Horrorfest 2019/It’s Hammer Time Presents: Vampire Circus (1972, Robert Young)

After years of making vampire movies that conclude with the heroes killing the vampire plaguing their home town, Hammer Studios decided to make a film that shows what happens after the townspeople win. Vampire Circus is a fairly solid picture, one that lives up to its own expectations. I liked that the townspeople are still haunted by the memory of the evil Count Mitterhaus, and that they fear his return. Into the midst of a disease that is tormenting the village a circus arrives, and of course they bring trouble because this is a Hammer film. Even the circus is evil, and in this case is hiding secrets that will all be revealed in due time, viewers.

As a big fan of Doctor Who it was fun to see Lalla Ward playing one of the circus people, and Thorley Walters playing the mayor, as he was in multiple Hammer movies as well. I like that Hammer Studios often used the same actors in different films, and naturally Vampire Circus has a good amount of gore. One particular stand out kill is a cross being thrown onto a vampire, and also a crossbow is used to rather gruesome effect. Even though Vampire Circus is not top tier Hammer, it is still worth a look as being an entertaining vampire movie. These kinds of films have a quality that is lost in this day and age.

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