They Are Evil Clowns, Too The two renditions of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, starting their on-screen career 27 years apart, are, without a doubt, the scariest clowns ever created by movies. They probably did more to increase the number of coulrophobia cases than any other movie ever, and that’s an achievement in itself. But let’s not forget about other characters that made it to the screen that were either malevolent spirits or violent murderers hidden underneath their makeup – they are evil clowns, too, and they deserve our love.
The Joker (Batman)
Depending on who you ask, The Joker either wears his white face and green hair by choice or by accident – it has different origin stories to go around, with the most widespread being the one about him falling into a tank of chemicals and emerging disfigured and insane. Originally, he was portrayed as a criminal mastermind, a psychopath with a dark and twisted sense of humor. The character was later dumbed down to a goofy trickster in the comics before returning to his old, dark self in the 1970s, and remaining so ever since. The Joker’s tools of the trade are most of the time deadly versions of a traditional clown’s arsenal: razor-tipped playing cards, deadly buzzers, acid-spraying flowers, and – in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman – a gas that makes people giggle and smile while dying.
Todd MacFarlane’s Spawn has several dark and controversial characters (the lead itself is a Hellspawn by nature) but one of the most interesting ones is an evil clown known as the Violator. He is Satan’s agent on Earth, tasked with guiding Hellspawns to do their job: collect souls for Satan’s army. The Violator’s earthly form may seem pretty hilarious at first – he presents himself as a severely obese 5’6″ (167 cm) balding man with a bad haircut and a menacing face paint. In short, a clown. And he is pretty much immortal – whenever he is killed, he simply returns to the Pit and is reanimated by his master. In the notorious movie version of the comics, the character was played by John Leguizamo.
Krusty the Clown (The Simpsons)
While he is not evil per se, Krusty the Clown represents the best and worst of modern-day media – at the same time. On the screen, he is a funny character loved by children and adults alike. Behind the scenes, in turn, he is a broken, burned-out entertainment veteran, addicted to everything from gambling to antidepressants, wasting money on pretty much everything you can imagine from exotic foods to betting against the Harlem Globetrotters.