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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Circus Of Horrors (1960)

Starring Anton Diffring, Erika Remberg, Yvonne Monlaur, Donald Pleasence, Jane Hylton
Directed by Sidney Hayers
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A brilliant plastic surgeon runs afoul of the law and goes into hiding, where he acquires a circus and uses his talents to blackmail scarred criminals into becoming his performers.

Diffring excels as a nefarious and immoral villain in this British shocker which features a number of lovely ladies in the cast who become his accomplices and his victims.  The screenplay leaves several key questions unanswered- how did someone with no experience build a successful circus?  How were all the killings ruled accidents by the police?  Why did his accomplices stay with him for ten years when he apparently provided them nothing in return?  Nonetheless, I didn't have a problem dismissing those quibbles, as Hayers has crafted a visually appealing and gripping chiller, augmented by genuine circus footage credited to the company of Billy Mays.    

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