Monday, January 17, 2011

The Vampire Circus

Some films can be elusive. You hear about them, but can never quite find them. It seems impossible in this age, but it still can happen. "The Mouse and His Child," for example is still not in DVD. Nor is "Get Crazy." The Vampire Circus, is just another one of these films that have fallen through the cracks. Now though I can say I have seen it, thanks to Netflix's streaming movie service.

This is a hammer film and is set in the vague European setting of much of their films. We have a small village that has been terrorized by a vampire. The towns people rise up and kill the vampire but not before the vampire curses them. Years later a plague is burning its way through town. The other villages have set up road blocks to keep the town isolated. Into this comes a gypsy circus. The shows are full of wonder and magic, but people are now dying from more than plague. Is the curse about to be fullfilled? Well, watch and see.

I admit, there was some let down watching this. I had read how the vampires use their powers to enhance the circus, but my imagination had a bigger budget than this film. Despite that, this is a fine example of a late period hammer horror. It is well shot, well produced, and had some good character actors going to town. It had more nudity and violence than the earlier hammer films but it is still mostly tasteful. By the end of the film I was having a good time.

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