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Vampire Circus (1972)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 2,151 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 88 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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(as Robert William Young)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gypsy Woman
Thorley Walters ...
Burgermeister
...
Emil (as Anthony Corlan)
...
Anton Kersh
Laurence Payne ...
Prof. Albert Mueller
Richard Owens ...
Dr. Kersh
...
Dora Mueller
Elizabeth Seal ...
Gerta Hauser
Robin Hunter ...
Hauser
Domini Blythe ...
Anna Mueller
Robert Tayman ...
Count Mitterhaus
John Bown ...
Schilt
Mary Wimbush ...
Elvira
Christine Paul-Podlasky ...
Rosa
...
Heinrich
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Storyline

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 <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Carnival comes to town! [video cover] See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le cirque des vampires  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to various books on Hammer films, this film went over schedule and some key scenes were never filmed. Ironically Rank called it Hammer's best film in a decade. See more »

Quotes

Michael: The Circus of Nights! A hundred delights!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Monster Squad (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Extremely creepy and vastly underrated Hammer film
16 August 2004 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

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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