Forget “IT”. I can show you the scariest clown movie…
When it happened, I wasn’t entirely sure why I was so frightened. The moment occurred inside a Walmart or the equivalent, a major department store where I found my nightmare – though at the time, I was unaware this was to be the case.
“There is a demon in that box!” my Mother exclaimed as my four year old arm reached up to a package on the shelf. “Don’t look at it!”
From what I can remember, I was instantly curious as to what the cursed creature which resided within the pandoras box of a Walmart was. I do however recall being a bit taken a back by my Mother’s intense reaction to a toy. Even as a Child, I considered this to be a bit overkill. Yet, to an anxiety ridden soul, I couldn’t help but become somewhat frightened. What was it that I was drawn too? I had to know. Her reaction was understandable upon realization.
At fourteen years old, I was already an overambitious child who hoped to one day conquer the world of horror – one way or another. With the videocamera I was given as a Christmas present a year prior , I was ready to take over the Hollywood of suburban backyards, basements and everything in between that could be used for the backdrop of my horror films.
Sure, I watched a lot of Freddy. Hell, at that point I basically knew Jason and Michael on a personal level. Yet, I hadn’t figured out how to scare – most likely due to the fact that I was unaware of what I myself was frightened of – and probably the fact we didn’t know how to make films at that point.
One humid summer Saturday afternoon, while my Mother cooked in the kitchen, I watched mind-numbingly as the Television rolled through ridiculous infomercials. My older Brother, at the helm of the remote began to peruse the court-room dramas, the Jerry Springers and eventually stationed in on something so mind-bending, so awe-inspiring and so hair-raising that even my own dear Mother dropped her spatula and screamed in fear just as she did at that Walmart.
“Turn it off! Turn it off now!” she cried, as if seeing her own demise reflected through the blue glow of the television screen.
I sat up, anxious as ever, my bowels almost releasing out of shock and looked over at her – she was pale and glistening with sweat – stuck in a pause of fear which seemed to last forever.
A dark chill tingled down my spine. I was unsure as to what dimension I had entered. The spatula fell to the kitchen floor causing mayonnaise to splatter upon the walls in a Jackson Pollock-esque spurt. An obscure style of music began to pulsate through my ear drums from the flickering television. A high pitched yet at the same time baritone voice, if one can even imagine such a juxtaposition, bled through the sound waves like a highly-toxic sonic boom. I watched my older Brother, three years my elder, sit fixated – remote pointed out as if he was about to shoot a fucking deer.
In those seconds, I was the only one moving or so it seemed. I glanced back over at my Mother who by this time seemed to melt into another world, her eyes rolled into the backside of her skull, her body shaking- and perhaps I saw blood dripping from her ears. My Brother on the other hand had a smirk on his face that seemed as if it was mechanically engineered. There was a humming sound that broke through the humid bleakness of the scenario as a singing voice echoed through the hellish landscape which I believed could actually be a physical nightmare. I even began to wonder if I had died from some strange abnormality and been sentenced to an eternity of odd music and images of my Family in a paused hysteria. The song went on.
As the Summer birds sang their chorus lines and the other Children cheered and yelled while playing baseball next store, I saw the entire structure of my safety net torn apart. My Mother held a stroke-like expression on her face while my brother seemingly morphing into a character from the Soundgarden music video “Black Hole Sun”. It was then and there that I finally saw what hell was made out of.
It was there in which I saw what I was warned away from for those many years. It was the curse of the lifetime now exposed, out of the box, now unleashed upon the psyche of my youth. I had found out what hell looked like when placed upon the glorious sands of the beautiful earth. The nightmare was now real and no longer contained within the astral realm.
Tiny Tim is a fascinating pop culture figure by all means. He is a poet, song-writer and performer, but he is also the gateway into another harrowing dimension. I cherish his legacy while avoiding it like the bubonic plague because he frightens me to no extreme. I am immensely obsessed with things in which I am fearful of, thus making Tiny Tim one of my greatest obsessions – and yes, you guess it: The Box at the department store that caused my Mother so much agony was a doll of Tiny Tim. (God, I wish I had that damn thing in my possession now!)
Tiny sang into the Television. His bloated face glistened with sweat and smudged make-up caused much turmoil within the household. I felt as if my Mother was going to need to chug an entire keg of holy water to cleanse herself. The contrast of his appearance to his voice is nothing short of shocking – and if you think I am insane for pointing this out – please just watch “Insidious” and let me know how you feel every time “Tip Toe through the Tulips” comes on.
It was a lonely, surprisingly cold night in New Orleans in 2010 when I revisited Hell.
I had swallowed the rest of the bottle of Ambien, which unfortunately for me at the time was only about three pills, and flushed it down the hatch with a straight punch of whiskey from the bottle. The cheap stuff though – only the cheap.
I sat alone in my room, terrified by the sound of thunder approaching the city and without any furniture – exception being my air mattress and guitar-case in which I used as a desk, I was living low. While the high began to kick in and I could feel it in the back of my spine, mainly the lower part, my buttocks clinching, the colors began to change.
By the time the damn film loaded, my high had reached what I felt was the peak. I was beginning to talk to myself and believe that the room itself was Heaven, that my air mattress may be the best thing that I have ever owned and the color of the walls were the best color I have ever seen. In reality, they were fuckin’ eggshell white or something like that. The film began, and my heart stopped beating for what seemed to be one hundred hours.
I was now forced, on my own accord, to look back into the hell that my Mother had seen – though now really fucking high on Ambien with a kick of whiskey on top. And there he was, Tiny Tim. In all his creepy glory – covered in clown make-up, singing in his falsetto tone about Jack and Jill and basically haunting every cinematic space one could haunt.
“I found my nightmare!” I screamed out in ecstatic glee – most likely waking all of my roommates who dared to check in on my well-being out of fright.
Though I am not afraid of clowns – there is a terror in such images – it is a fear that I believe may be a manmade nightmare in which the Gacy’s of the world were able to capitalize on. But who knows, I still nearly shit my pants. Tiny Tim, the same Tiny Tim on that bulbous television screen I grew up being fearful of, was now back in front of me…and I knew I saw a Hell of sorts.
“Blood Harvest” is a cold film in many ways. The scenes are set up in a rather odd manner and the location, Wisconsin in the late fall, just seems a bit unwelcoming and frankly unnerving. Perhaps there is a genius to it all. Though I have my own personal reasons as to why I believe the film to be a nightmarish vision of hell, the friends I show it too never seem to understand my fright. But then again, they didn’t have their hands slapped away by their Mother at a department store for reaching out to grab a Tiny Tim doll at four years old, so fair enough.
There are elements in the film that harness a harrowing creepiness due to the incompetence and pacing. In many scenes from what I can recall, Tiny Tim waltzes into the neighbor’s house dressed like a satanic clown from the the bowels of Hell, amounting in very little shock or fear from the Characters already in the room, which is as unrealistic as I can imagine . This absence of fear I believe is frightening in itself.
The lead actress Itonia Salchek is a strikingly beautiful presence, yet holds the acting abilities of a snail in a diabetic slump. She deals with the constant harassment of Tiny, who may or may not be a brutal killer with a odd normalcy, tenderness and absurd tolerance. Everything about the film is a bit wonky and disorientating, most likely due to the odd nature of it all. Tiny can over-act his heart out, as we now know so well, and his line deliveries are further enhanced in a layer of creepiness due to inept editing in which his creepiness is forced upon us for split-seconds longer than we could ever dare to want. Cut! Cut I say!
When the film was over, I came through, having passed out from a mixture of my Ambien and whiskey. I couldn’t figure out if what I had watched was part of a nightmare or not.
It is a terrifying film for all the wrong reasons.
It is a film that probably should have never been made, but since it was, is even scarier. And I am forever glad it was made – it is a journey into the depths of insanity. The fact that a cast and crew went through with the grueling process of film production to create the film that is “Blood Harvest” may be the scariest element of the entire ordeal. However, I fucking love it.
It opens up a door to my inner-psyche that I only like to visit when I’m really feeling the need to shock my senses straight. When I forget that I can still be terrified of films. Tiny Tim will forever be known as an eccentric performer, but what is very strange to me is that this film never quite broke through and became a beloved cult classic.
On those dark, cold, lonely nights, when I realize that films like “Cannibal Holocaust”, “Salo”, “I Spit on your Grave”, “Angst”, “The Guinea Pig series”, “The Killing of America”, “Visitor Q”, “Antichrist” and “Necromantik” don’t bother me one bit, at least I can lay to rest knowing “Blood Harvest” exists and fucks everything up.