Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vampire Circus

Yesterday, the bare branches and colored leaves were shrouded in a cold gray mist as I walked. The effect was utterly captivating. I love it when daylight is eerie. Since I cannot deliver unto you the strange color of the light cast upon northeast Ohio on this eve of Halloween eve, behold one of my favorite scenes from Vampire Circus (1972):

Pay no attention to the cheesy voice over at the beginning of the clip--you MUST watch the tigerwoman dance. And is she nude/painted or is that a body stocking? I have watched this countless times and cannot tell. I swear Vampire Circus may be my favorite horror flick of all time. Yes I own it on DVD, but you can view the entire original English version online. Is that legal? Dunno.

Despite today's ubiquitous sex and violence, I contend that the opening of Vampire Circus could never be made today: Anna, a beautiful young woman frolics with a little girl (Jenny) in a sunny meadow. They laugh and romp as Anna leads Jenny into a castle and up to a bedroom where the entrancing Count Mitterhaus awaits. The little girl smiles sweetly as he loosens her hair. Anna watches on, obviously aroused as the Count bares his vampire fangs and descends upon the child. After Jenny's murder, Anna and the Count enjoy some unapologetic sex.

Except for a few cheesy gore shots, the cinematography is strange and sensuous. Add haunting calliope music, blood-dripping fangs, utterly surreal carnival scenes and loads of taboo sex and the result is one of the best efforts from Hammer Film Productions. I can't understand why Vampire Circus didn't make this list.

Please do leave your horror film suggestions in the comment section. Who knows? I might even be moved to finally ramp up and get a Netflix account.

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Danb said...

Bare. Ass. Naked. She's got something pasted over her tingly bits in the front, but other than that, she is living a clothing free lifestyle.


B.E. Earl said...

Have you seen The Wicker Man? The original one, natch.

I would think you must be a fan of Britt Ecklund's butt-naked wall slap dance/song number.

The early 70's were a trip.

Kirk said...

Never heard of Vampire Circus. I checked it out on Wikipedia and was surprised at the length of the entry. I wonder if it's not considered a cult classic. I thought I knew all the cult classics, but I guess not. I'll have to seek this one out.

Anyway, here's some of my favorite horror movies:

Bride of Frankenstein
Cat People (1942)
Curse of the Cat People
The Thing (1951)
Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
The Haunting
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (no other slasher film comes close, IMHO)
The House of Dracula (actually, this one's a bit cheesy, but I like the fact that all the Universal monsters appear in it, and Larry Talbot is finally cured of his lycanthropy)
Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein (yes, it's a comedy, but it also has all the monsters, playing it quite straight)
Targets (Boris Karloff's final movie, he plays someone not unlike himself, a horror movie actor. He's the hero in this one. The "monster" is the kind you might find in real life, a psychopathic sniper)
The Fly (1950s version)
The Brain That Wouldn't Die
The House on Haunted Hill
Comedy of Terrors (as the title more than implies, this is another comedy, but any movie with Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, and Basil Rathbone, how can there not be at least some chills?)
The Wolf Man
The Invisible Man
The Mummy (1930s version)

As you can see, I'm very old school when it comes to horror movies. As I wrote in the comment section of another blog, I've never found horror films all that scary, yet I love them anyway. I think I'm attracted to the overall weirdness of horror films, being a bit weird myself.

Vance said...

My sister took me to see "Black Sunday" (1960 Italian horror film, also known as The Mask of Satan)when I was 8 years old. Scared the crap out of this little boy.

Anonymous said...

Yep. Nekkid....
My faves-both versions of The Thing..
the remake is actually truer to the original short story I think-"Who Goes There" by John W. Campbell-
Aliens-the directors cut version...
Tremors-fucking hilarious
The Shining
The Stand
Little Shop of Horrors-original of course...
Any televised appearance by Rick Perry or Michele Bachman gives me the willies...
Shaun of the Dead
The Haunting of Hill House
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey
13 Ghosts

Anonymous said...

Any Simpsons Halloween episode...the parodies and homages to classic TV shows and movies are brilliant...

dean said...

Nekkid - restrained breasts don't move like that.

Hammar films always used to throw in some titteh with their cheesy horror. They knew their audience.

Erin O'Brien said...

aw hell.

It's after 8 on Halloween and I'm enjoying an adult beverage. Make no mistake, this is the sort of post I will return to on a snowy weekend in search of movie suggestions.

Now if you're so inclined, dig my twitter feed (right hand sidebar) for a few Halloween pix and a link to the opening credits of "Spider Baby."


Kirk said...

Now I'm also going to have to seek out Spider Baby.

philbilly said...

Although I totally get why the recent spate of "vampire" shows are getting press, the stars are currently the "it" people, these shows like Twilight just blow. Vehicles for teeny bopper heart throbs, no more.

Instead, check out Herzog's 1979homage to the original 1922"Nosferatu, the Terror" from Germany's golden age of silent films and its greatest expressionist director, F. W.Mirnau.

After the vampyre(Klaus Kinski) leaves his castle to pursue Lucy and arrives in the town of Wismar on a rat infested ship, its captain and crew dead, the ensuing collapse of the town into madness and plague is cinematic gold.