Though shot in color, the film was released in Germany only in black-and-white. The main reason was the close relationship of Rialto Film, the Production Company of the German Edgar Wallace Series, and Constantin Film, this film's German distributor and co-producer. Rialto Film wanted to promote a production of their own as the "first Edgar Wallace Film in Color". This film was to be The Hunchback of Soho (1966), released in Germany only a couple of months after "Circus of Fear". The original colour version of the film was released in Germany for the first time ever on DVD in 2006, though in edited form. See more »
When the police are chasing the van, the weather alternates between cloudy and rainy, and bright sunlight between shots. See more »
Christopher Lee in "Circus Of Fear". It's got to be a horror movie, right ? Well, no. "Circus Of Fear" is a pretty classic-style whodunnit full of red herrings and characters with skeletons in their cupboards.
It starts with a very dramatic and almost silent armoured car heist which goes terribly wrong when a security guard is shot and killed. The gang escape and divide up the loot, saving one share for their boss who only communicates with them via the phone and who none of them have ever seen. The action soon moves to the winter quarters of Barberini's circus - which appears to be somewhere in Berkshire! There is a quite surreal shot of a line of elephants and camels moving down a suburban street. The rest of the film takes place here, its anglo-German cast perfectly capturing the international flavour of the circus. And it is here that the murder mystery element of the film really takes off. Leo Genn is 'Gentleman Jim' Elliott, the police inspector investigating the heist. Though it seems most of the circus folk are keeping an eye on each other. Christopher Lee makes a startling appearance as Gregor, the lion tamer, who wears a black hood at all times to hide the horrible scars he received when he was attacked by a lion. The film was written and produced by Harry Alan Towers, for whom Lee made the series of Fu Manchu pictures, and directed by John Moxey, for whom he had made the 1959 occult chiller "City Of The Dead". There are pleasures to be had from cameo appearances by the likes of Cecil Parker as Elliott's superior and Klaus Kinski who gets to lurk menacingly as a member of the gang. It's not long before more bodies start piling up. But who is the killer ? Is it Barberini, the circus owner with financial troubles ? Mario, the jealous knife-thrower ? Maybe it's Mr. Big, the blackmailer ? Or Karl, the ringmaster with an unhealthy interest in Gina, Mario's girlfriend ? Or maybe it's Gregor, whose brother is in jail for murder ? I've seen the film. I know the truth. The killer is..Aaaarghh!
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