Mill Creek Entertainment revealed its first wave of priced-to-collect DVD and Blu-ray releases that will be retail-ready during the month of July.
In the front on the line are both DVD and Blu-ray editions of actor/director Bobcat Goldthwait’s 1991 clown-iconic black comedy, Shakes the Clown. It will street on July 11.
This film, when initially released, was not well-received as both film critics and the film-going public in general didn’t “get it.” The film features clowns — all kinds of clowns — and mimes, yes, mimes too (including an unbilled Robin Williams in a cameo performance as a mime teacher), but its not about clowns. Or mimes either.
They, the clowns, are used by Goldthwait as symbols for what it is like to be a stand-up comedian. It’s a lifestyle; a calling, and the funny stuff up on stage hides the pitfalls of the business itself. There are cliques and communities that close themselves off from those who would dare enter … and theives too, those who steal material. In other words, it’s a clown-eat-clown world.
Goldthwait stars as Shakes, a clown with two problems (well, more than just two, but two works for this discussion) … he’s a drunk (a drunken clown, the irony in that is rich) and his dream job has been pilfered by Binky the Clown (played by stand-up comedian Tom Kenny, who has become one of most sought-after voice talents in Hollywood … SpongeBob SquarePants ring any bells?).
His manager (played Paul Dooley) is at his wit’s end with Shakes erratic behavior and his long-suffering girlfriend, Judy (Julie Brown), knows he needs help, but in Shakes world it all about the next gig and the next drink.
The humor is dark … Shakes the Clown is a dark, dark comedy. Clowns are mean, clowns will even frame one of their own for murder … the life of a clown is not easy.
The casting of Shakes the Clown holds lots of surprises, in addition to Robin Williams, keep your eyes peeled for the like of Milton Berle, the late Florence Henderson (in a very un-Brady Bunch bit) and a young Adam Sandler.
Also on the release schedule from Mill Creek Entertainment in July are five priced-to-collect films that will arrive on DVD on July 4. These are: The Beast (1988, directed by Kevin Reynolds and featuring Jason Patric and Stephen Baldwin as members of a Soviet tank crew lost in Afghanistan), Birdy (1984, directed by Alan Parker and starring Matthew Modine and Nicholas Cage), Dragon Wars (2007, with Jason Behr and Amanda Brooks), Gardens of Stone (1987, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and teaming James Caan with Anjelica Huston) and lastly, director Alan Rudolph’s 1984 music-industry drama, Songwriter, which teamed Kris Kristofferson with Willie Nelson.
Rounding out the early July DVD product offerings on July 11 are Diana: Queen of Hearts (a 1998 tribute to Princess Diana) and the 2004 King Solomon’s Mines mini-series starring Patrick Swayze as the legendary Allan Quatermain.