The Top 5 Killer Clowns from TV & Film in Honor of The New IT Movie

by | Sep 5, 2017

“What’s a matter kid? Don’t ya like clowns? Why? Don’t we make you laugh? Aren’t we fuckin funny?!? You best come up with an answer cause I’m gonna come back here and check on you and yer momma and if you ain’t got a reason why you hate clowns… I’m gonna kill your whole fuckin family”  – Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), from The Devil’s Rejects.

In honor of the latest and hopefully greatest killer clown movie hitting theaters this week — IT — from horror master Stephen King, here are my top 5 killer clowns from film and television. 

From New Line Cinema, director Andy Muschietti (Mama) and based on the acclaimed novel by master author Stephen King, comes the big-screen adaptation of IT.  Starring Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Bill Skarsgard. The film (part one) hits theaters on September 8, 2017. 


In a small town in Maine, seven children known as The Losers Club come face to face with life problems, bullies and a monster that takes the shape of a clown called Pennywise.

At this time there aren’t many reviews for the upcoming new adaptation of IT, but I’m hopeful that fans of the book are in for a treat… I’ve been a killer clown aficionado for decades and it’s not because I think they’re funny (Captain Spaulding would threaten me too), but it’s because I’m fascinated by things that scare the shit out of me. Clowns are on that list. Now, I’m also a Juggalo, so I even manage to get my audio fix of killer clowns on a weekly basis, but if Insane Clown Posse isn’t your thing, then check out these other amazing killer clowns from film and television.

#5. Binky The Clown

binky the clown

Tom Kenny stars as a coke addicted Binky The Clown who winds up murdering his boss with a bowling pin in Bobcat Goldthwait’s highly underrated 1991 black comedy film titled ‘Shakes The Clown’. Yes – that man dressed up like the clown and killing the dude who catches him snorting drugs is none other than the guy who voices Spongebob Squarepants.

#4. Captain Spaulding

captain spaulding

Sid Haig‘s performance as Captain Spaulding in both of Rob Zombie’s finest films – House of 1000 Corpses (2003) and The Devil’s Rejects (2005) isn’t just a great killer clown, but a deep and troubled brilliant portrayal of a horror villain that fans can truly root for. Spaulding was hilarious, disgusting, frightening and above all else – extremely memorable.

#3. Twisty The Clown

twisty giphy

American Horror Story: Freakshow (2014) is easily the best season of the horror anthology series and much of that is thanks to John Carroll Lynch‘s silent performance as Twisty the Clown. This disturbing and brightly coloured serial killin’ wrecking ball paves a path of carnage unlike any other villain in AHS history and the thought of him popping back up on American Horror Story: Cult this Fall, might actually get me back into the series after I bailed during AHS: Hotel.

#2. Clown (aka Kent The Clown)

clown andy powers

Before he directed Spider-Man: Homecoming, Jon Watts helmed a horrifying indie flick called Clown (2014), which was based on a faux trailer and starred Andy Powers (HBO’s OZ). Powers plays a man who winds up stuck in a Clown costume and slowly begins to transform into a demon who thirsts for the blood and flesh of children. That scene at the indoor playground where he yells for someone to “Bring me a child!” is some of the scariest shit I’ve ever seen. Powers is a criminally underrated actor and he did a phenomenal job in this nightmarish horror film that everybody should check out.

#1. Pennywise (1990)

pennywise tim curry

Tim Curry‘s portrayal of the original Pennywise in the 1990 IT mini-series is iconic. Now, the series may not hold up all that well today, but Curry’s demonic shape-shifting demon alien clown is still just as scary and over-the-top now as you remember it decades ago. The original Pennywise will always be THE FACE of cinematic killer clowns until the end of time, even if the new movie steamrolls over the original.