Wrinkles the Clown is a 2019 documentary co-written, shot, & directed by Michael Beach Nichols (First Step, Bklyn Flex, The Man Behind the Curtain, Flex Is Kings, & Welcome to Leith). A local filmmaker Cary Longchamps previously tried to raise money on Kickstarter to do their own documentary on the subject but didn’t raise enough to fund the project. Wrinkles the Clown first popped up in viral video in 2015 in Florida. It was shown all over social media, covered by major news, & talked about on late night shows during it’s craze. In 2015, a video is uploaded to YouTube depicting a clown named Wrinkles emerging from beneath a young girl’s bed. It quickly goes viral. In the following months, it emerges that Wrinkles is a professional clown in Florida who offers his services to the parents of misbehaving children, showing up to frighten them unannounced as a deterrent to future bad behavior. He decides to promote himself after the video & news coverage. Stickers with his face on it that includes his personal phone number starts to show up all over Florida. Thousands of curious people begin calling the number to reach the clown for various reasons.
Everyone one from parents wanting to hire Wrinkles to people making death threats. Over the course of the next four years, Wrinkles becomes an object of folklore both locally in Florida & across the United States, with children routinely calling the number either alone or with friends as a sort of rite of passage. Additionally, more viral videos appear depicting Wrinkles either frightening people outside their homes or engaging in disturbing behavior causing more chaos. Random people experience the disturbed performer waving to motorists from a darkened roadside. In 2019, Wrinkles finally agrees to allow a documentary crew to follow him in his daily life & explain his philosophy. Wrinkles is revealed as an elderly homeless man who lives in a van in the woods outside of Naples, Florida & spends much of his free time fishing, drinking, & going to strip clubs, occasionally using the money he makes from his appearances as Wrinkles to check into motels. He claims to have no personal ideology & states that he only works as Wrinkles for the money. Wrinkles sits down & explains himself, he tells stories about his work. It has interviews with professional clowns, a psychologist, a variety of parents, & curious kids who become obsessed with the clown. One video started so much controversy within the public, social media, & news!!!!
When I seen the cover art for this release, I didn’t know what to expect with this. I thought it was some killer clown horror film at first to be honest. I did some research on the real life situation & character, I got really interested in this documentary after all that information about this strange performer. It goes over all the evil clown influences in cinema & real life in this. Everything from IT to John Wayne Gacy. It also compares Wrinkles the Clown to folklores like Slenderman & Bloody Mary, it shows people trying to provoke all of them for their own entertainment. It’s one of those films that keeps your eyes glued to the screen the entire time because you honestly don’t know what’s going to happen. It shows various videos of Wrinkles terrifying kids & their families during his work. It has new footage of him taking a bad young girl from her house & giving her the thrill of her lifetime with his creepy presence. It travels across the United States & it interviews all kinds of people that Wrinkles has had an impact on over the years. He plays mind games with the viewers on this documentary. Wrinkles says he picked the mask because it was a cross between Michael Myers & his father’s face. He hires actor D.B. Lambert (Flesher, Finding It, Entre Nous, & Superstition) to play Wrinkles half way through the documentary so you are thinking he is actually revealing his true identity in this & getting more personal but it’s all fake. He says he will never reveal his true self to anyone & continues to mess with the audience. I won’t talk about the rest because it’s a twist on the entire production & it’s something you should see for yourself. I haven’t experienced too many documentaries like this, this is very entertaining & fun. It goes way past your typical feature of this sub-genre, it’s refreshing to not know what’s going to show up next with this. RECOMMENDED!!!!
For a DVD release & a low budget documentary film, the (1:85:1) transfer looks better than expected. It has a decent amount of locations here so it definitely has some variety. The English 5.1 Dolby Digital track is real solid, don’t expect it to be reference quality or anything crazy because it’s not that type of the feature but the dialogue is very clean on this plus all the scares here are elevated. It doesn’t have much for extras. It has a little over 5 minutes of “Deleted Scenes”. It features more angry parents leaving Wrinkles leaving voice messages. People (mainly kids) either preparing to fight the clown or praising the performer including a man getting a tattoo of him. It shows Wrinkles setting up a performance. Oh yeah, it also has the clown getting a lap dance which includes strippers wearing the mask so you get to see some clown titties which is a nice bonus. It’s also has some Magnet Releasing & Magnolia Pictures related “Trailers” on the disc. It’s available everywhere today, CHECK IT OUT!!!!