Three distinguished English gentlemen accidentally resurrect Count Dracula, killing a disciple of his in process. The Count seeks to avenge his dead servant, by making the trio die in the hands of their own children.
In London in the 1970s, Scotland Yard police investigators think they have uncovered a case of vampirism. They call in an expert vampire researcher named Van Helsing (a descendant of the ... See full summary »
When Castle Dracula is exorcised by the Monsignor, it accidentally brings the Count back from the dead. Dracula follows the Monsignor back to his hometown, preying on the holy man's beautiful niece and her friends.
"Not the horror film that the nudge nudge title promises."
The film opens with a heist at London's Tower Bridge in which a gang steal a quarter of a million pounds from a security van. The loot is then hidden somewhere in the winter quarters of a traveling circus and this leads to a series of brutal killings. Each of the victims is found stabbed with a circus throwing knife. Inspector Elliot (LEO GENN) suspects that one of the circus performers is the killer and the mastermind behind the raid. He has a number of suspects to choose from including the hooded lion tamer Gregor (CHRISTOPHER LEE) who for some mysterious reason is determined to conceal his face. Then there's Mr Big (SKIP MARTIN), a dwarf assistant on the big top who is systematically blackmailing Gregor for substantial sums of money. As the death toll rises, the pressure is on from Sir John (CECIL PARKER), Elliot's superior, to bring the culprit to justice.
CIRCUS OF FEAR (not to be confused with the Anton Diffring shocker CIRCUS OF HORRORS) isn't the horror film which it's nudging title promises. It's a disappointingly static murder mystery thriller with mild horrific overtones that wouldn't even scare your five-year-old son! It is based on an Edgar Wallace novel called AND THE THREE JUST MEN (first published in 1928), but the director who made a fine impression with his debut feature (the pseudo-American shocker CITY OF THE DEAD) is clearly uninterested in his material here. Hardly surprising since it's a very shaky plot and he seems happy to just keep the cameras immobile and leave it to the impressive cast to keep the movie afloat. Despite Lee's top billing, he gets very little to do and he wears a balaclava for most of the film. All in all, this one is for uncritical audiences only.
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