Why I Bought It ?: Came with my dollar store copy of Carnival Of Souls.
Why I Haven’t Watched It ?: Would you watch a movie called Circus Of Fear rather then Carnival Of Souls?
How Was It?: Circus Of Fear isn’t actually a horror movie despite its misleading title, and present on a horror double feature DVD. Actually more of a crime film and mystery it follows a botched heist whose ill gotten gains end up stolen by someone (or SOMETHING, wait no it’s not a horror movie, someone) who works at a circus. Circus Of Fear is an agreeable enough movie that never quite becomes as fun as it should be. Despite the presence of Christopher Lee (!) as a Lion Tamer (!!) who wears a gimp mask (!!!) and Klaus Kinski at his most batshit Klaus Kinskiesque, this movie manages to occasionally be boring, for which there is simply no excuse.
The problem with the movie is that everything that goes on at the circus is reasonably entertaining it, but everything away from it is frightfully dull. The movie is half Freaks half pre Michael Caine, British Crime film (and thus, once again, dull). Anytime the movie cuts to British police genteely discussing Scallywags and Hooligans in a tastefully decorated office, my eyes couldn’t help but glaze over.
As the movie goes on we spend less and less time with the circus people and more and more time with the Agatha Christie Rejects (Band Name Trademarked). So despite the presence of lion attacks, Klaus Kinski acting like he’s a serial murderer, and The Dread Mystery Of What Lies Behind Christopher Lee’s Gimp Mask, things never quite take off.
The film comes to a suitably bizarre conclusion, involving an unsolved murder in South Africa (?). But by then it’s all a bit too little too late.