Vampire Circus [1972]
Vampire Circus [1972] - Image

“The Greatest Blood-Show on Earth!” A nice little atmospheric horror flick from Hammer Film Productions, Vampire Circus opens with villagers from a tiny Austrian town swarming the castle of an evil vampire named “Count Mitterhaus” (Robert Tayman, looking like a sleazy cruise ship magician) driving a wooden stake through his heart (of course not before he curses the villagers and tells them all their children will die) and burning the place down. Fifteen years later, in the midst of a plague outbreak, the same village welcomes the diversion of a traveling carnival, complete with dwarf clown (Skip Martin), silent strongman (David Prowse, who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy even though James Earl Jones voiced the character) and acrobatic twins, as well as a gypsy girl and panther man. However, unbeknownst to the villagers, the carnival is full of vampires determined to avenge Count Mitterhaus’ death and return him to life. Soon village children start disappearing and the villagers turn their wrath on the carnival troupe. Directed by Robert Young, Vampire Circus was filmed at Pinewood Studios and also features Laurence Payne, Domini Blythe, Lynne Frederick, Thorley Walters, Adrienne Corri, Mary Wimbush, Christina Paul, Robin Sachs, Lalla Ward, Richard Owens, John Moulder-Brown, Robin Hunter, Elizabeth Seal and Anthony Higgins. Definitely not for all tastes (for instance, one of the film's "highlights" is a decapitation by crossbow).

Useless Trivia: Frederick, who portrayed “Dora Miller” in Vampire Circus, was briefly married to both Peter Sellers (1977-80) and David Frost (1981-82).     

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