Before They Were Stars: Sam Rockwell in “Clownhouse”

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Sam Rockwell’s early role in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, but his film debut was actually before that in a 1989 horror film called Clownhouse. The plot for this one involves three kid brothers who are terrorized by a trio of escaped mental patients who’ve made the random decision to kill three circus clowns and put on their costumes and makeup before they come after the kids. Of course, the youngest kid has a major phobia of clowns, so Rockwell’s douchebag older brother is always tormenting him. It’s not a particularly great horror movie, though I suppose if you’re afraid of clowns, you may find this to be the scariest film ever made.

Anyway, Clownhouse is quite a notorious film for all the wrong reasons as its director, Victor Salva, was found to be molesting his 12-year old lead, Nathan Forrest Winters, and was sentenced to three years in prison! Amazingly, Salva was able to resume his filmmaking career soon after he was released and directed such movies as Powder and the Jeepers Creepers films. Now, for all those who are outraged that Roman Polanski still got to have a successful career after his own sexual indiscretions with a minor, just remember: Victor Salva got to direct again after molesting a young boy DURING THE FILMING OF HIS MOVIE, and he’s nowhere near as renowned a filmmaker as Polanski was! Hollywood can be quite a forgiving place sometimes…

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