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Who Loves Horror? Doodles the Clown

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Clowns are scary. At least, that’s what Bob Kelmer thought until age nine: “I couldn’t watch a McDonald’s commercial. It just terrified me until I got into magic and met clowns that also did magic.” But it wasn’t until the Carson & Barnes Circus came through St. Louis that Kelmer found his life forever changed: “Once my feet were inside the circus ring where there was sawdust, I knew this was where I needed to be.” From there, he went on to clown college (that’s not a joke) and discovered his inner Doodles, a change he likens to “a werewolf transformation.”

Kelmer’s interest in horror also goes back to his youth. “I’d walk
around in a black cape and white vampire makeup” — and not just on
Halloween. A fan of the Universal classics, his all time favorites are
the ones starring Lon Chaney because of the actor’s unique ability to
transform himself physically — something Kelmer knows about first
hand.

When it comes to the way clowns are portrayed in horror
films, Kelmer admits the films fuel people’s fears and it can hurt when
people back away from him. But he did include one clown film in his top
10 — It —  out of admiration for Tim Curry. “When he was nice
to the kids, he was nice. But when the demon clown came out — you
really believe,” he says. “I’m a clown and I was scared of him for a while.”

Top Ten Horror Movies?

10. Underworld and Underworld: Evolution
9. Nightmare on Elm Street
8. It
7. Alien
6. Taste the Blood of Dracula
5. Interview with the Vampire
4. The Silence of the Lambs
3. The Exorcist
2. Dracula (1931)
1. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

“That
door wasn’t open until Lon opened it. To get the big flaring nostrils
for the skull-like face, he ran fishhooks into each nostril, and an
invisible wire through his wig and pulled it tight. His nostrils were
up like that for hours. To put your body through that kind of pain to
get that effect… ! Here we are almost 100 years later and it still
comes over as scary.”

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