IMDb > Nightmare Circus (1974)
Nightmare Circus
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Nightmare Circus (1974) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jerald Cormier (story)
Roman Valenti (screenplay)
View company contact information for Nightmare Circus on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
August 1974 (USA) See more »
Captive young girls... chained... abused... by a Madman!
Three showgirls on their way to Las Vegas have car trouble and are stuck all night out in the desert... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(6 articles)
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User Reviews:
Weird, Disturbing Garbage See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order)

Andrew Prine ... Andre
Manuela Thiess ... Simone (as Manuella Thiess)
Sherry Alberoni ... Sheri
Gyl Roland ... Corrine
Sheila Bromley ... Mrs. Baynes (as Shiela Bromley)
Gil Lamb ... Mr. Alvarez
Al Cormier ... Sheriff Stanford
Chuck Niles ... Derek Moore
Jennifer Ashley ... Flower Child
Laura Campbell ... Laura
Sonja Dunson ... Sonja

Karen Fredrik ... Karene (as Karene Fredrik)
Lin Henson ... Lin
Jolene Lontere ... Crazy Girl
Jeane Manson ... Jean (as Jean Manson)
Leslie Oliver ... Leslie
Marlene Tracy ... Marlene
Byrd Holland ... Club Manager
Nick Archondo ... 1st Deputy
Billy Holms ... 2nd Deputy
Bernie Schwartz ... 1st Hunter
Bill Conway ... 2nd Hunter
David Miller ... Highway Patrolman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jerald Cormier ... Andre's Father (uncredited)

Directed by
Alan Rudolph 
Writing credits
Jerald Cormier (story) (as Gerald Cormier)

Roman Valenti (screenplay)

Produced by
Marvin Almeas .... associate producer
Jerald Cormier .... producer (as Gerald Cormier)
Shirlee F. Jamail .... executive producer
Alan Rudolph .... producer
Original Music by
Tommy Vig 
Cinematography by
E. Lynn (director of photography)
Art Direction by
Bill Conway 
Makeup Department
Byrd Holland .... special makeup effects creator
Douglas J. White .... special makeup effects creator (as Douglas White)
Production Management
John Patrick Graham .... production manager
Christian Alexander Moran .... post-production manager (restored version)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward D. Markley .... assistant director (as Eddie Markley)
Art Department
Al Cormier .... property master
Stephane Goulet .... property designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Frank A. Coe .... sound effects editor
John Vincent .... sound mixer
Visual Effects by
Byrd Holland .... visual effects creator
Douglas J. White .... visual effects creator (as Douglas White)
David Keith .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Brink Brydon .... best boy
Daniel Dayton .... still photographer (as Dan Dayton)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Allan A. Apone .... wardrobe (as Allen Apone)
Editorial Department
Thomas Penick .... assistant film editor (as Tom Penick)
Music Department
Frank A. Coe .... music editor
Tommy Vig .... conductor
Other crew
Joan Cormier .... assistant to producer

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Barn of the Naked Dead" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
86 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Germany:Not Rated (BPjM restricted) | USA:R
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Some gore had to be cut at the very end in order to secure an R rating.See more »
Evil EyesSee more »


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11 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Weird, Disturbing Garbage, 26 November 2003
Author: Steve Nyland (Squonkamatic) from New York, USA

Weird, Disturbing Garbage

One axiom is true about any given art form: It did not exist before a person made it. One of my primary interests in evaluating art forms in a critical manner is to contemplate the motivation behind the decision to execute the work. I have no idea why anyone would have made a movie like BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD, though after seeing it I can understand why folks want to see it: Great title.

Existing these days as scummy old rental tapes [including a preposterous version called NIGHTMARE CIRCUS, that is worse if possible] and the occaisional underground re-record, I managed to snag one of the original rental tapes by Ariel Entertainment, whoever they were, and was able to assess an "uncut" 87 minute print of the film. I was not prepared for what it had to offer.

I love low rent "B" grade horror, especially European 1970's stuff, and have just begun delving into some of the American made examples beyond DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT or COUNT YORGA. I was enticed by the name Andrew Prine, a magnetic veteran actor of many a B exploitation movie romp -- his role in SIMON KING OF THE WITCHES might be one of the great overlooked performances of the 1970's. His role in BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD is one that I hope he eventually got over, because films like this can wreck a career especially when an actor throws himself into the role, something that he was not apparently able to resist. I wonder if he got to view his daily rushes, or even if there were any daily rushes -- My thought is that the entire film was shot in about a week & a half, and exposed/edited only afterwards when nobody could stop the cinematic car wreck that unfolds onscreen.

THE PLOT: Man has lived in near isolation on former Army nuclear testing grounds in Nevada [interesting premise], family having long since deserted or otherwise been rendered ioperable. Prine compensates his lack of company by sitting up in a duck tower with a rifle and putting a bullet through unsuspecting car engines.

These cars are all driven by skanky looking 70's B supporting actresses, whom he cons into coming back to his farm. There they are taken prisoner and chained inside of a large barn. The majority of the film consists of footage of the girls chained up to these little posts and cowering with fear, trembling with cold, and discussing their situation. Between conversations Prine lurches in [sometimes dressed as a big top circus M.C.] and drags one of them off to be abused -- verbally, psychologically, physically, and in the movies sole moment of true interest [though the outcome was cut], by a snake. Ahem. He also talks to himself and plays with a toy windup bigtop. He is not a person but a mannerism -- weird behavior for a movie plot with legs attached. I doubt if he was allowed a single 2nd take.

At the end of the film a not too secret horrifying secret is revealed, and everyone dies except the two girls that went crazy during their ordeal, which I guess is to make you think, "Gee ...". The End. How they all die I will leave to be a discovery for those stupid enough to seek it out: Don't let my description of a thirty second clip of Snake Sleaze tempt you: BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD just plain sucks.

The "cinemetography", on all levels of considerations, sucks. The script sucks, apparently an attempt to adapt the Ed Gein story to a contemporary "issue", though just what that issue would be remains undefined ... Be angry at the Army for atmospheric atom testing, maybe. Don't take the long scenic route when you can fly, perhaps. Watch out for maniacs that have been exposed to nuclear fallout? Nahh -- too easy. Maybe it will come to me at some point, but like I said this film seems to have been made without any real intent, unless that intention is to disturb.

And rest assured, BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD is disturbing. Folks may have some bondage romp in mind but BE WARNED: this film lacks even the slightest touch of erotic charm. There is sleaze, but it is not arousing sleaze, unless wondering how the girls go to the bathroom when chained up gives you a rise -- that was the only thing that the film made me wonder about. Then again I guess they didn't need to, since all of the barn scenes could have been shot in one afternoon, so maybe nobody had to go before they were finished.

Avoid this film. Avoid it like you would a burning car at a gas pump.

Avoid it like you would avoid an open cesspit. Avoid it like you would avoid someone with a bad case of bubonic plague. Don't be suckered in by a kinky box cover or descriptions of unspeakable horrors. They are unspeakable, allright -- so awful that I can't manage one more word.

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