Growing up in Perrysburg and a 1998 Perrysburg High School graduate, Noor Ahmed remembers when he first became aware of Insane Clown Posse (ICP). Coming of age in the late 90s, Ahmed knew of the duo through friends and the prominent following they had (and still have) in the Midwest. The Detroit-based rap duo is known for wearing clown makeup and their unique stage personas. ICP’s studio performances, music videos and live performances incorporate theatrical, horror-inspired lyrics with dark humor. The duo’s legions of fans refer to themselves as “Juggalos” and participate in an annual festival called the “Gathering of the Juggalos.”
Fast forward to a few years ago when Ahmed was working for an entertainment-based law firm. One of the firm’s clients was pitched an opportunity concerning a project, already in production, to invest in financing and distribution. The project eventually became “The United States of Insanity,” a documentary about Insane Clown Posse, which highlights the misconceptions about the duo, their fans and their fight for their First Amendment rights.
The project began a few years ago when directors Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez came across an article about Insane Clown Posse, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) and their case against the Department of Justice and the FBI. Around that time, ICP was organizing the “Juggalo March” in Washington, D.C., a protest aimed at the FBI for classifying ICP and their Juggalo followers as a gang.
Putnam and Sanchez reached out to ICP and their record label expressing interest in making a documentary due to the fascination regarding the duo and the controversy surrounding them. In addition to filming content themselves, Putnam and Sanchez collected an assortment of music videos, home movies, other documentaries and feature films to include in the documentary.
Ahmed was marginally involved with the project at first, but he became more interested as production of the film moved forward. After Ahmed started a financing and distribution company, Strike Back Studios (based in Los Angeles and Nashville), he took over the project and became its distributor. Ahmed worked with Putnam on a previous documentary where they developed a great working relationship. The two decided to take on this project together.
Ahmed explains that he wants viewers to learn more about the Insane Clown Posse from the documentary, stating that whatever viewers think they know about the musical duo and their fans, they should take the time to watch this project to truly understand where ICP is coming from. Whether you’re a fan of ICP or not, what they went through could happen to anyone. The film includes accounts of people losing their jobs, having parental rights affected and other negative consequences because of their association with the duo; being disenfranchised for being fans, viewed as “gang members.”
“The United States Of Insanity” premiered in September 2021 at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas followed by a limited theatrical run last November. Currently, the film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The documentary is also now available on Video On Demand and DVD.
Order the DVD and buy “The United States of Insanity” merch at https://strikebackstudios.com/the-united-states-of-insanity/
See the film’s trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBEK4NLcbrY