Wednesday, October 02, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 2 - Movie 1

It's not often I get to see a Hammer movie for the first time. After years of eager anticipation, I finally watched Vampire Circus (1972) about a town cursed by a vampire count that they slay. Fifteen years after ridding themselves of their vampire menace, the town is quarantined from the outside world. It's citizens are dropping dead of a plague and the only diversion from death comes in the form of a modest circus which has mysteriously made its way past roadblocks to come entertain the town. In reality, this circus of shape shifting vampires and their human thralls are there to prey on the children of the men who killed the vampire count so that he can be resurrected.

I found the movie to be pleasantly entertaining, suspenseful, and fast moving. It was also surprisingly grisly for even a Hammer film. Children were slain on screen, victims were torn apart, rotting corpses with dangling eyeballs and squirming maggots were to be seen, and bright red blood was splashed liberally, or seen spurting out of open arteries. This movie was produced during the years when Hammer, desperate for bigger box office earnings, threw in a generous amount of gratuitous female nudity, so there's plenty of that on hand as well. It's also a pretty unique take on the vampire story, merging it with the circus of horrors. Like many of the other Hammer vampire movies, this one boasts some unique moments and some inventive means of dispatching vampires.

The BluRay presents a gorgeous print, and comes with some nice extras.


Caffeinated Joe said...

Might have to check this one out!

David Jones said...

One of the most striking things about this film, which I first saw around 1975 on some Saturday morning movie (heavily edited, of course), to me is the music, which maintains the whole circus theme but with a lot of minor chords that makes it sound ominous and spooky.