Monica Rivers is the owner and ringmaster of a traveling circus, and she'll stop at nothing to draw bigger audiences. When a series of mysterious murders begins to occur and some of her ... See full summary »
This movie chronicles the trials of the mentally ill and their care-givers in an over-crowded ward of a hospital. Dr. MacLeod (Robert Stack) is a new, optimistic doctor who attempts to ... See full summary »
Millicent Wetherby is a middle-aged woman whose life is devoid of love and affection. Millicent's solitary existence changes when she encounters Burt Hansen a charismatic younger man. As ... See full summary »
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Monica Rivers is the owner and ringmaster of a traveling circus, and she'll stop at nothing to draw bigger audiences. When a series of mysterious murders begins to occur and some of her performers die gruesomely, her profits soar. She hires high-wire walker Frank Hawkins, impressed by the handsome and muscular young man. They begin an affair which arouses her previous lover Durando's jealousy. When Durando is found dead shortly afterward, the other performers begin to take alarm, as a mysterious killer is obviously loose in their midst. Many suspect Monica herself of the killings, especially Matilda, who has set her sights on Monica's new lover. At this point, Monica's unruly, sixteen-year-old daughter Angela is expelled from school for being incorrigible, and Monica is forced to take her into the circus, allowing her to become the partner of knife-thrower Gustavo. Meanwhile, the dead bodies continue to pile up... Written by
Berserk - Where on Earth Did They Get that Title from?
Old Joan Crawford, dressed in tights and a ringmaster's coat throughout much of the film, plays Monica Rivers, circus owner and apparently heart-breaker to men decades younger than herself. Watch Joan cavort first with Michael Gough with lots of suggestions about their business and personal lives merging(fortunately for Gough this does not last too long as he soon finds himself nailed to another post). So with Gough gone, he-man Ty Hardin, a new high wire act who arrives after the old one hangs himself while performing, comes into the picture, no shirt half the time and all, and makes his moves for the less-than-sexy sixty plus year-old. Watching Crawford and her beaus work with heavily-laden dialog laced with absurd innuendo was the highlight of this film as it was just so preposterous. She looks ancient and yet acts like she is still 25! Anyway, the film itself is one of those films that is so very fun to watch just for those elements already mentioned, the then grisly murders as circus people start to die off, and the lush colour used in the film. The settings of the circus are believably done and Herman Cohen, the producer, always knew how to put on a good show. I even enjoyed some of the circus acts that were intermittently laced in the picture. The rest of the cast is very able with Gough, always good, and George Claydon playing Bruno excelling. Lovely Diana Dors and Judy Geeson also star. Hardin was really quite bad but I really enjoyed his trapeze act at the film's end. While the story can only be classified as silly and absurd, the ending seems way too abrupt even for this film. The film seems to be going along almost effortlessly - Joan prancing about working her guys over(Yuck!) and circus performers dying
then a quick ending that comes out of left field. Despite the many
shortcomings, Berserk - why the heck is it named that? - is a whole lot of fun and is very similar, as some other reviewers have noted, to Straight-Jacket, Crawford's film for William Castle.
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