The Clown War
released OUT NOW! 1990 | 15 | Blu-ray
Director Tommy lee Wallace Cast richard Thomas, dennis Christopher, annette O’Toole, John ritter
What with a big-screen remake in postproduction and the popularity of the similarly-flavoured Stranger Things, it’s high time for It to go HD. This Blu-ray restores the two-part miniseries’ 4:3 ratio (previous DVDs were cropped to widescreen), but retains an edit to make it into one long feature.
Based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel, it features Tim Curry as the titular entity, a child-snatching, shapeshifting master of illusion that mostly appears as a creepy clown. In 1960 a bunch of misfit kids banish It; when it reappears 30 years on, they must reassemble.
The surprising thing about It is how little there is to it, due to the two-part structure’s repetitive nature. Much of the first half’s taken up introducing the seven “Losers’ Club” kids; swathes of the second are spent reintroducing them as adults. In both time periods, the big showdown gets scant screen-time.
But this is a strength as much as a weakness, giving a strong ensemble cast featuring familiar faces – John-Boy Walton, a Lana Lang, Buffy’s Oz – time to breathe life into the characters, whose bonding is touching twice over. And as Pennywise the clown, Tim Curry is enjoyably off-the-leash.
Extras An old 2002 commentary by the director and four of the cast. Ian Berriman
The sewer scenes were filmed in a rusty old steel mill. The cast had to be careful what they touched in case they got tetanus.
Derek got it all wrong on his first day at the law firm.