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Circus of Fear
Circus of Terror / Psycho-Circus / Das Rätsel des silbernen Dreiecks / Scotland Yard auf heisser Spur

UK/West Germany 1966
produced by
Harry Alan Towers
directed by John Llewellyn Moxey
starring Christopher Lee, Leo Genn, Anthony Newlands, Heinz Drache, Klaus Kinski, Eddi Arent, Margaret Lee, Suzy Kendall, Cecil Parker, Victor Maddern, Maurice Kaufmann, Lawrence James, Tom Bowman, Skip Martin, Nosher Powell
screenplay by Peter Welbeck (= Harry Alan Towers), based on a novel by Edgar Wallace, music by Johnny Douglas

Harry Alan Towers' Edgar Wallace-adaptations, Edgar Wallace made in Germany

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!

The robbery of a money transport right on Tower Bridge goes somewhat wrong when Mason (Victor Maddern), the guard in cahoots with the robbers, shoots his colleague dead, however the criminals do get away with the money, & Mason soon ends up dead anyway.

But where did the money go, asks inspector Elliott (Leo Genn) of Scotland Yard & his superior, Sir John (Cecil Parker). The trail leads to Barberini's (Anthony Newlands) circus's winter quarters, where just about everybody seems suspicious:
- the lion tamer Gregor, who was disfigured in an accident with his lions to a point that he doesn't bear showing himself anymore without a mask, hiding his face;
- his niece & apprentice Natasha (Suzy Kendall), whose father is an escaped criminal;
- ringmaster Carl (Heinz Drache), who seems to have more on his mind than to just announce the acts;
- local circus beauty Gina (Margaret Lee);
- her jealous lover & knifethrower Mario (Maurice Kaufmann);
- the sinister dwarf Mr Big (Skip Martin), who takes a delight in blackmailing just about everyone;
- & of course harmless bookkeeper Eddie (Eddi Arent), who so wants to be a clown.

To further complicate matters, it turns out that Gregor really has the money, but was not part of the robbery, while Manfred (Klaus Kinski), who does not have the money, was part opf the robbery & now hangs about the premises too. Plus, some knifethrower is diminuishing the cast, but might it be Mario ?

& when a storeroom, where Gregor has hidden the money, is set afire & Gregor is revealed to be his own criminal brother (as played by Christopher Lee, who - knowing the costcutting methods of Harry Alan Towers - most probably did not play Gregor while still masked), who Carl wants to take revenge on. Out of love for Natasha, he changes his mind in the last minute though, only for Gregor to soon be killed by the sinister knifethrower/mastermind of the Tower-bridge-robbery himself. But who might that be ?

At the end, inspector Elliot comes up with an overly complicated & highly unlikely scheme to unmask the mastermind, who turns out to be - for some reason - harmless Eddie ...

 

In the 1960's, both Merton Park Studios in Great Britain & Rialto Film in Germany produced successful series on the works of mystery writer Edgar Wallace - indepentdently from one another of course -, & so it seemed to be only a matter of time, before someone decided to combine both series to - presumably - double the success. That someone - to little surprise - was Harry Alan Towers, a pan-European producer who was always keen to jump any bandwagon. He thus brought together key actors from both series (Anthony Newlands & Maurice Kaufmann from the Merton Park-series, Heinz Drache, Klaus Kinski & Eddi Arent [the record-holder in Edgar Wallace-starring roles] from Rialto) to have them star in a nostalgically enjoyable but at the same time overly convoluted murder mystery, that has way too many subplots that lead nowhere interesting to really follow the main thread, & the solution of it all is done in a rather rabbit-out-of-the-hat-way, with no real clues leading to Eddie until the very last scenes - in fact, one is in the end left with the dissatisfying feeling, it might have been just about anybody else as well.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD