’d rather put my hand in the lion cage than touch a clown used balloon dog. In the last few years clowns have became terrifying creatures of the night thanks to internet postings and cellphone camera videos. The media goes nuts with a fear usually reserved for serial killers. In the midst of this hysteria, my first thought was “What took you so long?” Wrinkles The Clown is a documentary that gets at the heart of this era of clown evil.

During 2015, a security camera video footage was uploaded to YouTube. It featured a little kid sleeping in her bedroom. The draw underneath the bed opens up and a clown with a wrinkly face climbs out, looks at the kid, sees the video camera and turns it off. The short video shocked a lot of people and quickly became a sensation with the late night talk show hosts and the morning news anchors going nuts over it. What really made the situation weird was that the clown had a phone number so you could book him to scar your children if you live in the greater Orlando, Florida region. And parents do book the guy to show up at odd hours to get their kids to face a masked danger in a red and white clown suit. We do get to see a bit of footage of these traumatic moments. Filmmakers Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker hook up with the old guy inside the Wrinkles suit. The guy lives in a camper home and roams around Florida between scaring gigs. We get to hear the people who call up the phone number to leave messages for Wrinkles or actually talk to him. It becomes a bit of a game for kids to see if they have the courage to call and threaten the evil clown. Then there are kids who call him up to get tips. Late into the documentary we learn a big truth about Wrinkles.

Wrinkles the Clown is the documentary we really need right now thanks to the box office hits of It: Chapter 2 and The Joker. This is taking the clown fear to the next level. The movie explores how after the original videos got out, there was a massive wave of clown sightings around the country. There are major reports of clowns with machetes running out of the woods and attacking kids. The police are on high alert for clown violence. The film is shot with a floating quality that it’s hard to tell what is the reality and what is meant to be fearful. This is a production that really gives a “that’s so Florida” vibe. Easy to imagine Florida Man calls clown from Craigslist ad to terrorize children. If you’re going to go out and get The Joker on Blu-ray, really need to grab a copy of Wrinkles The Clown to make it a perfect double feature evening. You should also watch the film with your kids so that they can see that you’re not the worst parent in the world. And if they don’t believe you, you now have the number to make a sequel to Wrinkles the Clown.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The resolution brings out the frightening element of seeing the clown mask in the middle of the night. The audio is 5.1 Dolby Digital. The levels bring out the nightmares when the clown hits the streets and the nasty voicemails. The movie is Closed Captioned.

Deleted Scenes (5:19) includes angry parents calling Wrinkles about their children getting callbacks after leaving messages on his voicemail. Kids prepare to battle Wrinkles. A super fan gets a unique piece of Wrinkles the Clown artwork. You won’t want to watch the Wrinkles gets a lap dance scene with the kids in the room.

Magnolia Home Entertainment presents Wrinkles The Clown. Directed by: Michael Beach Nichols. Screenplay by: Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker. Starring: Wrinkles The Clown. Rated: Not Rated. Running Time: 78 minutes. Released: January 7, 2020.

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.