Although this low-budget Irish horror-comedy from Dead Meat director Conor McMahon might not be more than the sum of its influences, namely 80s slasher flicks, it has enough charm, gags and gore to keep those horror fans who are up for a laugh content.
Richard 'Stitches' Grindle (Noble) is a grouchy, dope-smoking, Heavy Metal-listening clown and he's really not in the mood to do little Tom's birthday. Unimpressed with his lacklustre antics, the kids gang up on Stitches and a prank sees the sour funny man pushed over, falling eye-first onto a carving knife. Ouch. The clown's (far from instantaneous) death traumatises the birthday boy who vows never to have a birthday party again. However, six years later, the now teenage Tom (Knight) feels grown up enough to have a house party when his mother leaves town for the weekend. He invites everyone in his year, providing the perfect opportunity for Stitches to rise from the dead and cut a swathe through the 'bastid' kids that killed him...
Unlike the 80s slasher movies that Conor McMahon lovingly apes here, Stitches is not a psycho looking to teach kids a lesson by carving up those who indulge in drink, drugs and sex - it's just a handy coincidence that those he carves up happen to indulge in drink, drugs and sex – he's after revenge. Noble has fun with the titular clown but McMahon's script doesn’t allow him to sneak some of his stand-up routine into this undead prankster, so those expecting some Ross Nobleisms will be disappointed.
Those looking for gore and lashings of blood won't be disappointed, though – if this were a play, the first few rows would get soaked. Guts and intestines are happily dragged from victim's bodies; McMahon comes up with some inventive death scenes, namely 'death by umbrella' and 'death by ice cream scoop'. Nice/horrible.
Budget constraints aside, Stitches should stand well the other recent Irish teen horror-comedy – the underrated Boy Eats Girl