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Roy Ward Baker
A village in Nineteenth Century Europe is at first relieved when a circus breaks through the quarantine to take the local's minds off the plague. But their troubles are only beginning as children begin to disappear and the legacy of a long-ago massacre is brought to light. Written by
David Carroll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Extremely creepy and vastly underrated Hammer film
People are always mentioning the Dracula series when talking about Hammer's best Vampire flicks and, every once and a while, `The Vampire Lovers' and `Twins of Evil' are named. But I never heard anyone praising Vampire Circus before And yet this is one of the greatest vampire movies I've seen so far. A very structured and ingenious story with frightening characters, nasty gore and constant action. The most fantastic aspects about this film are the genuine strangeness and fairytale-like atmosphere. Yet, the solid tension-level of this film depends on a simple principle: circus people are eerie, and the idea of a travelling bunch of circus freaks is ominous. The legendary director Tod Browning already knew this back in 1932 and the overlooked chiller `Circus of Horrors' also follows this principle closely. Personally, I get a lot more uncomfortable at the sight of a painted-face midget than when seeing aliens, bogeymen or whatever other overblown horror characters.
Vampire Circus is terrifically set in 19th century Serbia. 15 years after the townsfolk of a little community killed an evil count, they live in complete misery. The Plague has isolated them from the rest of the world and they live under the believe they're cursed. A travelling circus finally seems to bring some diversity into the lives of the poor townspeople with their amusing tricks of changing into nightly animals back and forth. But, there seems to be an horrific connection between the eerie circus and the destroyed count Most members of the circus are vampires too, coming to avenge the Count's death and to make him rise from his tomb. For once in your life, look beyond the poor production values! Vampire circus looks laughable and cheesy, but it really does have a compelling story to tell. A story with all the necessary horror ingredients: tension, gore (surprisingly much), great music, good-looking girls and even a bit of nudity. The more Hammer movies I see, the more I think this production company rules!! Even their most underrated ones, like it's definitely the case for Vampire Circus, must be seen by every horror fan. Highly recommended!
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