It’s amazing to me how popular this particular zombie has become. First of all he is a plain old run-of-the-mill zombie. There is absolutely nothing special about him except for the fact that he died in a clown suit, and that’s definitely not a way I’d want to go. Yet even I have to admit, even though he’s really just a regular zombie, he’s pretty damned scary.
So what is it about this guy that makes him so amazing? Sure he’s the “main bad guy” in Zombieland but there has to be more to it that that right?
If you’re thinking like I’m thinking it’s not a big leap to figure out why he’s so popular. He’s right up there in the ranks of Pennywise and The Joker when it comes to terrifying clowns. In fact scary clowns seem to pop up all over the place in horror from the Twilight Zone’s jack-in-the-box to The Devil’s Rejects’ Captain Spalding. Do I even have to mention Killer Clowns From Outer Space or the real-world horror of John Wayne Gacy?
Clowns are meant to be a symbol of joy and fun. They represent the silliness and the playfulness we all posses in abundance as children that only pokes it’s head out in adults when no one is looking. If you’ve ever just let loose and lost yourself when a baby was around you know what I mean. Get a baby in a room and everyone turns into a stuttering bumbling clown saying goofy ass craziness and all sorts of nonsensical goo-goo gaga baby talk. So it’s the contrast of the good and the pure, of the fun-loving clown turned demon which has the potential to terrify us. It’s like any good thing that is perverted and changed to kill and destroy.
So here he is, the comical king of the dead in the land of the dead, Zombieland. Hey, it’s a comedy movie, why not have a comical zombie boss? And if you’re going to set a zombie movie in an amusement park it only makes sense to have a clown zombie in the mix.