"The CITIZEN KANE of Alcoholic Clown movies" was the critical comment used as a tagline for SHAKES THE CLOWN, a bizarre comedy that stretches its central gimmick thinner than watered-down carnival taffy.
Set in a mythical "Palookaville," no-class metropolis and lard capital of the US, the film proposes that professional clowns, despite their cheery exteriors, have a darker side in the form of a boozing, brawling subculture--like truckers, cowboys or sailors. Here clowns pal around with their own
kind, drinking to excess in clown bars, swapping profane clown shop talk and beating up mimes, every clown's natural enemies. It's a cute idea, definitely worth a short ...