“The Circus of Nights — a hundred delights!”
When Count Mitterhaus (Robert Tayman) is killed by the villagers of Stetel, he vows to seek revenge. Fifteen years later, a circus of vampires arrives in town and starts killing off the villagers one by one, in an attempt to raise Mitterhaus from the dead.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Carnivals and Circuses
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, the storyline of this “very unusual Hammer horror film set in 19-century Serbia” is hard to follow at times (the “story gets confusing”), but contains countless “artistic flourishes” by director Robert Young, some nifty special effects, and an effective portrayal of small-town life threatened by “outsiders”. Because the transient, freak-filled nature of circuses makes them inherently creepy, the idea of a circus composed of vengeful vampires makes sense in a weird way — indeed, Richard Scheib’s reference to the equally supernatural Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) is an apt one. As Peary writes, the “great use of religious symbolism and visuals… make us question whether we’re witnessing reality or have entered a dream state.”
Note: Fans of Jerzy Skolimowski’s Deep End will no doubt enjoy seeing the film’s teenage star (John Moulder-Brown) in a radically different role as the town’s young hero.
- Nifty make-up and special effects
No, but it’s recommended.