sun 19/05/2024

Apocalypse Clown review - going out with a laugh | reviews, news & interviews

Apocalypse Clown review - going out with a laugh

Apocalypse Clown review - going out with a laugh

The world ends not with a bang, but with three inept clowns in Ireland

Waiting for God knows what: Fionn Foley, David Earl, and Natalie Palamides in 'Apocalypse Clown'Vertigo Releasing

Here we are in rural Ireland and on the other side of bonkers. Apocalypse Clown is billed as an "end-of-the-world road movie with clowns". It’s hilarious, off the wall, beyond the cringe.

The protagonists are three washed-up members of the circus clown profession. They make a combustible madcap combination as they travel together around, squished into that long-extinct symbol of hippydom, a bright yellow Renault 4L.

The starting point is that some celestial event – possibly a solar flare, but it doesn’t actually matter – has suddenly caused every piece of equipment that needs computer power and connection to shut down. The threesome make a last-ditch attempt to fulfil their dreams while traveling to the funeral of the expired master clown Jean Ducocque (Barry McGovern).

They are an odd trio to say the least. Their leader, Bobo (the endearing David Earl from After Life), is plagued by self-doubt about whether clowning has a future. Despite not having an iota of talent, Pepe (Fionn Foley) is imbued with the deep personal conviction that he is inhabited by the genius of Marcel Marceau. Funzo (Natalie Palamides from Netflix’s Nate – A One Man Show) has no inkling that everything she does or says is going to put herself and everyone around her in danger. In her case, coulrophobia and running a mile from clowns would be completely rational responses. 

As they head to their destination, the threesome encounters other improbable and unpredictable characters. Journalism-is-in-my-blood Jenny (Amy De Bhrún), who regrets once hooking up with Bobo, has somehow convinced herself that her reporting on the catastrophe will propel her to stardom and enable to revenge herself on her unbelieving mother.

The Great Alphonso (a particularly oily role for Ivan Kaye), who's forever harping on his vanished stardom, harbours limitless delusions of his importance in the world of clowns and television. There is even a former boyband singer, Tim from Bromanz (Tadgh Murphy), who is a sucker for every Bilderberg or Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory invented. (Pictured below: Ivan Kaye, Natalie Palamides, David Earl, Amy De Bhrún, Fionn Foley)Director George Kane has explained that viewers of Apocalypse Clown should expect a Robert Emmerich disaster movie shot on a shoestring. The backstory of how the film came to be made sounds like a (happy) accident. The story was going to involve “humanitarian clowning” in West Africa (sic), but the unexpected arrival of grant money meant that the clowns, their bright red noses, and their doubts and fears would have to be exposed in Ireland. 

Kane and his co-writers were clearly influenced by the constant questioning of the viability of all artistic professions during the pandemic. Luckily, such down-on-your-luck thoughts are kept relatively brief. The quickfire gags of the delightfully mad Apocalypse Clown are performed by an ensemble of well-cast actors playing engagingly wacky characters. It is impossible not to be drawn in by all the fun they're having.

The quickfire gags are performed by an ensemble of well-cast actors playing engagingly wacky characters

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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