February 24, 2017


Circus of Fear – 1966 | 65 mins | Crime, Thriller | Colour


Plot Synopsis

Circus of Fear

Some may find John Moxeyís Circus of Fear a misleading title, rather than a horror itís a krimi murder- mystery with plenty of suspects and red herrings. This fairly suspenseful and confusing whodunit was loosely based on the 1921 Edgar Wallace story Again the Three Just Men. Cast heavyweights Christopher Lee and Leo Genn provide solid performances and itís their acting that is the cement holding the whole film together. A German-language version was shot simultaneously, and alternative colour and black-and-white, and cut and fully-restored versions of the film exist.

Following a daring daylight armoured van raid on Londonís Tower Bridge, Scotland Yard detective Elliott (Leo Genn) traces the stolen money to Barberini’s travelling circus at their winter quarters. A series of puzzling deaths caused by unique throwing knives plague the circus whilst the detective hunts for the crooks and their stolen loot. Suspects include Gregor, the mask-wearing and disfigured lion tamer (Christopher Lee), Carl (Heinz Drache), a vengeful ringmaster, Mario (Maurice Kaufmann) an insanely jealous knife-thrower, and a blackmailing dwarf called “Mr. Big.”. Elliott investigates all the clues, leading to a final denouement in front of the assembled suspects during a knife-throwing performance.

Production Team

John Moxey: Director
Frank White: Art Direction
Ernest Steward: Cinematography
John Trumper: Film Editing
Anne Box: Makeup Department
Frank Turner: Makeup Department
Johnny Douglas: Original Music
Harry Alan Towers: Producer
Harry Alan Towers: Script
John Brommage: Sound Department
Ken Cameron: Sound Department


Christopher Lee: Gregor
Leo Genn: Elliott
Anthony Newlands: Barberini
Heinz Drache: Carl
Eddi Arent: Eddie
Klaus Kinski: Manfred
Margaret Lee: Gina
Suzy Kendall: Natasha
Cecil Parker: Sir John
Victor Maddern: Mason
Maurice Kaufmann: Mario
Lawrence James: Manley
Tom Bowman: Jackson
Skip Martin: Mr Big

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