- Director: Conor McMahon
- Starring: Ross Noble
- Year: 2012
- Runtime: 87 Minutes
- Company: Dark Sky Films
- Format: Blu-ray
- Discs: 1 - 50GB
- Video: 1.85:1 - 1080p - AVC
- Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, 2.0 Lossless PCM
- Region: A
- Released: 4/2/2013
Films with a killer clown as the central antagonist is something I unashamedly find extremely enjoyable, despite my immense fear of them. It's nowhere near needing to be diagnosed as coulrophobic, just something that's mildly carried over into my young adult life since being absolutely terrified of the red nosed bastards as a child. So long as the nearest vicinity of a clown (homicidal or not) is located in my television, butchering rotten youth, I'm good. With Conor McMahon's wonderfully bloody & comedic feature Stitches, it's a teenage deathland.
After arriving late to a boys' birthday party for a scheduled performance, foul-mouthed clown Stitches is met by a group of unamused, equally foul-mouthed tykes. No matter what trick he performs, the kids are far more interested in letting Stitches know he sucks. So they tie his shoelaces together and watch him faceplant right on top of a kitchen knife. Birthday boy Tommy stares alone in horror as Stitches spews a stream of blood from his impaled cranium, an event that haunts him well into his teens. Cut to the night of Tommy's impromptu birthday six years later, and a certain clown rises from the grave to exact some revenge.
Apart from Killer Klowns From Outer Space, IT, and The Last Circus (not straight horror, but incredible nonetheless), there really are no clown centric films associated with anything related to scary, fun, or entertaining. Drive-Thru and Amusement are equally intentional & unintentional shitfests with clown masked antagonists, but the less said about those the better. With a plethora of humor and practical effect kills that'll have you cheering, Stitches may be the best killer clown film ever made. For some reason that's been a hard feat to achieve for previous filmmakers, but McMahon creates an interesting mythology & villain in Stitches that feels genuine and fresh.
British comic Ross Noble plays the titular clown, bringing his sarcastic & darkly humorous comedic chops to the role, Noble is clearly having a blast here as he dishes out one liners before scooping brains out or making heads explode. The kills are quite memorable and inventive here, and best of all they're completely practical. Like your favorite horror films of yesteryear, it'll have you grinning & wondering exactly how they managed to pull it off. Stitches relishes in these moments, and it's where the film shines. My only nag I have with the film is the setup and reemergence of Stitches is a bit longer than I'd like, but if you stick around I can guarantee it's worth the wait & you'll be clamoring for a sequel!
Dark Sky's 1.85:1 widescreen framed, AVC encoded disc looks quite good, with standouts being the deep amount of detail & black levels present from the 1080p transfer. Shot digitally in Ireland, Stitches has that gloomy weather look that doesn't offer too much in the way of colors, but when the red stuff flies it really pops out. It's an impressive HD picture that satisfies.
Two tracks are included: an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 Lossless PCM. I actually went with the stereo track as it sounded a bit more natural than the 5.1 mix, which seemed to center more than spread out across other speakers. Dialogue is clear all throughout, with no problems to report.
- Audio Commentary - Director/Writer Conor McMahon & Actor Ross Noble
- Featurette - "Making Of"