Berserk! – 1967 | 96 mins | Horror | Colour
Tawdry British chiller from low-budget schlock specialist Herman Cohen about a series of grisly murders within the confines of a travelling circus, and despite an abundance of red herrings you may have little trouble in spotting the killer. Garishly photographed in Technicolor and padded out with a lot of circus performance footage, this horror is a camp delight for lovers of kitsch but may prove heavy going for traditional horror fans. There are feeble performances from Judy Geeson as Crawford’s daughter and Ty Hardin as the new high-wire act, and only ageing scenery-chewing Joan Crawford, attired in unflattering costumes, can overcome the lamentable script.
Monica Rivers (Joan Crawford), the icy and ambitious owner of a struggling travelling circus, appears unconcerned when her star performers keep dying in horrifying accidents. Monica is more concerned with the gate receipts and how the grisly deaths might attract morbid publicity and even more punters. Monica demands a new starring act to replace those dying, and employs brash Canadian high-wire performer Frank Hawkins (Ty Hardin). Co-owner, Dorando(Michael Gough), becomes jealous of Monica’s friendship with the new star act,but it’s not long before the partnership is brought to an end by Dorando suffering a fatal accident.
The police are called in to investigate, and snappily-dressed Supt. Brooks (Robert Hardy) is despatched to catch up with the circus at Liverpool. Meanwhile, Mrs Rivers’ rebellious daughter Angela (Judy Geeson) is expelled from school and comes to join her mother at the circus. However, despite the police presence on site, the grisly deaths continue, notably during an electric saw act.
Jim O’Connolly: Director
Maurice Pelling: Art Direction
Desmond Dickinson: Cinematography
Jay Hutchinson Scott: Costume Design
Raymond Poulton: Film Editing
George Partletonand Pearl Tipaldi: Makeup Department
John Scott: Original Music
Herman Cohen: Producer
Aben Kandel: Script
Herman Cohen: Script
John Cox: Sound Department
Mike Le Mare: Sound Department
Bert Ross: Sound Department