Fantastic Fest Continues With ‘Klown Forever’ And Vintage Trash

Senior Editor
10.01.15 3 Comments
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Remember when we told you about some of the films we were seeing at Fantastic Fest? Well, there are more, and you should know about them.

Klown Forever

Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard, 90 minutes, Denmark.
Starring Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen.
Acquired by Drafthouse Films, will see “”a limited theatrical release across North America alongside a variety of VOD and digital platforms in 2016, with a Blu-ray/DVD release to follow later in the year.”

KlovnForever

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In 2012’s Klown, Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam, the Danish comedians that make up Klown (sometimes Klovn), took a bachelor party canoe trip to a river-side brothel. In Klown Forever, Casper moves to L.A. and Frank comes to try to save him, from expanding healthcare costs and Adam Levine, all while driving a Nissan Cube. (Things I never get tired of ridiculing include: Nissan Cubes, Adam Levine).

Klown often gets compared to Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is fair, given its penchant for heated comedic dialogues, directed improv, and etiquette-based comedy, where the characters are named after the actors and modeled after their lives as famous comedians in Denmark. But whereas Larry David is a slightly misanthropic and extremely neurotic Everyman, the Klown boys push their fictionalized natural personas right up to the edge of sociopathy. They don’t do terrible things by accident, they make conscious choices to engage in indefensible behavior, including one scene that I’m pretty sure was rape. And they don’t make it seem like you’d have to be a terrible person to do terrible things, which would probably never fly here (with the possible exception of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia).

In fact, you could play a drinking game with everything they’d never get away with in the U.S., from depicting Casper’s erect penis to the general sense that every single scene could spawn an outraged thinkpiece. A decent portion of the jokes are based on f*cking or 69-ing or “snorting pussy,” so intellectuals who find sex jokes crass probably need not apply.

The beauty of Klown for me (as an intellectual who loves crass sex jokes) is that while they include a lot of broad sex humor, they don’t rely on the outrageousness of sex. They get into outrageous situations, but the humor is much more about timing and reactions — it’s not like American Pie where the entire scene is buildup for that one sight gag of Jason Biggs pounding a pie. Even if the gag is immature (and I’m a firm believer that there is no high and low brow in comedy, anymore than there is in fetishes — it’s not the content, it’s whether it gets you off), the execution is almost always a beautifully timed mixture of dialogue that snaps and clever sight gags.

Klown doesn’t moralize its characters’ boorishness, sex criminality, or child endangerment, but it mostly allows you the option to laugh at it without endorsing it. Though, there is one scene set in South Central where the setting is the butt of the joke more than Frank and Casper. That one probably should’ve been left on the cutting room floor. In any case, I feel reasonably okay defending how much I laughed at the rest of it. Don’t quote me on that.

I’m very curious to see what the MPAA says about Drafthouse putting a movie with an erect penis in it in theaters.

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