DIR: Conor McMahon • WRI: Conor McMahon, David O’Brien • PRO: Julianne Forde, Brendan McCarthy, John McDonnell, Ruth Treacy • DOP: Patrick Jordan • ED: Stuart Baird • DES: Ferdia Murphy • CAST: Tommy Knight, Ross Noble, Gemma-Leah Devereux
Stitches (Ross Noble) is a bad clown. He’s dirty, unprofessional, swears at children and worst of all he’s just no good at clowning. He can’t really juggle, he can’t make balloon animals and he can’t make children laugh. So it is that at Tom’s 10th birthday the children have to make their own fun. Unfortunately for Stitches the children’s hijinks lead to an accident resulting in the unfortunate entertainer being stabbed through his left eye…. Twice.
Six years later, and having witnessed a secret clown ritual in the cemetery the night of Stitches’ untimely demise, Tom (Tommy Knight) is not quite a normal teenager. He needs medication to help with his anxiety. He also has a tendency to see clowns where there are none. On the plus side it’s his birthday on Saturday. Unfortunately, Stitches is coming back to finish the party he started.
Without any knowledge beyond the basic premise of this title it is immediately and firmly in the category of ‘Schlock Horror’. There is no other genre that can accommodate a zombie-clown revenge story. Thankfully there doesn’t appear to be any attempt to move out of that comfort zone. Within minutes of the film’s opening credits a ten year old child is being drenched in a shower of fake blood. The gore continues almost relentlessly throughout, with scenes of male genitalia being removed by hand or an umbrella piercing a girl’s head from behind and removing her eyeball in the process. All of it shown in gleeful, close-up, slow motion detail. Thankfully this is not a movie that takes itself too seriously. The story seems little more than a reason to have a house full of teenagers waiting to be massacred. The characters are largely one dimensional. The dialogue, in an attempt to seem natural, appears more forced. Sadly though, the script looks for laughs only in the absurdity of the violence and the eponymous psychopath’s pre and post murder one-liners.
For a film billed as a Horror/Comedy there is barely enough of either to appeal to all but the most die-hard ‘Slasher’ fans.
Rated 16 (see IFCO website for details)
Stitches is released on 26th October 2012