"Klown" Finally Makes Its Way Stateside

Photo Credit: Drafthouse Films
July 17th, 2012

"Klown" Finally Makes Its Way Stateside

-- The Mikkel Norgaard film "Klown" was released in Denmark, where the film takes place, in 2010. Moviegoers, especially those who love comedies, were smitten with the film. It was very groundbreaking, pushing the envelope as far as the filmmaker could get away with in the name of raunchy humor without backlash.

Unfortunately for movie buffs in the United States, the film was not initially widely released here. It did play at a few film festivals, where word of the film's hilarity quickly spread, and it became something of a cult-status film. Fans who had caught one of the screenings gushed about how great it was; those who were not lucky enough to catch one of the few U.S. screenings were out of luck.

Now, after two long years of waiting, it has been subtitled in English and will make its formal American debut on July 27, 2012. Unfortunately, it will only be released in New York, Los Angeles and Austin if you want to see it in a theater. If you don't mind watching it at home, it will be available on the same day on many video on demand (VOD) platforms for an appropriate fee.

The movie is based on the Danish television series "Klovn" which ran for 60 episodes from 2005 to 2009. More than half of those episodes were directed by Norgaard, who also helped develop the series along with comedians Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen. The two funnymen starred in all 60 episodes and also wrote several episodes. The three men knew each other so well from working on "Klovn" that it is no surprise that they all came back to make the movie a year after the television series ended.

The movie centers on Frank and Casper, two friends who are pretty much polar opposites. Frank has a pregnant girlfriend who is in doubt about his ability to be a good father. He aims to prove her wrong because he is excited about the baby and the prospect of raising a child with her. Meanwhile, his best friend Casper is a wild man who has no desire to do much of anything beyond partying and sleeping with as many women as he possibly can, even if he has to pay them.

Casper has been planning a weekend-long canoe trip for the two friends. He intends to paddle the river along the Danish countryside, stopping in every town for some booze and women. He also aims to visit an infamous brothel that he has been dreaming about for some time.

The problem arises when Frank, desperate to show that he is fatherhood material, kidnaps Bo (Marcuz Jess Petersen), his girlfriend's 12-year-old nephew. He hatches a plan to take the boy along on the canoe trip so that when he brings Bo home safely, she will see that she was wrong about his ability to be a good father.

Of course, chaos ensues, and the three find themselves in a whole heap of trouble. Casper refuses to change his plans to visit the brothel and have as much meaningless sex as possible. The trio then visit brothels, get sent to a hospital and somehow get wrapped up in an armed robbery that leads to imprisonment. This is not likely to impress Frank's girlfriend very much.

Along the way, there are some genuinely touching moments between the two friends. There are also a few bonding moments between Frank and Bo that make the audience think that perhaps he might be a good father after all, criminal activities notwithstanding.

According to the official U.S. trailer, the film has been hailed as "the funniest movie of the year" by the Independent Film Channel (IFC). Whether they mean 2010, the year it came out in Denmark or 2012, the date of its release stateside, is unknown. However, judging from the hilarious trailers, an argument could be made for it being the funniest movie of either year- perhaps even the funniest movie for both years.

You really have to check out the trailers to see the strengths of this movie. However, be warned that the Red Band Trailer is not safe for work. In fact, if you have kids, it is not really safe for home until they go to bed, and you are sure you are alone. The film has lots of nudity, sexual content and just plain awkwardness, and this is reflected in the trailer. If the trailer can be used as an accurate indication of how funny and sometimes awkward the film will be, moviegoers will no longer wonder why "Klown" had become a cult classic for the lucky few who got to see it before 2012.