Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. There’s a group of friends that go on a road trip to check out a local legend of a supposed murder. There’s the token nerd, the horny couple, the girl who just got out of a relationship, and a guy who’s just trying to get by. In their search, they run into a group of man-eating clowns. Oh, and one of the friends got blamed for the murder of one of the girls.
Usually, being this reductive and condescending would indicate that I didn’t care for this film. Granted, Big Top Evil is not the kind of film that is going to win awards or gain a massive cult following, most likely. But it is fun. It is the kind of movie that is a fun time sink of about 75 minutes, before factoring in the credits. And yes, there is the iconic Bill Moseley in about three scenes, and while his dialogue is chuckle-inducing at least, it may not be the kind of film that he will be remembered for down the road.
The sound editing is a significant problem for me. At times, it sounds like the mixing was done halfway, and then they said "the hell with it." The acoustics of some of the sets and locations serve to hurt the sound quality, and make it sound like the characters are speaking in empty hallways. Even during the musical number (which hey, I appreciated), the tone of the acoustic guitars was a bit off. I get the feel they were going for was budding singer-songwriters, but it seemed like the strings hadn’t been replaced in weeks, and that the players played the song half-assed.
That being said, the character of Donny (Morgan Ferreira) is one of the funniest goofs I’ve seen put to film. At times, he is painful levels of awkward, the kind of seminal virgin that is lovable and hopeless all at once. Maybe not a sympathetic character, but of this group of "wait, what was that one’s name?" Donny was the most memorable, silly figure that didn’t don grease paint in the film.
When speaking to his potential new attorney for the retrial, Jay (also played by writer/director Sean Haitz) says that his story is "like a bad B horror movie." Even if it is a bad B horror movie, it’s a fun, gory one. It’s not trying to take itself seriously, and that’s something I can admire, regardless of the quality of film. You may enjoy it, you may not, but give it a shot anyway!
Big Top Evil is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital platforms.