Thursday, March 12, 2009


When a movie has the following tagline, it carries a certain weight of expectation:

"The most horrifying syndicate of evil in history!"

There have been many horrifying syndicates of evil in history - the Nazi inner circle, the Chinese industrialists who poisoned thousands of babies with melamine-tainted milk, any congregation of three or more Avon ladies - but this is the most horrifying one of all!

Well, except for the fact that it wasn't. Not on any count. There wasn't any syndicate. There were no particularly evil plans. And I've had pancakes that were more horrifying.

If anyone went into 'Circus of Fear' expecting actual fear, they were in for a world of disappointment. In the interests of truth in advertising I suppose they could have called it 'Circus of Disappointment', but of course then it'd be hard to differentiate from any other circus.

As you may be able to tell, I am not a huge fan of circuses.

Top 10 Things About 'Circus of Fear' That Were Scarier Than Anything Covered In The Actual Plot

10. The presence of Klaus Kinski. He was a weird, ugly man, who didn't so much play a character as hang out on set and occasionally get caught by the cameras. No wonder it was a circus of fear - you'd be disconcerted too if you saw this lurking outside your trailer:

I'm here to kick ass and devour souls, and I'm all out of souls.

9. Gina's giant polyester hair.

I just extruded my hair and I can't do a thing with it!

8. The fact that this is the sexiest outfit in the movie:

I don't think the costume designer quite got the appeal of the whole slutty showgirl idea.

7. Gina's hairy-backed lover.

So Gina's lover is the circus' gorilla?

6. The circus' interview technique for prospective employees:

Circus Guy: Now then, what’s your name?

Klaus: That’s my business

Circus Guy: I see. Have you ever worked with a circus before?

Klaus: Maybe.

Circus Guy: Listen boy, you’d better tell the truth. Why have you come here?

Klaus: I just told you. All I want is work.

Circus Guy: If I do have any work I’ll let you know. Where are you living?

Klaus: I’ll be around.

Circus Guy: Okay, let’s have your name and address.

Klaus: Forget it. I’ll be back.

So there you have it – post-war British industrial relations at their very best. Literally.

5. The British automotive industry circa 1966.

If I had one of these, I'd push it into a lake too.

4. The inappropriate soundtrack. What sort of composer looks at a scene full of angry, dangerous circus lions and thinks, 'I know what this scene needs! A ponderous waltz!'?

3. Footage of the great British public thrilling to the lamest circus performances in the entire universe. I suppose that in 1966 it was either this or a 'Carry On' movie (pauses to repress shudder).

2. The pictures of sad clowns on Gina's wall.

Hi! We're here to devour any souls that Klaus Kinski doesn't finish!

1. The absence of actual clowns in the circus. The only thing more frightening than seeing clowns is NOT seeing clowns, if you know what I mean. Talk about the most horrifying syndicate of evil in history.


Blogger Eric B. said...

I <3 Klaus Kinski ever since he dragged a boat over a mountain. I can overlook a little peeping.

12:57 AM  

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