Monday, March 3, 2014

#1,295. Stitches (2012)

Directed By: Conor McMahon

Starring: Ross Noble, Tommy Knight, Eoghan McQuinn

Tag line: "You'll Die Laughing "

Trivia: Marked the movie debut of stand-up comedian Ross Noble

I’m not a fan of clowns. 

It’s not that they scare me necessarily (some people are terrified of them), but clowns do make me... a little uneasy. 

Maybe it’s because, even when they’re trying to make us laugh, clowns seem like depressed individuals, and I’m fairly certain many of those who entertain at children’s parties don’t even like kids. 

In the 2012 Irish horror / comedy Stitches, we meet a clown who, before the movie is over, transforms into a blood-crazed killer, and to be honest, this didn’t seem like much of a stretch for me!

The trouble begins at a birthday party for young Tom (played as a 10-year-old by Ryan Burke). After turning up late, 
Stitches (Ross Noble), the ill-mannered clown hired by Tom's parents, puts on a rather pathetic show for the birthday boy and his pals. 

None too impressed, the kids shout insults at the hapless clown, but take things a bit too far when a practical joke ends in disaster, resulting in the accidental death of poor Stitches. 

Feeling guilty over what happened, Tom attends Stitches’ funeral, where he inadvertently witnesses an ancient clown ritual involving an egg painted to resemble the dearly departed. Frightened and confused, Tom runs home.

From there, we jump ahead 6 years, at which point Tom (now portrayed by Tommy Knight) is preparing for yet another birthday. When his mother (Valerie Spelman) announces she’s going out of town, Tom’s best friend Vinny (Shane Murray-Corcoran) convinces Tom to host a wild party at his house. 
Hoping for a chance to impress Kate (Gemma-Leah Deveraux), who he has been in love with since grade school, Tom agrees, and almost everyone shows up for the shindig (including those who, six years earlier, witnessed the tragedy that befell Stitches). 

What Tom and the others don’t know, however, is that Stitches the Clown has chosen this particular night to return from the dead, and crashes the party in order to exact his bloody revenge.

An homage to - as well as a spoof of - ‘80s slasher films, Stitches features lots of gore, as well as a number of clever kill scenes. The accident that claimed Stitches’ life is gruesome; he tumbled backwards when Tom threw a soccer ball at him, landing on a kitchen knife sitting in the dishwasher. The blade entered the unfortunate clown's eye and burst through the top of his head. 
Yet this is nothing compared to what Stitches has in store for Tom and his friends. Without giving too much away, the best kill involves a slash to the midsection, immediately followed by an air pump into the back of the head (the resulting scene is cartoonish, but at the same time so over-the-top gory that it’s certain to make you smile).

Despite my aversion to clowns, I was never really scared while watching Stitches, not even when the title character was in full revenge mode. As played by Noble (a well-known stand-up comedian in the UK), Stitches goes from a sad sack loser to a killer with plenty of personality, a one-liner at the ready for every occasion (after kicking the head clean off of one partygoer, Stitches says, tongue firmly planted in cheek, "The party's really kicking now"). 

A blood-soaked slasher film with some funny moments, Stitches is a movie that even those who are afraid of clowns will surely enjoy!


Ben Broadribb said...

Great article, this is one I've been meaning to catch for a while so I may try to pick it up soon after reading your thoughts on it. Just one correction needed: Noble is actually English, not Irish, and has a pretty strong Northumberland accent to prove it!

DVD Infatuation said...

Ben: Thanks for the comment!

I actually discovered this mistake while putting together today's tweets (that Noble was from England, not Ireland). I made the change on Twitter, but forgot to do the same on the blog! My bad.

I've now corrected it. I appreciate you keeping me on my toes, and thanks as always for checking out the blog!