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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Vampire Circus (1972)

O.K.  I must confess, I was intrigued by this one after reading the title and seeing the movie poster.  Then I was lured into watching it because it came from Hammer Studios.  Mea culpa.  This film wasn't bad but it was hardly a masterpiece either.  If your idea of a good time is lots of gratuitous breast shots for no apparent reason along with vampires who are less scary than Edward in Twilight, then Vampire Circus may well be your Gone With the Wind.  
Seriously, this is not the best effort from the legendary company known as Hammer Horror.  The long backstory intro raised more questions than it answered.  [How do you burn down a stone building, for example?]  All we really needed to know was that "evil" vampire Count Mitterhaus got staked, but before he died he set into motion a plot for his revenge.  That should take, 2 minutes tops!  But, instead, we were treated to succubi writhing in ecstasy and the worst fake blood I've seen, ever.  Apparently Sherwin Williams was having a sale just before this movie was being filmed!
The acting is fine but, again, nothing special.  One of the brighter spots was Adrienne Corri [Dr. Zhivago, A Clockwork Orange] was the "Gypsy Woman."  She tried to hold everything together but it was difficult with all the unscary vamps running around her along with the most boring, one dimensional village folk ever assembled.  Personally, I could have cared less who died in this film and I'm sure most people who watch the film will feel the same way.  [The only deaths that troubled me were the children who were murdered.  That's a horror no-no as far as I'm concerned.]
This film feels very dated and a produce of its time.  The early 1970's were not a great time for horror films and Vampire Circus does nothing to change my opinion.  Enough said.  There are far better vampire films to watch.  Unless you're a diehard Hammer Horror fan, you can skip this one!
Rating: Fair.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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