|CIRCUS OF FEAR (PSYCHO-CIRCUS) (director: John Moxey-English version (Werner Jacobs-German version); screenwriters: Peter Welbeck-alias for Harry Alan Towers/based on an Edgar Wallace story; cinematographer: Ernest Steward; editor: John Trumper; music: Johnny Douglas; cast: Christopher Lee (Gregor), Leo Genn (Inspector Elliott), Tom Bowman (Jackson), Suzy Kendall (Natasha), Cecil Parker (Sir John), Skip Martin (Mr. Big), Anthony Newlands (Barberini), Heinz Drache (Carl), Maurice Kauffman (Mario), Lawrence James (Manley), Klaus Kinkski (Manfred), Eddi Arent (Eddie); Runtime: 65; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Harry Alan Towers/David Henley; Blue Underground; 1966-UK/W.Germany)|
|"Though muddled, the film is
by Dennis Schwartz
a mystery/suspense film than a horror
pic. The English version titled Psycho-Circus, in
black and white, is directed by John Moxey ("Ricochet"/"Horror
Hotel"/"Foxhole in Cairo"), as if the film was
intended for TV. It's based on an Edgar Wallace story
of a Scotland Yard murder investigation. The
screenplay by Peter Wellbeck is filled with plot
Elliott (Leo Genn) investigates an
armored car robbery pulled off by the London docks on
Tower Bridge. A group of Barberini circus people
become suspected of murdering the guard, the robbery
of the bank's quarter of a million dollars and
hiding the loot. The many suspects as the mastermind
include the lion-tamer Gregor (Christopher Lee),
always in a black woolly hood to hide his scarred face
mauled by a lion; an edgy knife-thrower
(Maurice Kauffman); a vengeful ringmaster ((Heinz
Drache); a blackmailing dwarf called "Mr. Big"
(Skip Martin); and several clowns. Since
all those in on the heist are killed, we're left
wondering who arranged this heist. The mastermind
isn't revealed until the rushed conclusion.
Though muddled, the film is moderately entertaining.
REVIEWED ON 5/16/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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