The Clown Murders is a 1976 Canadian horror film directed by Martyn Burke. It was one of the earliest films in which John Candy appears. The Executive Producer was Stephen Stohn, who later produced the Degrassi: The Next Generation TV series.

The Clown Murders
The Clown Murders Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMartyn Burke
Produced byChristopher Dalton, Stephen Stohn
Written byMartyn Burke
StarringStephen Young
Susan Keller
Lawrence Dane
John Candy
Cec Linder
Music byJohn Mills-Cockell
CinematographyDennis Miller
Magnum Films
Distributed byTrans World Entertainment
Release date
  • September 17, 1976 (1976-09-17)
Running time
96 minutes


Four friends hatch a scheme to dress up like clowns on Halloween and kidnap a businessman’s wife (Susan Keller) to prevent him from closing a land deal. Though the scheme is intended as a prank, it takes an ugly turn when real violence is used at the kidnapping. As the kidnappers deal with the fallout from their actions, it becomes apparent that an outside party (also in a clown costume) is stalking them.[1]



The film was released by Astral Films in its native Canada on September 17, 1976.[citation needed]

Home mediaEdit

In the United States, the film was released on VHS by Trans World Entertainment[citation needed] and on DVD on July 12, 2007 by Image Entertainment under license from Cinevision International.[2]


Kurt Dahlke from DVD Talk gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, writing, "The Clown Murders is almost worth a rent for Canadian Cinema scholars or rabid fans of '70s sleazo-crime dramas in this incarnation, but it stinks so much as is that it's really hard to go out on that limb."[3] Todd Martin from gave the film a negative review, calling it "mind-numbingly boring" and also criticized the film's lack of scares.[4] Terror Trap awarded the film 1/4 stars, stating that the film "doesn't have the requisite firepower - either in terms of its writing, or its ability to generate dramatic tension - to make for a worthwhile watch."[5]


  1. ^ Cresley, Stephen (October 1976). "The Clown Murders (review)". Cinema Canada (31): 54.
  2. ^ " The Clown Murders: Stephen Young, Susan Keller, Lawrence Dane, John Candy, Gary Reineke, John Bayliss, Al Waxman, Michael Magee, Cec Linder, William Osler, Philip Craig, Dan Boltman, Dennis Miller, Martyn Burke, Alan Collins, Ronald Sanders, Christopher Dalton, John M. Eckert, Stephen Stohn: Movies & TV". Amazon. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  3. ^ Dahlke, Kurt. "The Clown Murders : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". DVD Kurt Dahlke. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  4. ^ Martin, Todd. "Film Review: The Clown Murders (1976)". Todd Martin. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  5. ^ "The Clown Murders (1976)". Terror Trap. Retrieved 20 September 2018.

External linksEdit