I love vampire movies. I watched them any chance I got when I was a kid and I rushed home from school every day during 'Vampire Week' back in the 70's when they showed movies in the afternoon. Jonny loves them too so imagine our delight when we ran across an old 1972 Hammer horror movie titled 'Vampire Circus' for free on Comcast's on-demand channel. I guess the stupid cable service is worth something after all because you can't get this little gem on Netflix.
First of all, what genius-combining vampires with the circus, it doesn't get much creepier than that. If there's something out there that's scarier than a creepy clown/dwarf/vampire then I surely don't know what it is. Maybe if you could somehow work a monkey in there... Oh wait, they did. This movie makes David Lynch look like Steven Spielberg. In fact I'd be stunned and amazed if David Lynch wasn't influenced by this movie, some of the stuff in Twin Peaks is toned down versions of scenes/characters found in this film.
The plot has so many holes and is so bizarre with lots of crazy twists and turns that it's hard to tell exactly where it's going which only adds to the eeriness and suspense. You get that uneasy feeling that pretty much anything can happen and then it does. The bad acting only adds to the freakiness. Then there's the Strongman (played by the actor who later played Darth Vader in the first Star Wars trilogy) whose tunic is a wee bit too short and tight for comfort. And by comfort I mean my comfort. I spent a good portion of the movie in constant fear of finding out that yes indeed he was going commando. It was worse than a Boulder's masters swim workout. The special effects were so bad that the gore scenes were scarier than if they had been realistic.
The movie is full of weird themes and undertones as well. The lines between good and evil become so blurred that by the end I'm not sure if I'm cheering for the villagers or the vampires. I could probably spend hours picking the movie apart but I'll spare you that analysis.
The only problem is that you can't get the movie from Netflix and from what I can tell it's not available on DVD in the U.S. so if you have Comcast's on-demand service I'd waste no time in viewing it before it disappears. If not maybe you can beg someone who does to invite you over for a night of freaky chills you won't soon forget and one of the best, creepiest, most original vampire movies you're ever likely to see. In the meantime you can find scenes from the movie over on Youtube. Or maybe you're ready to turn on the Disney Channel right about now.