Stitches is a very silly film, which may not come as a surprise seeing as it’s manic comedian Ross Noble’s movie debut, but thankfully it’s also a surprisingly entertaining. Noble plays Stitches, a pretty rubbish children’s party clown who we first meet shagging a woman while in full makeup.
He heads off to young Tom’s party, where his lacklustre act is met with scorn by the bratty kids, who decide to play a trick on him. Tying his shoelaces together results in a terrible accident and the clown’s death.
Fast-forward six years and Tom (now grown into The Sarah Jane Adventures’ Tommy Knight) is now in his teens and still affected by the terrible things he saw when Stitches died. However with his parents away he decides to have his first party in years. That’s not such a good idea though, as it turns out clowns have some sort of weird magic attached to them, which causes Stitches to rise from the grave and head to the party seeking revenge – which he enacts in various wacky ways.
This is a movie with its tongue firmly stuck in its cheek, which wants its copious amounts of gore to induce as many laughs as it does winces. It’s very silly, but it knows it and never even pretends it’s to be taken seriously. While some films that want to be comedy-horrors are rather lazy, Stitches does a good job of creating real characters and getting the youngsters to acts like actual teens, even setting up the reason they don’t all flee when someone says a killer clown is on the loose.
Although you might expect Noble to be constantly wisecracking, his killer clown doesn’t actually get that many lines, although he has a few good ones when he does speak. Mainly he’s there’s to splatter the blood, which he does in relatively ingenious and ever more gruesome ways. The deaths may get increasingly ridiculous – somebody’s head being blown up with a balloon up is particularly silly – but they’re pretty fun and certainly don’t stint on the comedy nastiness, including a fair few incredibly effective death shots.
Stitches isn’t anything amazing, but the film is a lot of fun while it lasts. So if you fancy plenty of disgusting gore and a fair few laughs, you could do a lot worse. After all, there aren’t many movies where people get impaled on umbrellas, have their brains removed with an ice cream scoop and literally splatter like an egg.
Overall Verdict: Very silly but also very gory and very entertaining, Stitches has a lot of fun with its bizarre premise. Just avoid it if you’re scared of clowns.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac