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Roy Ward Baker
Three distinguished English gentlemen accidentally resurrect Count Dracula, killing a disciple of his in process. The Count seeks to avenge his dead servant, by making the trio die in the hands of their own children.
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. Written by
David Carroll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Strong contender for the most underrated vampire movie of all time!
Not sure why 'Vampire Circus' isn't mentioned when people talk about the best Hammer movies, because it certainly deserves to be. As usual the studio manages to create a lot of period atmosphere and chills on, one assumes, not a very large budget, and like most of their movies the acting is uniformly good. The story concerns a village being attacked by a mysterious lethal plague which may or may not be connected with a dark episode in the small communities past concerning an evil Count who once terrorized all and sundry. The village is cut off from the outside world, and while they anxiously await some outside medical attention, a strange traveling circus arrives. The villagers leap upon anything to tale their minds off their awful predicament, but as you can tell from the title, the circus folk aren't exactly what they appear to be and have secret plans of justice and revenge. The performers themselves are much more interesting and sensual than the uptight villagers, and this creates an unusual tension in the viewer compared to many vampire movies, where good vs. evil is black and white with no troubling ambiguities. This is a very unusual twist on the familiar subject matter, and in my opinion one of the most underrated and overlooked vampire movies ever made. Trainspotters note: the supporting cast includes David 'Darth Vader' Prowse as the circus strongman, and Lalla Ward (who replaced Mary Tamm as Romana in 'Dr Who') as a pretty sexy vampire.
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