Ronald McDonald “mentions” these days are pretty much confined to the charitable Ronald McDonald House for families engaged in extended hospital stays with their sick little ones. But a new IT trailer has grouped the “Mickey D” mascot in with other terrifying clowns, namely Pennywise from Stephen King’s seminal work of terror and the upcoming film.
The fast food burger chain has not used the friendly clown as much as they used to in their direct advertising, and that could be intentional with clowns getting a more sinister spin from the media.
While kids have always been afraid of clowns in some regard, it did not help matters when real life serial killer John Wayne Gacy used his gig as a birthday clown to scout for victims.
It was also difficult to Ronald McDonald to maintain his friendly edge when Stephen King’s IT dropped into bookstores in 1986. That was followed by a creepy portrayal of Pennywise, the murderous clown from the novel by Tim Curry in the 1990 ABC mini-series, and now Bill Skarsgard’s imagery in the latest feature film adaptation.
And who can forget the scary clown sightings of recent years?
Fear of clowns has become so rampant there is even a condition for it known as coulrophobia.
No wonder Ronald McDonald has been keeping a low profile.
Low profile or not, it was only a matter of time before some film-savvy professionals got together and shot a trailer for a Ronald McDonald horror movie.
— Bloody Disgusting (@BDisgusting) April 14, 2017
Bloody-Disgusting‘s John Squires spotted this one on YouTube recently and blasted it out to fans at the horror news site, but the film itself — a reimagining of the new IT trailer — casts Ronald McDonald in the sinister lead role.
The footage was shot and uploaded to YouTube by user RackaRacka based out of Australia, and apparently the user has a thing for everyone’s favorite Happy Meal pitchman.
Other videos on the channel include Ronald McDonald “murder” videos, and one or two where the clown targets KFC. None quite have the professional-looking lens of the following, however.
A word of warning before digging into IT – McDonald’s Edition: it is graphically violent, including one scene where Ronald takes a chainsaw to a kid’s head, and it’s not the kind of special effect played for laughs, so do keep that in mind before clicking the play button.
You also may or may not catch an appearance from Pennywise himself. View with caution because it is definitely NSFW.
As for the real deal — “real deal” meaning Pennywise in the upcoming Stephen King’s IT film adaptation — the clown and the author, who created him, have recently come under fire from actual working clowns for giving the profession a bad name.
The furor got to the point that the Master of Horror himself felt he had to weigh in on Twitter.
The clowns are pissed at me. Sorry, most are great. BUT…kids have always been scared of clowns. Don’t kill the messengers for the message.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) April 10, 2017
Not helping the clown creep factor along is a new image released from the film that reveals the new Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgard, doing a creepy eye-roll thing.
Check it out here.
A new image from the upcoming reboot of Stephen King’s IT pic.twitter.com/3P5BBrJTRs
— GOAT Movie Podcast (@GOATfilmpodcast) April 15, 2017
The image was posted to Reddit over the weekend, and while it has not been confirmed by the studio, it is dead-on consistent with the look of other stills and footage that have been released so far.
Regardless, things are not going to be getting easier for the clown profession any time soon.
So what did you think of the Ronald McDonald IT trailer, horror fans? Does it have potential? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by RackaRacka/YouTube, linked above]