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
Joan Crawford was asked by producer Herman Cohen to not drink alcohol during filming. She informed Cohen that she was "just a sipper", however she respected his wishes. See more »
Several people have felt Monica seemed a bit old to be Angela's (who's a teenager) mother. However, off-screen, Joan Crawford is forty-four years older than Judy Geeson and even recent studies have shown that more women are giving birth to children in their late-thirties, early- mid- forties. Contrary to some belief, this is very likely. See more »
You sure know how to put out a fire.
If you want me to spell it out for you, I will. To me, what we have is no more important than a greeting card, sometimes maybe not as friendly.
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Now most people say this is a ridiculous and pretentious piece of clap-trap but they're wrong. This is considerably better than most crappy '80s period movies i've seen. Joan Crawford plays Monica Rivers, a sexy owner of The Great Rivers Circus who wastes no time in taking advantage of the publicity brought in by a string of murders - two of which happen during a performance - and falls under suspicion, all thanks to the loud-mouth Matilda (Diana Dors). She seems to fall apart with each tragedy and soon everyone - including her daughter (Judy Geeson), the cool-dude tightrope walker (Ty Harding) and the pompous manager (Michael Gough) - wonders if she's gone 'BERSERK'. Despite a few airy-fairy conversations and ludicrous puns, BERSERK is definitely a cult classic and should be seen if you've never been to a circus. It makes good use of suspense and you don't know who is getting it next.
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