HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
King, The
Food of the Gods II
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Man Apart, A
Ciambra, The
Reflection of Fear, A
Aurora Encounter, The
Breaking In
Breaking In
Please Stand By
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, The
Deadpool 2
Smart Money
Lupin the Third vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
   
 
Newest Articles
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
   
 
  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 1116 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
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: