by Nick Schager
s your child misbehaving? Well, if you’re a demented mother and father interested in traumatizing your little one for years to come, you can follow in the footsteps of a shocking number of other American parents and dial 407-734-0254—the phone number for Wrinkles the Clown, a Naples, Florida, creep who, for a small cash fee, will lurk around your kid until they get the message and straighten themselves out.
This is both not a joke and a hilarious gag, as detailed by Wrinkles the Clown (in theaters Oct. 4). Michael Beach Nichols’ simultaneously spooky and amusing documentary concerns the notorious circus weirdo, who became an internet sensation in 2015—and inspired a rash of nationwide copycat dangerous-clown sightings in 2016—thanks to a series of online videos (beginning with this one) and stickers featuring his name, face and phone number that he posted around his hometown. In an age of viral horror fads (Slenderman, Momo, etc.), Wrinkles, bolstered by local news coverage and, then, a 2015 story in The Washington Post, was a standout star, not least because you could actually call him and either leave a voicemail or, if you were lucky, chat with the gruff, curt clown himself.