Vampire Circus (1972)

VAMPIRE CIRCUS (1972)
Article 4532 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 5-12-2014
Directed by Robert Young
Featuring Adrienne Corri, Thorley Walters, Anthony Higgins
Country: UK
What it is: Vampire movie

15 years after the residents of a small town stormed a castle and destroyed a vampire, they find themselves blocked off from the rest of the world due to a plague running rampant. Somehow, a circus manages to get around the roadblock, and it sets out to entertain the villagers, but one of the members of the circus is a relative of the vampire, not to mention being one himself, as are other members of the circus.

I must be nearing the end of the Hammer horror movies, so there’s a possibility that this may be the last one I cover. It’s heavier on the exploitation elements (there’s a lot of blood, nudity and sex), but it has a certain offbeat quality to it, especially during the circus sequences. This is the first directorial credit of Robert Young, and he gives the movie some interesting stylistic touches to add to the mix. I like the first two-thirds of the movie very much, but the final third gets predictable and silly; in particular, I find it hard to swallow that a vampire would be terrified of a vaguely cross-shaped metallic adornment on a crossbow. One of the more interesting aspects of this one is that it emphasizes one aspect of vampirism that is often ignored or underplayed by other vampire movies, and that is that children would be considered prime targets for vampires; if I recall correctly, that’s one of elements of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”.

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