Human fangs ripping throats - no sawdust can soak up the torrent of blood!
After a spate of murders, the villagers of Schtettel kill the depraved perpetrator, Count Mitterhouse. Fifteen years later the Circus of Nights appeared in the plague-ridden village and its performers include Mitterhouse's mistress, children and cousins. They have come to Schtettel to fulfil the Count's last words, an evil, vicious curse of death and destruction on those who participated in his impaling. The children of Schtettel become the targets for a brutal and devastating revenge as the Vampire Circus rehearses for its most deadly performance.
Film 36 of "The December Project" 2012
This is the first Hammer film that I've ever seen, and I watched it because I remember hearing the guys on the High & Low Brow podcastt. Without a doubt, I thank them for mentioning it, this movie was fucking awesome. You get some fun action and a good entertaining story.
The story in this is great, very fun vampire tale that doesn't get into a bunch of detail about the vampires history, but it doesn't matter since that makes it easy to watch and even easier to have fun with.
Of course the acting was nothing to cheer for, but the performances made this very enjoyable, and I think the actors…
Definitely not for those who like their vampire films subtle, "Vampire Circus" is a colorful and gory production whose title adequately sums up the plot. It's good, gothic vampire fun.
Typical solid/silly piece of Hammer atmospherics. In the scene with the dancing cat woman it veers close to greatness.
Highly entertaining early 70's Hammer effort, slightly more gory and boobtastic than I'd expected. In some ill-defined, possibly 19th century Mittel-European country, the citizens of a small town band together to destroy the vampire eating their children. In his dying moments, he promises to return and destroy the village and take their children. 15 years later, the town is suffering under a terrible plague. In the midst of this, a circus arrives, led by a gypsy woman. They promise to entertain the town, but their real mission is to revive the vampire and help him carry out his revenge.
I enjoyed this way more than I expected to, though truth be told, I was rooting for the vampires, who were…
Vampire circus tells the story of the mysterious Circus Of Nights, a travelling horde of shape shifting vampires (and a very evil midget) that arrive in a 19th century village and are hellbent on the corruption of the villages innocent children in order to avenge the death of Count Mitterhaus, staked through the heart a decade earlier.
In the early 70's Hammers at one time hugely successful gothic horror formula was becoming rather tired for mainstream audiences so the studio began to experiment with various ideas in order to freshen up the mix. Vampire Circus is a pretty solid entry in this canon and is one of my favourites. It's a darkly gothic fairytale that has a distinctly European (and…
With regards to the plot, the clue is in the title. Vengeance seeking vampires use their travelling circus to wreak havoc on a European village. As with Bram Stoker's Dracula, the vampires here can transform into animals and seduce young maidens with mad skills. So mad in fact that I think the film makers were gaining for some kind of record with the amount of unnecessary boob'age on screen (as was typical with 1970's Hammer productions).
It's certainly gory enough and despite an extremely hammy, action-packed pre credits sequence it actually pulls together quite nicely. Also, look out for a mostly naked and mute Darth Vader (David Prowse). I was pleasantly surprised to see him here after he appeared as the creation in Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell (which I saw last night).
The "31 Rides Out List" is now into overtime: letterboxd.com/ipcress/list/31-rides-out-the-overtime-edition/
One of the kinkier Hammers I've seen; also more willing to wallow in Gothic taboos. This is brought home straightaway, as we watch (while the credits play out) a woman luring a young girl into the woods. As an unidentified man chases after them, the woman escorts the little girl into a castle--where the local Count, a vampire, kills her for her blood and proceeds to engage in an extended sex scene with the woman. This prompts the townspeople, led by the man from the credits--the local schoolteacher, who is husband to the woman who's just made love--to storm the castle and stake the Count. With his dying breath, the…
Hammer Horror that is experimental, surreal, occasionally arthouse. It opens with the finale of any typical vampire film, and turning it into the prologue for something atypical, it becomes all the more exciting. VAMPIRE CIRCUS is a way colourful - even by Hammer standards - fever dream that frequently pauses the vampiric mayhem to bring you acrobatics (and in one memorable scene, dance). This is a top-tier film from the famous cult studio.
The opening scene, in which the vampire prepares to attack a young girl, is made significantly creepier by the vampire's striking resemblance to Gary Glitter.
I felt a little disappointed with Vampire Circus, though it's hard to definitely put my finger on why. It's technically competent and good-looking as far as Hammer films go. It seems well-made for the most part.
It was just missing a little bit of fun, I suppose. There's a lot of focus on doing shocking things, but very little on any kind of horror or dread. I felt like the movie was more interested in showing me how edgy and inappropriate it could be. Now that's not always a bad thing, either, but it just wasn't totally working for me.
I also think there is slightly too much going on. The disease that befalls the town is basically forgotten after…
I think too much Hammer might be a bad thing. The crazy scores start to grate and the sameness begins to mush them all together. There are some standout ideas here, including a crazy cast of circus performers/vampires, and I'll probably never get tired of the crazy reactions the victims and good guys in these movies jump to, everybody seems to know that they're in a horror movie and thus how to dispatch a vampire with relative ease. Again, though, very few scares for the buck.
Taking the Dracula myth in a somewhat different direction, this opens with a lengthy prologue which sees a mob of villagers attacking the castle of vampire Count Mitterhaus. As he dies, Mitterhaus curses the village, and 15 years later, it seems the curse has arrived. The village is infected by the plague and quarantined from help. However, a mysterious circus, led by a Gypsy woman (Corri) suddenly appears, providing a distraction. However, it turns out one of the performers is Mitterhaus's cousin, Emil (Corland), who intends to use the life-force of the villagers - and, in particular, their children - to revive his relative. Anton Kersch (Moulder-Brown), the local doctor's son, is one of the few to realize what's going…
A misfire so fascinating that it kind of works.
The lengthy pre-credit sequence is essentially the compressed ending of a typical Hammer vampire movie. Villagers raid the vampire's castle and stake him, managing to bring everything down in flaming rubble.
It's as though the filmmakers were saying "So now that the standard gothic story is done, it's our turn."
What follows is as different from the Hammer horror of the 1960s as that of its contemporaries of the 1970s.
There were vampires, yes, and a castle, and a small village with a burgomeister. There are breasts aplenty and a painted dancer who surely created entire closets of fetishes. Crosses, as holy relics or simple shapes, abound.
But the rest! Oh…
A lot of people like Vampire Circus, but I'm not convinced that it's one of Hammer's better efforts. There are many elements that I enjoyed, particularly the nude, dancing, snake woman (who, sadly, is never seen again after her act) and Adrienne Corri as the ravishing gypsy woman. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and charismatic John Moulder-Brown is underused as the leading man. As with most Hammer vampire films made around this time (with the exception of the terrific Twins of Evil), the story starts out strongly and then wanders aimlessly to a rushed conclusion. These films could be vastly improved if more care had been taken with the scripts.
Cheap sets and no-name actors didn't stop Hammer from cranking out some of the bloodiest, raunchiest, delightfully cheesiest horror movies of the '50's, '60's and '70's, and this one from the latter camp (so to speak) is a fine example of what made Hammer's cult catalogue so damn fun. And it's actually a fairly unique take on the usual vampire scenario, at that. Taking revenge for the lynching fifteen years previous of their vampire master/notorious child killer Count Mitterhaus, a group of travelling gypsy circus folk - which includes a strongman, a midget clown and a pair of ambiguously incestuous vampire twins, to name a few of their freakish posse - bypass a Black Plague roadblock through nefarious supernatural means and ride into town for some fun, games, and general mayhem. Nothing more really needs to be said to illustrate the point without further spoilers, so if that premise catches your fancy - bon appetit.