Criminally Underrated ’80s Horror Movie Is Finally Getting a Video Game Adaptation

At a time when everything from the '80s seems to be getting a revival, one of the most underrated horror films of that era is finally getting a little love.

Killer Klowns
Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

The Gamescom 2022 opening night ceremony featured a surprising number of fascinating new game trailers. However, the show was arguably stolen by the surprising reveal of a multiplayer horror game based on an eternally underrated ’80s horror movie.

Yes, as surprising as it may sound, developer Teravision Games has somehow convinced Good Shepherd Entertainment to let them make a video game based on 1988’s Killer Klowns From Outer Space. Seriously, there’s a trailer for the game and everything.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game (great name) is an asymmetrical multiplayer horror game that pits a team of seven humans against a squad of three Klowns. The Klowns have access to a vareity of circus-themed sci-fi weaponry that should give them an immediate edge in most fights. The humans, meanwhile, enjoy an obvious numbers advantage as well as access to a number of class-based abilities and various pieces of weapons and gear spread throughout the map.

It’s not quite clear how the moment-to-moment gameplay will work, but it seems that the humans will be tasked with not only surviving but trying to stop the alien Klowns’ invasion plans. We’ve seen similar asymmetrical multiplayer concepts come and go over the years, but given that this one is being helmed by the director of the brilliant Friday the 13th game, there are reasons to hope that this one will rise above the competition. We’ll find out for sure when it launches for PC sometime in early 2023.

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Of course, the big news here is that the Killer Klowns From Outer Space movie is getting any kind of video game adaptation. If you’ve never seen that 1988 gem…well, don’t worry because most of that movie’s plot is in the title. It does indeed tell the story of a group of alien invaders who not only look like clowns but have inexplicably decided to base pretty much every aspect of their society (their ships, weapons, customs, etc.) on common design elements of clowns and circuses. Why? Well…the film doesn’t really offer much of an explanation, but I suspect it’s because clowns are very, very creepy.

The big reason the film works as well as it does is that it’s actually a loving tribute to/parody of the most notorious ’50s B horror and sci-fi movies. From inept cops who can’t be bothered to listen to the local teens to the unlikely weaponry of the invaders themselves, every part of the movie is designed to have a little fun with one genre trope or another.

“Fun” is the keyword here. While there were quite a few tributes to ’50s horror movies released in the ’80s (such as all-time great horror films like The Thing and The Fly), Killer Klown‘s fun factor and creative use of ’80s gore really put it over the top. It belongs in the same pantheon as films like Night of the Creeps and The Blob remake, and it’s nice to see that it seems to finally be getting its day in the sun after so many ’80s nostalgia revivals have come and gone. After all, even that cocaine-fuelled era of filmmaking featured few films that included both a “death by pie” scene and a massive popcorn gun. Killer Klowns has both of those things and so much more.

Now, if we could only get a Return of the Living Dead survival game or a business management sim based on The Stuff, we’d really be looking good. One thing at a time, though.