Charles Band is someone who gets to do what he apparently loves and what he loves is cheap horror films, mostly about killer dolls. They are generally not good films, but at least they don’t take themselves seriously.
I don’t know when or why I watched Blood Dolls, but it wasn’t very engaging, and it had a very odd performance from lead Jack Maturin when suddenly Mr. Mascaro (William Paul Burns) showed up as his henchman.
People are often afraid of clowns, and many films try to work this phobia, but Mr. Mascaro is different in that he isn’t the slightest bit jovial. He’s deadly serious, utterly intense. Where there is a temptation to ham this role up, he underplays it. If Richard Kuklinski wore clown makeup, he’d be Mr. Mascaro.
After some cursory research, I found out that his character is related to another Band film, Demonic Toys, and that he is playing the live action version of the Jack in the Box. This character has appeared in nine (!) other films in the franchise, all of which I have not seen, and I do not intend to rectify that.
But Mr. Mascaro is a standout. He is never actually used to his potential, and I don’t see this actor participating in a film again, which makes this another missed opportunity, but that’s what Horror 101 is for. As the gravel-voiced, calmly maniacal Mr. Mascaro, there is nothing funny about this clown.