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Though shot in color, the movie was released in Germany in black-and-white. Rialto Film, the Production Company of the German Edgar Wallace series, was very close to Constantin Film, this movie's German distributor and co-Producer. Rialto Film wanted to promote a production of their own as the "first Edgar Wallace film in color". That movie was The Hunchback of Soho (1966), released in Germany only a couple of months after this film. The original color version was released in Germany on DVD in 2006, though in edited form. See more »
In the fight scene between the knife thrower and the head of the circus the two actors were rolling around in the elephant area and on the circus floor, but five minutes when the manager is talking to the midget and smoking a cigarette his brown sport coat looks like it came from the cleaners. See more »
Two years ago he was involved in a serious accident and very badly scarred. He carries on the act in the family tradition but never without the mask.
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Video version entitled Circus of Fear includes new footage and introduction with John Carradine. See more »
Circus of Fear is based on a novel by Edgar Wallace; the same writer who spawned the German "Krimi" style of film-making. This film is a British take on the Krimi style and comes out something like a Hammer Horror mystery, though the film is not without its problems. That's possibly why this film is not easy to come by; as despite the fact that it stars Christopher Lee in an interesting role as a circus lion tamer, Circus of Fear, at times, isn't all that easy to get along with as the plot is really quite messy and the horror that goes along with the central mystery often gets in the way. The plot begins with a botched heist that ends with one of the criminals shooting a police officer. The shooter is given the chance to go and give the boss his share before being allowed to flee the country; but unfortunately, he is murdered upon his arrival at the meeting place. The action then switches to the local circus where is believed that the identity of the murderer will be revealed. There we are introduced to a whole host of shady and mysterious characters...
The film is directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, who previously directed Christopher Lee in the excellent, fog-soaked, City of the Dead. Said previous film is a better one as the plot worked better; but while Circus of Fear doesn't always work well, the things that do work are very good and the film never gets boring. The cast is headed by Christopher Lee who is grim and imposing in his role as a horribly scarred and masked lion tamer. The film also features a small role for the great Klaus Kinski, as well as sound performances from British performers Anthony Newlands, Leo Genn and Margeret Lee. The film presents a lot of suspects and it soon becomes easier to just watch it rather than try and guess who the killer is. However, the two twists in the tale can be guessed (the first one is very obvious) without putting too much strain on the viewer, which is a shame. City of the Dead was all about atmosphere and this film is fairly atmospheric too, though not nearly to the same extent as the earlier film, which is another shame. Overall, Circus of Fear is not a great film; but it's entertaining enough and I can recommend it.
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