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Vampire Circus (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) [Blu-ray]

82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A little girl is brutally slain by a vampire in a tiny 19th century Austrian village. Seeking revenge, the townspeople invade the foreboding castle of Count Mitterhaus and kill him for the crime. As the Count dies, he curses the villagers and vows that their children will all die so that he may someday return to life. Fifteen years later, as the village is ravaged by the plague, a traveling circus comes to town and distracts the villagers from their current hardships. Little do they know that their troubles are only beginning! The circus is actually a troupe of shape-shifting vampires and, as the local children start disappearing, they realize the prophecy of the long dead Count is coming true. Synapse Films is proud to present VAMPIRE CIRCUS, now available for the first time on home video in glorious 1080p high-definition and loaded with amazing extras you can really sink your teeth into! Special Features Include: THE BLOODIEST SHOW ON EARTH: Making Vampire Circus - An all-new documentary featuring interviews with writer/director Joe Dante, Hammer documentarian Ted Newsom, Video Watchdog editor/author Tim Lucas, author/film historian Philip Nutman, and actor David Prowse. GALLERY OF GROTESQUERIES: A Brief History of Circus Horrors - A retrospective on circus/carnival themed horror productions. VISITING THE HOUSE OF HAMMER: Britain's Legendary Horror Magazine - A retrospective on the popular British horror/comic publication featuring author Philip Nutman. VAMPIRE CIRCUS: Interactive Comic Book- Featuring artwork by Brian Bolland. POSTER AND STILLS GALLERY ORIGINAL THEATRICAL TRAILER

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: David Prowse, Robert Tayman, Anthony Higgins, Thorley Walters
  • Directors: Robert Young
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Synapse Films
  • DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00456VHMA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,583 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Gart on December 12, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Wanted to post a review letting other Hammer fans know that VC from Synapse is a great piece to add to the collection. I've only looked at the blu-ray so far, but the transfer is very, very good -- colorful, detailed, wonderfully done -- much better than the Spanish Carlton/Filmax transfer I've had for a while (beyond the obvious improvement to the HD format). The extras are fun too -- good background on Hammer and the movie itself from Ted Newsom, Phil Nutman, Joe Dante and Tim Lucas (as well as some David Prowse involvement). This also includes a second audio track of the music and sound effects. In regards to the movie itself, this is one of Hammer's best post-1970 films. VC reminds me of an adult fairy tale with good scares and interesting metaphorical themes (which really aren't far off from what the original fairy tales often included). Is it top-tier Hammer? No, but it is much better than some of their output from any era of Hammer. A great "last gasp" from a studio trying to find its way in a changing cinematic climate. Good Hammer film, great HD release from Synapse. Recommended!
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By J. Tommassello on March 12, 2008
Format: DVD
Perhaps Hammer Films most under appreciated gem - probably due to the hack editing job 20th Century Fox did on the film for it's US release. Inarguably one of the ten best vampire films ever made, it is presented here with every graphic frame of horror and nudity intact. Until the US rights holder (presumably MGM) releases a version (and assuming they do it right) this import version from Brazil will please even the more discriminating horror film collectors. The 16x9 transfer is pleasing though sometimes a little dark. Remember (in spite of the graphic content that was ahead of it's time) this movie was released in 1971. This is as good as I have ever seen VAMPIRE CIRCUS look on video. The packaging and menu are in Portuguese but the disc - by default in fact - plays in English and without subtitles. If you have been looking for this film or are a fan of Hammer Horror - or horror/vampire films in general - you should add this treasure to your collection without hesitation.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 17, 2008
Format: VHS Tape
VAMPIRE CIRCUS is another great early 70's title from Hammer Productions. Featuring a gangbusters cast and a solid story premise from screenwriter Judson Kinberg (based on the story by Wilbur Stark), it's one of the most hypnotic vampire tales you'll ever encounter.

In a small Serbian village, the townsfolk murder evil vampire Count Mitterhaus (Robert Tayman) after it's discovered he has been killing local children with the help of the schoolmaster's wife (Domini Blythe). Several years later, a troupe of circus entertainers arrive in the village, and the cycle of horror starts once more. Out to avenge the death of Mitterhaus, his distant cousin Emil (Anthony Higgins) and a mysterious gypsy maiden (Adrienne Corri) have a score to settle. But why does it involve innocent Dora (Lynne Frederick)?

Shape-shifting vampires and colourful circus illusions make VAMPIRE CIRCUS one of the bright spots at a time when Hammer Studios was starting to struggle in it's attempts to maintain popularity. Anthony Higgins makes for one helluva sexy vampire; he's matched every step of the way by Adrienne Corri. Fans of the unappreciated Lynne Frederick (sadly more associated by being the last Mrs Peter Sellers than by her film work) will adore her as the virginal heroine Dora. A mop-haired John Moulder Brown, costumed in such a way that makes him resemble Roman Polanski circa. "The Fearless Vampire Killers", is an unlikely hero but pairs well with Ms Frederick.

If you love Hammer movies, you'll definitely like VAMPIRE CIRCUS. It's hard to find at the moment, but worth the effort.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By J. Tommassello on December 10, 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Not sure what James is talking about...worst vampire movie ever made? Well he gives "Scorpion King 2" a five-star rating so I'll venture a guess he's too young to remember when movies didn't have to be special effects extravaganzas to be considered great entertainment.

Vampire Circus is as solid a horror thriller as you are likely to find and deserves it's reputation as one of the best and - up to this point - most obscure Hammer films. It is well thought out with interweaving plot lines. The characters are believable and well portrayed. I won't lay out the story as it's already been done here. It manages to be an intelligent film (you actually have to pay attention to follow the story) without sacrificing graphic, horrific elements. Definitely not for kiddies...apparently like James! (Just kidding, Dude!)

This review is based solely on the film itself as I haven't seen the Synapse disc yet.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. B. Hoyos VINE VOICE on June 23, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Vampire Circus" is a non-stop, action packed film from Hammer Productions. This gothic horror masterpiece has a high body count, complex plot, plenty of gore, and a dash of nudity. Count Mitterhaus, a vampire, vows revenge when the villagers of Schtettle stake him for murdering their children. Fifteen years later, a mysterious plague strikes the village which is quarantined. Somehow, the "Circus of Nights" is able to make it through the barricades. This circus consists of some very diabolical vampires, relatives of Mitterhaus, who have a total disregard for human life, even the lives of the humans who aid them. Furthermore, these are no ordinary vampires; they are shape shifters with the power to morph into bats, black panthers, etc.

The acting is superb from all the leads, including John Moulder-Brown of "The House That Screamed," Lynne Frederick of "Schizo," and David Prowse who is the circus strongman. Prowse was the man behind the mask of Darth Vader in the original "Star Wars" trilogy. The sets and costumes are elaborate and gorgeous. "Vampire Circus" is no low budget production; a lot of money was spent on bringing it to life.

The audio and video of this DVD from LW Editora Ltd., Brasil, are excellent. The quality is as good as any I've seen from Anchor Bay, Blue Underground, MGM, or Paramount. The menu is easy to operate; much easier than I had thought. This DVD of one of the greatest Hammer Productions is well worth the purchase. Who knows when or if it will ever be released in the United States. It is highly recommended for anyone who craves gothic and/or vampire horror, or collects films made by Hammer Productions.
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Twins of Evil, Blood on Satans Claw etc !?
Synapse is supposed to put Twins of Evil and Hands of the Ripper out on blu-ray this year to follow their release of Vampire Circus. No word yet on any exact dates.
May 6, 2011 by Kurt Stefan |  See all 22 posts
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