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Psycho-Circus (1966)
"Circus of Fear" (original title)

 -  Mystery | Thriller | Horror  -  May 1967 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 638 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 26 critic

A circus becomes the location for stolen loot and murder.

Directors:

, (as John Moxey)

Writer:

(screenplay)
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Title: Psycho-Circus (1966)

Psycho-Circus (1966) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gregor
...
Elliott
Anthony Newlands ...
Barberini
Heinz Drache ...
Carl
Eddi Arent ...
Eddie
...
Manfred
Margaret Lee ...
Gina
Suzy Kendall ...
Natasha
Cecil Parker ...
Sir John
Victor Maddern ...
Mason
Maurice Kaufmann ...
Mario
Lawrence James ...
Manley
Tom Bowman ...
Jackson
Skip Martin ...
Mr. Big
Nosher Powell ...
Red (as Fred Powell)
Edit

Storyline

A circus becomes the location for stolen loot and murder.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most horrifying syndicate of evil in history!


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

May 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Psycho-Circus  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited) (black and white)

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only double the producers could find for Christopher Lee was the circus' real lion tamer, who Lee describes as being "half my height." In order to make the situation credible, 6'4" tall Christopher Lee was shot in close-up so the height differential would not be too obvious to the audience. According to Lee, he wore a black mask through nine-tenths of the movie anyway. See more »

Goofs

When the police are chasing the van, the weather alternates between cloudy and rainy, and bright sunlight between shots. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Box: Christmas Evil (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
nifty little english take on the krimi genre
21 January 2004 | by (brisbane, australia) – See all my reviews

this movie proved to be a surprisingly effective spin on the then popular german genre of the "krimi": a series of films, often from edgar wallace source novels, which tend to defy the generic conventions of crime dramas by moving into horror, espionage, even sci-fi at times.

beginning with an energetically directed heist sequence, the film soon shifts gear and location, focussing on the machinations of circus folk, in particular the various affairs and double-dealings of a handful of seemingly innocent and not so innocent clowns, midgets, knife-throwers and lion tamers. the two stories are linked, but only about as much as the two stories in "psycho" are linked: one is there to purely to feed the other.

there are twists and turns galore in this film; perhaps a few too many to be entirely plausible. some of the dialogue scenes are a little stilted, too. however, john moxey's direction tends to keep things going quite well, with some surprisingly sophisticated and kinetic direction. (note, for example, the way the loop of gregor's whip hovers around mr big's head to symbolise his attempts to psychologically ensnare his blackmailer.)

performances are generally quite solid, including from the imported german cast (there presumably to keep west german krimi fans happy), and there are definitely a couple of standouts. klaus kinski is unintelligible a usual, especially as he's forever got a cigarette in his mouth, but his presence lifts the film quite a bit. christopher lee is the only crashing disappointment, as he doesn't appear until act two, he's in a mask for most of the film, and his russian accent wavers a little. he really has no definitive presence here, and it's not particularly his story. i'd also have recast a lot of the police officers for a modern audience, as although they're quite old-fashioned (think dixon of dock green or pc 49), their dialogue would suit the stars of "the sweeney" with little adjustment. but then, in a microcosm of the characteristically unusual, perhaps a little grounding in sanity isn't so bad!

overall, this was a surprisingly effective film. i've only seen the restored 91-minute version that's available on dvd, so perhaps a slightly shorter version with some of the duller dialogue scenes cut down would hold the attention a bit better. (can't be as bad as the p;d 65-minute version, though, even if the film does hold up okay in b&w.) but this is definitely a film worth seeing, especially if you want a decent introduction to the world of the krimi. just don't see it if you want a big christopher lee vehicle -- he had more presence in "dracula", and he was only in six minutes of that!


21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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