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Killer clowns: Kooky pulp novels & magazines featuring gun-toting, knife-wielding circus clowns
03.16.2017
10:26 am
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The cover of ‘Uncensored Detective’ 1946.
 
Oddball vintage publications are one of my favorite things to write about here on Dangerous Minds—and like many of you just when I think I’ve seen it ALL (whether I wanted to or not), some “new” vintage weirdness comes across my radar. People often ask me how we find all the high octane, low brow goodness that we feature here on the blog every day. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is also the same as the answer to the first and second rules of Fight Club. Besides, you should consider yourself lucky as these eyes have seen some really, really weird things. (Things no one should see!) Which is a perfect introduction to the subject of this post—bizarre vintage pulp novels and magazines that feature circus clowns gone bad on their covers. And when I say bizarre I mean gorilla-shooting, sneaky, knife-throwing, clowns.

Though most of the fictional clowns on the covers of the various pulp novels and magazines posted below are up to no good, there is at least one that preferred to behave like a Robin Hood of sorts known as “The Crimson Clown.” Created by playwright, novelist and screenwriter Johnston McCulley—the man behind masked swashbuckler Zorro—the Crimson Clown stories were really popular with the detective lit-lovers set since his first appearance in Detective Story Magazine back in 1926. The Crimson Clown would steal from people he deemed “too rich” giving half of his booty to charity and keeping the rest for himself. He was also known to carry a syringe full of some sort of drug that would render his victims unconscious. But just because he was vigilante who liked to help out the needy doesn’t necessarily make the idea of a clown with a syringe full of cuckoo-juice running amok any less terrifying. Nope. Nothing creepy about that at all. I’ve posted the covers of all the clown-oriented vintage pulp I could dig up and man, there was a lot. Of course, if you are at all coulrophobic, you might want to look at the images below in your “safe place.” See you under the bed!
 

‘Detective Magazine’ 1948.
 

‘Detective Novels Magazine’ February 1944.
 
More killer clowns after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.16.2017
10:26 am
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Transfixing masks that transform you into an old man, clown, ghoul, or Donald Trump
03.08.2017
01:32 pm
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A clown named “Ron.” A realistic silicone mask by Igor Velgach.
 
Based in Glenview, Illinois mask maker Igor Velgach is the artist behind the all-to-realistic silicone masks you are about to see in this post. I highly advise you have a good pallet cleanser—such as a video featuring kittens or puppies frolicking in a tub full of flowers nearby because you’re going to need it.

According to Velgach, all of his masks are carefully constructed starting with a prototype made of plasticine which eventually becomes in many cases, a sinister looking silicone creation that is so startlingly realistic it is nearly impossible to tell that you are looking at a faux face. The talented artist can make a mask based on any request—though Velgach notes that to do so requires that a mold is taken of your head in order to guarantee that it fits correctly. This kind of expert craftsmanship does not come cheap and Velgach’s masks, which he sells over at his Etsy shop The Masker, run from $499 to $1399 a pop. I’ve included photos of Velgach’s masks below which include two terrifying silicone masks in the image of our 45th president that look even more lifelike than the real thing. Yikes.
 

“Viking Björn.”
 

“Smiley Fred.”
 
More masks after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.08.2017
01:32 pm
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Meet Tuttii Fruittii and Toni Tits, the ‘drag clowns’ of London
05.23.2016
02:21 pm
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The memorably named Tuttii Fruittii and Toni Tits—Tuttii’s the one on the bicycle above—are inclusive clowns for the generation that has decisively rejected the imposition of restrictions on gender identity. Operating out of the Deptford neighborhood of London, they go by the name Jûngølā Klöwñz, and they are an “experimental comedy art duo” inspired by a generous grab-bag of sources, including drag, clown, and tribal culture.

Tuttii and Toni both cut their teeth at the Haus of Sequana, a women-only group inspired by the tribal practices of the African, South American, and Asian diasporas that after “rampant orgies of imagination and joyous mashings of minds” created a group of performance artists that liberally uses body paint, movement, and chanting “to challenge patriarchal norms and prescribed gender roles.”

In what passes for “regular life,” Tuttii is a hair sculptor and Toni is a video artist. Photographer Poem Baker has been capturing the duo as they go about their business for over a year, and that time has culminated in the colorful series of pics seen here.

On the Klöwñz, Baker writes, “Their psychedelic creations being so entrenched in their daily lives has made it impossible to distinguish between persona and performer, between art and life.” The two clowns have given Baker an occasion to ponder why she does what she does too: “London is my home, and I love photographing all its wonderful, colorful characters— the eccentrics, the artists, the crazies, and the the bohemians.”
 

 

 
More after the jump…....

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.23.2016
02:21 pm
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Unsettling vintage clown portraits
03.08.2016
09:06 am
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I’ve never been a big fan of clowns. I don’t exactly find them terrifying like some people do, I just never really found them all that amusing or funny. Run of the mill local clowns at the country fair were no hilarious Buster Keatons in my book. They bored and annoyed me. When I was a kid what I didn’t like were the amusement park-employees dressed in character animal costumes who always wanted to hug me or put their arm around me. I was definitely terrified of those furry freaks No thank you very much. Get away from me you sweaty weirdo dressed as a happy hedgehog. Don’t touch me.

If you do suffer from some type of clownphobia, these portraits are not for you. Sadly, I’m not 100% sure of the provenance of these portraits. They don’t look like mugshots or else they’d be black and white. Were these taken at a clown convention? Maybe these are yearbook photos from some sort of clown school?

I’m just going to assume they were taken to scare the snot out of children and adults alike. I think it might be safe to assume that some of these guys spent time in prison either before or after these photos were taken.

Don’t trust clowns. I’m just sayin’.


 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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03.08.2016
09:06 am
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Creepy slow-waving clown in Chicago cemetery caught on camera
07.24.2015
11:39 am
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Julia Graham and her husband were driving past the Rosehill Cemetery on Chicago’s North Side at 10pm when they saw something straight out of a David Lynch film (or else a low-budget straight to VHS 80s clown slasher flick, take your pick, either is equally valid here): A man dressed as a clown running towards the historic graveyard before scaling a 7-foot-tall-gate.

“When we get closer, we realize it’s a clown, which is super weird,” she told CBS Chicago’s investigative reporter Dave Savini:

It got weirder. When Julia and her husband hung around to get a better look, the clown was not deterred or afraid. He waved slowly at the couple. Incidents like this one aren’t isolated. A video of creepy clowns surprising people on the streets of California went viral last year. In New York, a clown was seen making a daytime excursion last year while holding some balloons.

“Oh, that’s super weird,” says Graham, when shown the New York video. “That is like making light of a cemetery.”

Eventually, the clown caught in the headlights of Graham’s car turns around and, without saying a word, takes off into the darkness of the cemetery. “I just think it’s creepy and wrong,” Graham says.

I don’t know if I would like it if something like this happened to me. I’ve pondered it, but could come to no conclusion. Maybe under the right circumstance and with the right person. A person who is armed, perhaps…

In any case, what did this guy achieve with this “activity”? Maybe it’s his kink? An art prank? He just always dresses like this or is a professional party clown and cutting through the cemetery is his shortcut home from work? None of the above? Who knows? And who can say besides the creepy clown guy himself? Creepy slow-waving Chicago clown guy, if you are reading this, please leave us some clues as to your “motivation” for this in the comments. Thank you in advance!
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.24.2015
11:39 am
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Demented clown portraits by Elo Perfido
05.04.2015
12:38 pm
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God, I wish whoever was behind Jared Leto’s laughable “look” as The Joker (some suspect the make-up was a “troll”) took some pointers from French-born photographer Eolo Perfido‘s photo series “Clownville.” The portraits are a perfect mixture of demented and grotesque.

Make-up by Valeria Orlando.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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05.04.2015
12:38 pm
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Creepy organ-playing clown found in sex offender’s home
02.19.2015
04:23 pm
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Louie the Clown by KSN-TV
 
Missing for over ten years, Louie the Clown, a 50-year-old mannequin that once ‘played’ a Wurlitzer Military Pipe Organ at the now defunct Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, Kansas, has been found. As it turns out, he’s been hanging out at the home of Damien Mayes, an imprisoned child sex offender and former Joyland employee, who stole it prior to his incarceration. Police were recently tipped off to the creepy smiling mechanized entertainer’s whereabouts, which then prompted a media briefing. Louie is guessed to be worth around $10,000.  Who’s laughing maniacally now?
 
Louie the super-creepy clown at his media briefing
 

 
via KSN News

Posted by Rusty Blazenhoff
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02.19.2015
04:23 pm
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Experience ‘Clown Fucker,’ the perfect Morrissey parody
07.03.2014
08:52 am
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Clown Fucker
 
On the most recent episode of his podcast, veteran standup and former Simpsons writer Dana Gould explored what is and isn’t mentionable in comedy—the title of the episode is “You Can’t Say That!” In the service of making a different point, Gould happened to play a clip (about 10 minutes in) from his 1998 album Funhouse, a clip that has the most spot-on, deadly accurate impression of Morrissey I’ve ever heard.

Through sheer imaginative brio, Gould, who hails from Massachusetts, manages to nail the exaggeratedly maudlin quality of Moz’s lyrics, his affectation of turning the last word of every other line into a four-syllable affair, his achy-breaky way of singing every word in a different register…. all, of course, by showcasing content that would be very unlikely to make it into a Morrissey song: the saga of a one-night stand with a circus clown. Brutality can do wonders in comedy, which explains the song’s title (and chorus): “Clown Fucker.”

Here are the lyrics, but you have to hear Gould’s version to get anything like the full effect:
 

He awoke in the morning and to no surprise
The man of last night had fled
Stains of white greasepaint on her body that ran
From her toes to the top of her head

The alarm stung her ear, she rolled over to spy
Much to her chagrin and her dread
A crumpled red nose and two oversized shoes
Strewn by the side of the bed

chorus
“Clown fucker! Clown fucker!” That’s what they said
“Clown fucker! Clown fucker!” That’s what they said
“No, never fuck a clown, dear,” that’s what mommy said
“Never, never fuck a clown, dear,” that’s what mommy said

She went to the bar and she started to drink
She drank and she drank and got drunk
She walked up to him and said, “How could you leave?”
But all he could do was honk

She knew it was over, it sunk in just then
It was time to say “it’s the end”
He walked out the door and stepped into a car
With forty-eight of his friends….

 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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07.03.2014
08:52 am
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Screw haunted houses. This Halloween, let’s all go to Grampa Jerry’s Clown Museum!
09.27.2013
01:33 pm
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Clown Museum
 
When I worked in a daycare, one of our “special guests” for the preschool-age children was a volunteer clown who often visited children’s hospitals to cheer up sick kids. I have no idea why there’s this whole sick kids and clowns thing. The majority of children are scared shitless of clowns, because children have a natural and understandable aversion to the grotesque. This woman’s/clown’s act had a very clever component, though. She actually arrived with no make-up, and talked to the children as she applied it, explaining that clowns are actual people underneath the wigs, and face paint, and rubber noses. Clowns are human, too!

All well and good, but I feel like we could have cut out that step entirely by banning clowns outright. Most adults are creeped out by clowns, so why should we attempt to eradicate the healthy fear of them residing in childish minds?

To some, however, clowns are symbols of joy and levity, which is why Grampa Jerry’s Clown Museum is such a labor of love for its curator. The roadside attraction, located in small-town Arriba, Colorado off the side of a desolate highway, is literally a pink shack filled with an estimated 5,000 pieces of clown iconography, and you couldn’t pay me enough to go in there alone. But while the idea of a damn clown mausoleum chills me to my bones, the story behind it warms my heart.

“Grampa” Jerry began started his collection in 1978, and just kept on going, right up until his death in 2010. His wife, Dale Ann, now runs the museum and continues adding to their collection, cheerfully archiving clown after clown. You can hear the genuine love in her voice as she reflects on her husband’s eccentric opus below. While she’s gone on record saying she understands the uncanny nature of clowns leave some folks a little shaken, for her the museum is a connection to a man she clearly loved very deeply.
 

 
Still though. Neither bribes nor threats nor liquid courage could get me into that accursed building. One of the clowns is made from a cow’s hairball! You cannot convince that doesn’t have some kind of dark voodoo power. Nope. No damn way. Not enough tequila in the world.
 

Posted by Amber Frost
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09.27.2013
01:33 pm
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‘The Day the Clown Cried’: Behind the scenes of the infamous Jerry Lewis film
03.14.2013
03:24 pm
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image
 
This is a guest post from Tabitha Vidaurri, a writer and comedinette from Brooklyn

In 1971 Jerry Lewis infamously directed and starred in a film about the Holocaust titled The Day the Clown Cried.  For reasons that are still unclear, Lewis chose to depart from his trademark slapstick formula and play the role of Helmut Dorque, a German circus clown who ends up leading Jewish children to the gas chamber.

The film was never finished or released for obvious reasons (not even the French were behind him on this one). Apparently Lewis has refused to talk about Clown in interviews, which I find odd—you’d figure a comedian famous for falling down and making stupid faces would jump at the chance to discuss his utterly humorless movie about a clown in a WWII German concentration camp!

In the behind the scenes footage (see below) we get a glimpse of Lewis fulfilling his duties as a director: leading the film crew, checking the cameras, and dancing around wearing a neck brace. Ambient sound has been added to enhance the overarching sense of alienation, except it isn’t really necessary because this is footage of Jerry Lewis talking to Nazis.

This slideshow of rare production stills shows a gratuitous number of photos of Lewis in full clown makeup, and to escalate the creepiness of him posing with children he presumably later leads to their deaths, the sequence is set to doo-wop music performed by Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners.

Since the videos are absent of dialogue, here’s an excerpt from the script  to give you a little taste of the abyss:

HELMUT
(screaming at top of voice)
Come back, damn you, come back.  The
children… they’re laughing.  They’re
laughing. I am a clown.  I am a clown.


He turns back to the children and again bows.  He quickly leans down, looks at his reflection in the puddle, and scoops up a handful of mud which he plasters on his nose to make a bulbous, artificial proboscis.  He turns back to the children and in pantomime, pretends to see a fly buzzing about and tries to swat it.  The imaginary fly buzzes closer.

The CAMERA MOVES UP TO—CLOSE SHOT—HELMUT

As the “fly” lands on his nose.  He looks cross-eyed at the mud blob, then swats at it.  The blob falls off.


To cleanse yourself of this massive, historical failure I suggest taking a shower and then watching The King of Comedy.

This is a guest post from Tabitha Vidaurri. Follow Tabitha on Twitter
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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03.14.2013
03:24 pm
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Creepy John Wayne Gacy items for sale on Craigslist
04.21.2011
01:00 pm
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image
 
A creepy John Wayne Gacy clown suit and painting are for sale on Craigslist for “$1,000 up to $10,000.” I’m not vouching for the authenticity here, just pointing it out. Clown suit, anyone?

j.w.gacy items for sale - $1000 (chicago)

Thanks (I think), James!

Posted by Tara McGinley
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04.21.2011
01:00 pm
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