The Clowns, of course, is the name of the band that’s at the center of this sleazy slasher film. The Clowns (who were played by a real-life band called The Names) wear clown make-up and sing songs about how they want to chop up the members of their audience and “send you home in a box.” When Clown groupies start to turn up dead during a 24-hour Clown orgy, the police suspect that the Clowns are the murderers and they send an undercover cop to one of their performances. It turns out that the Clowns are innocent because the murders continue even while they’re performing on stage. But if the Clowns aren’t the killers, who is?
Terror on Tour is one of the many zero budget extravaganzas to come out in the early 1980s, trying to capitalize on the slasher boom and the popularity of bands like Alice Cooper and KISS. It’s not every good, mostly because the members of The Names couldn’t act worth a damn and the film is so badly lit and the sound is so poorly recorded that watching the movie will make you want to sleep long before it makes you want to rock. You won’t remember the name of a single member of the band but you will remember the groupie who says, “This cocaine is making me horny,” with all the passion of Kramer saying, “These pretzels are making me thirsty” in that Woody Allen movie. Speaking of Seinfeld, Larry Thomas plays the band’s manager. Years later, Thomas would receive an Emmy nomination for playing the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. He would also go on the imdb and post an apology for having appeared in Terror on Tour. Larry, everyone has to start somewhere! And you were by far the best actor in the movie. You didn’t look straight at the camera once.
The best scene is one member of the band shouting, “I need a joint!” until someone brings him one. That’s the advantage of being a star, I guess.