Two teenagers spot a shooting star land over the next hill. They go to investigate and find a a crew of homicidal alien clowns in their space ship (shaped like a circus big top). As the killer clowns invade their small town, the teens try to convince the cranky old sheriff (John Vernon) that there really are killer clowns attacking their small town.
While it is not truly 'scary', the movie is atmospheric and weirdly tense, and the surreal images of the clowns wreaking havoc on the town are pretty creepy (see below). Balloon animals, shadow puppets, cotton candy and even mime are re-cast as elements of the aliens' offbeat arsenal.
While the clowns provide plenty of reasons to watch, the movie's MVP is veteran character actor John Vernon as the surly Sheriff Mooney.
Vernon is simply superlative as a cranky old man with no time for the youths and their stupid shenanigans. The best scene in the whole movie might be the one in which Mooney, inundated with what he thinks are prank calls about killer clowns, decides to just ignore the fun and not do his job. He overshadows the younger cast -- they are all solid, but none of the other characters can equal the sheriff or the clowns.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space is far better than its one-joke premise would suggest, and a testament to talent and imagination over stars and big budgets. Well worth a look.