Vampire Circus Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 24, 2011
"Vampire Circus" is, in my opinion one of Hammer's best vampire efforts outside of "Horror of Dracula," and "Dracula, Prince of Darkness." This movie has wonderful atmosphere, rather good special effects for it's day, effective performances, and a good plotline not to mention that classic, lush Hammer cinematography. This is a superior vampire story and it is handled well.

***Spoilers ahead***

The story opens when a man observes his young bride leading a child off toward the castle of Count Rittenhouse, a tyrannical ruler who is feared by all of his subjects. Alarmed, he summons the men of the village and finally persuades them to attack Rittenhouse and free the child. Apparently, this has happened more than once in the village as the men finally overcome their fears and agree to storm the castle. Once inside though, the men find that they have stumbled onto more than they bargained for. Count Rittenhouse is more than just a madman. He is a mad vampire.

A battle ensues in which the men of the village finally get the best of Rittenhouse by staking him in the back. As the vampire lies dying, he pronounces a curse upon the village to the effect that the men who slew him will die, as well as their children, "to give me back my life."

Fifteen years later, the Circus of Nights comes to town featuring a bizzare cast of characters and rather scandalous entertainment. By now the town has fallen under a plague connected with the curse of Count Rittenhouse and is quarantined by its fearful neighbors. The circus has supposedly come to bring life back to the village, although, as time goes on, we see that they have really come to bring death to the village, and life to a certain vampire lying in the ruins of his castle crypt.

If you enjoy Hammer films or just vampire films in general, "Vampire Circus" is a must-see. For those of you who have seen it, it is well worth seeing again, although be warned, if you have never seen the uncut version, you might just be surprised. This movie was made when Hammer was going through its own sexual revolution and there are three scenes in which nudity is a factor although, in my opinion, "Vampire Circus" is not quite the "flesh-fest" production that "The Vampire Lovers" or "Countess Dracula" were.

If you haven't seen this film, it's well worth the time. If you have seen it and don't remember it or you're afraid that it might not be as good as you remember, you've got a real treat coming.
Super Reviewer
March 8, 2008
Awesome Hammer is awesome.
Super Reviewer
March 21, 2008
One of my favorite Hammer films and possibly one of my favorite vampire moivies.
January 7, 2012
This was a complete blind-buy for me, based entirely on the stills I had seen of a bald, blue striped vampire gal looking hot, and I have to say that I wasn't disappointed. The story of a vampire seeking revenge across time, visited upon those who took his life is an interesting one, and I really enjoy the Gothic trappings and the 'under the bigtop' setting.

Well worth a look, recommended.
December 20, 2011
The original Ramona from the Tom Baker Dr. Who was in it as a vampire twin. It was actually fairly good. A lot of toplessness and a lot of that bright red paint Hammer used to indicate blood. Plus there was a great puppet attack that was supposed to be a black panther. But it looked like a hand puppet. I love that sort of effect. There was a nude lizard woman writhing around on another gypsy dancer. A black lepoard that sprang into a shampoo'd stylized bad boy vampire. All in all, I think I really enjoyed the midget bashing the
January 19, 2008
A village in Nineteenth Century Europe is at first relieved when a circus breaks through the quarantine to take the local's minds off the plague. But their troubles are only beginning as children begin to disappear and the legacy of a long-ago massacre is brought to light.
March 11, 2007
I love Hammer, but this didn't hold my interest. I'm always reading that the studio's films declined in the 70s, and I usually argue that point. Not with Vampire Circus.
December 12, 2006
Quirky and dream-like Hammer vampire film that is certainly more original then their typical vampire fare and somewhat scary at times. Lalla Ward, as one of the vampires, is excellent. Check it out.
May 25, 2014
One of the best Vampire genre films I have ever seen. A superb story, delivered in style.
Right from the start the story hooks you in with the abduction of a child, enticed to the castle of the count by a woman.
A posse of male villagers, as one would expect of the zeitgeist of the time, set out to rescue the child and in doing so attack the vampire. Victorious at this they punish the woman with a whipping and expulsion from the village.
The standard is set for a superior plot that keeps you riveted to the film to see what happens next. And it does when a travelling circus, secretly containing of vampires, arrives in the village many years later. The village itself now quarantined from a plague.
Plentiful characters brought to life that include future Darth Vader, David Prowse as a strongman, and future Dr Who assistant ( and future wife of Professor Richard Dawkins) Lalla Ward as a young vampire.
A mesmorising dance scene by Serena is worth watching on it's own.
One superb film.
October 17, 2013
An incredibly weak entry in the usually great Hammer vampire series.
July 8, 2013
Strong violence and graphic sex (by the standards of that time), among other qualities, distinguish this excellent horror thriller from the later years of Hammer Studios. Out of a simple set-up -- a vampire is put to death by concerned villagers, only to be resurrected 15 years later by a band of black magicians who run a traveling circus -- director Robert Young is able to wring some real tension, not to mention a few genuine shocks. Even children are not safe in the beautiful but dangerous world he creates. The set design and cinematography are outstanding, and this may well be one of the best of all vampire films (and that would be a short list indeed). Would make a great double bill with another classic Hammer vampire tale, Twins of Evil.
½ October 11, 2012
One of the better Hammer Horror films is an amusing mix of blood soaked vampire violence and soft core circus porn
½ September 1, 2012
Rarely seen, this is one of Hammer's best films. Vampire Circus is erotic, gory, stylish and suspenseful. Much better than the last few Dracula films or the likes of 'Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter'. Technical support was provided by Billy Smart's Circus and animal handling by Mary Chipperfield. And of course, David Prowse plays the 'Strongman'.
½ March 17, 2012
One of my favorite Hammer films. It's fairly violent and original and has some pretty wicked characters. I didn't think the beginning of the movie was quite as shocking and violent as I heard it was, but the rest of the movie was pretty macabre which I liked. Once that sexy snake woman started dancing I was into it.
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