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Shakes the Clown
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Customer Reviews:

  • Bobcat is Better as a Standup Comic
    I really like Bobcat Goldthwait, but am forced to conclude that despite some funny sequences in 'Shakes', he is a vastly more talented standup comedian (his latest CD is wonderful) than film star/director. I think that the concept behind 'Shakes' is very funny, and the film had much greater potential than it ultimately realized as a satire of the dregs of society that clowns largely are. Actually watching the film though is occasionally funny, often painful.

    The guest spots, particularly the Florence Henderson role, were brilliant, and some of the interpersonal encounters between Shakes and others are very entertaining; for example, when Shakes is late for the children's party near the beginning of the film, and has a few words with the father that booked the event. Overall, though, especially in the clown bar, the dialogue is just not funny, and the characters other than Shakes (especially the execrable Adam Sandler) are just so annoying that not only do we not care about them, we dislike them intensely, and worse, just don't care what happens to them.

    The concept plus a few occasional strokes of genius are worth two stars, but it could have been so much better with a true comic genius like Bobcat at the helm. As a footnote, I HIGHLY recommend Bobcat's newest CD, "I Don't Mean To Insult You, But You Look Like Bobcat Goldthwait." It has a hysterical account of the movie, and a debate he had on the 'Today' show with Bamboozle the (real) clown which is a true gem of standup comedy, and far better than this movie itself. Recommended only to diehard Bobcat completists....more info

  • Bobcat is underrated!
    Shakes the Clown is a wonderful example of a dark comedy that will make you laugh your ass off. The accompanying cast of Florence Henderson, Adam Sandler, Julie Brown, and Conrad Blake make this film a soon-to-be cult classic. Don't miss the one-liner by "Aunt Esther" from Sanford and Son. This movie got overlooked because "Hook" was released at the same time. And we all know how good a movie "Hook" was. Trust me, you will not be disappointed when you watch Bobcat at his best....more info
  • wow

    Adam Sandler + Bobcat Goldwait + Daniel Stern = Bad movie

    Shakes the Clown... who the hell saw this garbage? You're better off seeing ATtack of the Killer Space Clowns, Jack Frost 2 (awesome killer snowman) and Flash Gordon.

    If you have this dvd and do yourself a favor:

    LIGHT IT ON FIRE or DUMP IT IN THE TRASH!...more info
  • The 'Citizen Kane' of Drunk Clown Films
    I'm only writing this review to repeat that great line, which I read in a review when this film first came out (HA,HA!). If I remembered who wrote it, I would surely credit them.

    It IS a great film, but much more in the 'guilty pleasure' sense. It's almost all in bad taste, although the 'message' is really pretty positive. Bobcat is at his hilarious best - a performance that makes you wonder -'why isn't he really big?' And YES! Fabulous cameos. It's incredibly funny from about the first minute on....more info
  • A mime is a terrible thing to waste
    Pre-dating the much more popular "Bad Santa" by a good decade or so, Bobcat Goldthwait's sole directorial effort may have been a little too ahead of its time for its own good. Not that this is a groundbreaking piece of cinema, but within its narrow genre (Bitter Alcoholic Children's Entertainers) it has become a cult classic. Depending on your innate sense of humor, you will be either unspeakably shocked or wickedly delighted. Bobcat plays the title role fairly straight, considering the outrageousness of the story's central conceit. Something almost all reviews I've ever read seem to miss is the fact that Goldthwait's "clowns" are really a send-up of stand-up comedians, with all the backstage insecurity, jealously, pettiness and angst barely contained by the "happy" face paint (Maybe I recognize this underlying context because I used to work in stand up!) Julie Brown is appropriately twisted as the "love is blind" girlfriend, and Robin Williams almost steals the movie in his cameo as an abusive mime instructor. Not for all tastes, but worth a peek. ...more info
  • A classic if ever I've seen
    I'm always looking for quirky/funny movies and this one is a jem! I saw it when it first came out and have worn out two VHS copies and am now working on the DVD.

    To date I still can't hear Muddy Water's "Mannish Boy" without envisioning Shakes swaggering out of the gas station mens room. The cameos in the flick are great too! Florence Henderson as a clown groupie. Robin Williams putting Shakes through his paces as a mime instructor.

    Funny stuff! Can't recommend it enough!...more info
  • A Cult Clown Comedy Classic
    If your local video store has this flick, it will surely be in the cult section, and rightfully so. This is the quintessential clown comedy classic that has not only inspired a wave of clown comedy in the mainstream (Simpsons' Clown College episode and various references by Krusty, Jay Leno monologue references, R.E.M. song "Binky the Doormat", and many more that you'll start to notice after seeing this film) but has also spawned an underground clown-crazed movement that includes the band Powerclown (a full clown-regalia clad Iron Maiden tribute band which features members of D.O.A., The Real McKenzies, Death Sentence, Scum Element, Dog Eat Dogma and the Francaphobes) and a band called Palookaville, just to name a few.
    Curiously, it has also been reported that mime-bashing has also been on the rise since the film's release, though nobody is really sure wether this is a bad thing or a good thing, and to date, we have not heard back from the mime associations.
    In short, if you even remotely enjoy clowns, then you MUST see this movie, if you are terrified of clowns, you may want to see it to get another perspective on clown-life, and if you are a mime I recommend staying far away from anywhere this movie might be playing (although seeing Robin Williams play a mime instructor may also be life changing for you). ...more info
  • "body of Binky"
    Top 5 comedies of all time. Just by looking at the cast you can tell it's gonna be funny. I guess people wern't ready for this kind of humor in 92'crude humor didn't get popular until the late 90's.(scary movie,south park ect.) Which makes shakes the clown ahead of it's time. here are some facts about the movie
    -Adam Sandlers 1st movie apperence
    -Tom Kenny as Binky very funny man from HBO's Mr. Show and movie run Ronnie run
    -Camio apperence by Robert Williams
    -1st movie to include mime bashing
    -bombed in theaters nearly ending Bobcat's career
    -also a short scene with T.V's Tracy Almond
    if u like slapstick crude humor with lots of alchol jokes you will love this movie...more info
  • Fun Funny Funnier Funest! Hysterical!
    A friend of mine had been going on and on about this movie! We finally got a group of 8 together for the screening! Oh My Gosh, we have not laughed so hard in years! The opening scene with Florence Henderson (yes Mrs. Brady) is great! You'll just love it! Watch for the many cameo appearances in the movie.......Robin Williams, Aunt Esther as a bitter clown, and many others! You'll be amazed! But it is definitely an adult movie, not for the children! I'm buying a copy for myself today! Get ready to laugh and share it with friends! A++++...more info
  • Sometimes, I just feel like thumpin' some mimes...
    ...but it isn't socially acceptable behaviour(God knows why, but he ain't telling), so when the urge comes over me, I stuff this "Citizen Kane of drunken clown movies" into the ol' VHS player. Originally, the rights to "Shakes The Clown" were held by Jerry Falwell, but when his original director, Ron Howard, became unavailable due to his commitment to film "Far And Away"(big mistake there, Ope), Falwell traded the rights to Shakes to MTM Productions, and the rest is cinematic history. Here's a movie fun fact for you: It isn't the MTM Productions that subjected you to "Rhoda" and "Phyllis". This was a conglomerate(a great, big conglomerate) comprised of Mickey Hargitay, Tonya Harding, and Mike, the Border Collie from "Down & Out In Beverly Hills." Mike was the brains behind that outfit.....more info
  • Shakes ROCKS the Twisted Balloon
    This is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen! Riotious comedy with a stellar cast (mainly unknowns at the time) that turns a big problem into something you can laugh about. One of my all-time favorites!...more info
  • Shakes The Clown movie
    I love the movie, very funny, and great quality but i waited on my order, when it didn't come in the mail, i reveiwed the order. It had no comformation so i reordered it and then received 2 of them....more info
  • More Fun than a Car Full of Clowns
    I saw this movie on VHS years ago and enjoyed it. I finally got the DVD and found that I love it even more now. The acting is definitely sub-par (overall), but the movie is original and genuinely funny throughout. I'm not really sure if Goldthwait was trying for poignant (if he was, he missed, albeit slightly), but there is something darkly funny about a clown society, stratified into social layers (rodeo clowns are the toughest, mimes--who are admittedly non-clowns--are the wimpiest, and party clowns are the regular joes). Others have summarized the plot, so I won't bother, but I will encourage you to give this film a chance. You may hate it, but where else will you see Florence Henderson as a floozy and LaWanda Page comment on the sexual practices of Sydney Lassick?...more info
  • Right Up My Rat-Infested, Garbage-Strewn Alley
    A review quoted on the VHS box calls "Shakes" "the 'Citizen Kane' of alcoholic clown movies." With a rave like that, how can you go wrong, particularly if you're the type of person who loves coarse, scatological, and downright juvenile humor (as I unashamedly do)? Bobcat Goldthwaite turns in a bravura performance (he should, he wrote the screenplay) as a second-rate, besotted "party clown" with an attitude. When he's wrongfully framed for the murder of a promoter by his evil, clown rival, Binky, Shakes gets sober and mean and in touch with his inner Bozo to clear his name and bring rough justice. Julie "Downtown" Brown, plays his patient and ditzy-but-smarter than-her-man love interest. Cameos by Florence Henderson (think Mrs. Brady with running clown make-up after a one-nighter with Shakes), the late Lawanda Page ("Aunt Esther" from Sanford & Son) (another clown lush with the raunchiest lines in the film), Robin Williams (appearing in the credits under the nom de guerre of "Marty Fromage" [heck, I'd be embarrassed, too] as a mime instuctor) lend "gravitas" to an otherwise lightweight cast. Said cast includes Adam Sandler, in a supporting role as a clown side-kick to Shakes. Who knew he would go on to win Drew Barrymore's heart playing the fool minus the red nose and white face as a wedding singer?

    The "plot" (such as it is) takes place in - and the film's entire premise is - a clown "town" where virtually all the citizens are either party clowns, rodeo clowns or mimes. Rodeo clowns rule, while mimes are beaten up for sport by everyone else as the bottom of the clown heap. Now, you might ask yourself: "Is this supposed to be some form of 'deep social commentary' a la Werner Herzog's 'Even Dwarfs Started Small'?" Get real! There is zero in this film that any sane person could, should or would take seriously. But that's the charm.

    Confidentially, I've always found clowns to be sinister, hidden-agenda types; but "Shakes" was right up my rat-infested, garbage-strewn alley, AND it cured me of my clown hang-ups. I have foisted it, reverentially but insistently, on many a friend -- some of whom actually remained friends after they watched "Shakes". So waste a few bucks and a perfectly good evening. And it helps to be half in the bag yourself. Cult classic, indeed.
    ...more info
  • A tasteless masterpiece
    Following the exploits of a good-hearted, booze-soaked clown who is trying to make his way in Palookaville, a town populated by denizens of that certain ditch in the entertainment world inhabited by clowns and mimes. He tries to kick the booze but his demons are hard to face. He gets involved in seedy intrigue with the tough, jaded rodeo clowns, picks on the mimes, and tries to avoid the indignity of doing balloon animals, all while keeping the bottle at bay lest he wake up puking into his frightwig. Oh yes, there's a love interest as well. Tasteless? Absolutely. Funny? If you know and love an alcoholic (or a clown), and you can still laugh about it, this movie will send you rolling off the couch and onto the floor in stitches. The relapse scene at the kids' pool party is alone worth the price of admission. A great cameo by Florence Henderson, and what may have been the last time Robin Williams was funny. Not for everyone, though, and let me state this for the record - NOT FOR THE KIDS!!! Got that? Now, go watch this!...more info
  • great
    this movie is sweet so i had to have it and was shocked amazon had it...more info
  • The Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies
    I really loved this movie, but it appeales to a certain sense of humor. Here's the litmus test: This flick begins with a cameo of Florence Henderson (aka Mrs. Brady) as Shakes the clown's washed out one night stand. If you don't find this the least bit funny then, "move along. nothing to see here." If this visual made you smile then watch Shakes the Clown. Its a rare gem....more info