HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Bruce Lee & I
Doraemon The Movie: Nobita's Dinosaur
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Invasion Planet Earth
Ferdinand
Buddhist Spell, The
Steel and Lace
Reivers, The
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Crawl
Transit
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  Circus of Fear Crime Beneath The Big TopBuy this film here.
Year: 1966
Director: John Llewellyn Moxey
Stars: Christopher Lee, Leo Genn, Anthony Newlands, Heinz Drache, Eddie Arent, Klaus Kinski, Margaret Lee, Suzy Kendall, Cecil Parker, Victor Maddern, Maurice Kaufmann, Lawrence James, Tom Bowman, Skip Martin, Nosher Powell, Gordon Petrie
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: London, by the docks early one morning, and a security van carrying a fortune is making its way through the near-deserted streets. But not everyone is elsewhere, for there is a gang of ne'erdowells planning to halt the vehicle as it crosses a bridge: they place a diversion sign on the road which stops the driver and the car following it, whereupon the criminals pounce and knock out the policemen, then hijack the van. However, one of the guards (Victor Maddern) is a working for the robbers, and in a moment of panic shoots his colleague when he tries to get away...

The stories of Edgar Wallace were very big business in Germany for decades, so naturally there were a host of adaptations for film and television, and luckily Wallace was incredibly prolific so there was little chance of the adapters running out of material for a long while. British producer Harry Alan Towers was no stranger to the benefits of riding a wave of lucrative enterprises, and was no slouch at churning out the scripts, so making a Wallace mystery or two wasn't going to be a huge effort for him, relatively speaking. A co-production between British and West German companies, the results have proven surprisingly durable.

What Circus of Fear was not was a horror film in the vein of Circus of Horrors or Berserk! from the same decade, it was far more of a thriller as you would notice immediately from the heist which opened the movie. A bonus here was some nice colour footage shot on location, whether it be of the capital or the motorways and countryside surrounding it, which for some viewers might be more interesting than trying to work out who the killer was. Still, that did not stop this being marketed as a horror flick thanks to the presence of a certain Christopher Lee, playing the lion tamer in the titular circus and donning a mask thanks to his character's unfortunate close encounter with one of his animals.

So Mr Lee spent most of his appearance sporting that covering, in more ways than one because Circus of Secrets might just well have done as a title for the scheming that went on here. But what did the big top have to do with the robbery we watched at the beginning? That took its own sweet time in being revealed, which might have seen some audiences getting restless while others may be more intrigued. What we did know was that when Maddern's double-crosser got an ear-bashing from his boss he was instructed to take the money out to a contact in the countryside, which he did, and then got a knife in his back for his trouble. So who killed him? Someone from the circus, one had to assume.

Cut to that circus and Klaus Kinski loitering there, claiming to be looking for a job though they're not hiring. If Herr Kinski is present, you have good reason to believe someone's up to no good, and his stony visage may be giving nothing away but he did add a note of unease to what could have been a straightforward police procedural. Yes, the cops were involved too: Inspector Elliott (Leo Genn) is on the case, with his superior Cecil Parker (apparently breaking in his new dentures) breathing down his neck to get this one solved and pronto as the public clamour for an arrest. Also of interest was Suzy Kendall, a "guest star", playing one of the performers in a leotard, and little Skip Martin as the ironically-named Mr Big, a familiar face in such affairs; German viewers may better recognise the cast members of their country. While nothing special, there was something pleasing in the way this was complex but not completely baffling, so you might not remember it much, but it was fine while you were watching it. Music by Johnny Douglas.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1631 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: