Cinema Review: Apocalypse Clown

Posted 9 months ago in Cinema Reviews

DDF apr-may-24 – Desktop

Firstly, bravo for the hilariously arresting title and overall concept – this may well be the clown movie our country has been waiting for. Penned by comedy outfit Dead Cat Bounce – spoiler alert – it concerns the plight of clowns. The master Jean DuCoque (Barry McGovern) has suddenly died and a vacuum exists in his absence. We meet Bobo (David Earl), a foul-mouthed and washed-up hobo clown on the brink, Pepe (Fionn Foley) a mime flailing dismally at his craft and Funzo (Natalie Palamides), an unhinged “street clown”.

Thrown into the custard pie is Jenny Malone (Amy De Bhrún), an old squeeze of Bobo, who has been assigned to cover the funeral and pines to escape her clickbait reportage for Viral Load media. There’s celebrity clown and nemesis of DeCoque The Great Alphonso (Ivan Kaye) who has his own gunge-filled past and murky ambitions. There’s also some vengeful human statues and for good tightrope measure, the aforementioned ‘apocalypse’ triggered by solar flares which leads to a power outage. Queue a road trip to get to the funny bone of it all.

Apocalypse Clown is a screwball caper in a similar vein to Grabbers and Extraordinary. The performances are befittingly solid and intentionally hammy. The sizzled craziness of Palamides and boo hoo woebegone of Earl shine through. There’s a wonderful bogland scene which allows a modicum of reflection but it’s pacy from the get-go apart from the hand-cranked Renault 4 moments.

And while ideas and humour abound, its relentlessness at trying to exhort a laugh ends up stifling some genuine funny moments which barely find time to land before the next punchline muscles in. It’s borderline deranged with heaps on absurdism – which while perfect fuel for a vehicle like this – ends up pouring the gag and the gag reflex into the same tank. A little more dialled down clown, please.

Illustration: Sarah Walsh

Words: Michael McDermott

Apocalypse Clown

Director: George Kane

Talent: David Earl, Natalie Palamides, Amy De Bhrún, Fionn Foley, Tadhg Murphy, Ivan Kaye

Release Date: September 1


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