Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


VAMPIRE CIRCUS (1972). Director: Robert Young.

Count Mitterhaus (Robert Tayman), who has been putting the bite on children in a small European village, vows to destroy everyone after the townspeople finally catch up with him and dispatch him. No one is allowed to leave the village because of a quarantine due to the "plague" of vampirism, but years later a gypsy circus troupe makes its way into Stettel, its entertainers putting the bite on everyone to not only avenge the count but bring him back to life. It's hard to get absorbed in this movie because out of its one-dimensional characters it has no real protagonist, the closest being Dr. Kersh (Richard Owens) who believes vampirism is no more than a disease and gets past the guards to go out and find a cure -- but he isn't seen for most of the movie. Similarly his son Anton (John Moulder-Brown of The Boys of Paul Street) only appears sporadically. A bigger problem is that for all the sex and bloodshed Vampire Circus is kind of tedious and uninvolving.Worse, there's a highly unpleasant emphasis on the erotic seduction of children. With some exceptions, the cast seems strangely unattractive as well.

Verdict: Manages the bizarre feat of making a circus of vampires seem as boring as it is repellent. **.

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