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Circus of the Dead Review from Bloody Bill Productions Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
Written by Jay Creepy   
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
Severed Cinema Review of Circus of the Dead SEVERED CINEMA REVIEW OF CIRCUS OF THE DEAD

Directed by: Billy 'Bloody Bill' Pon
Written by: Lee Ankrum, Billy 'Bloody Bill' Pon
Produced by: Billy 'Bloody Bill' Pon, Melissa Land, Aaron Ray Ballard, Barry Christopher
Cinematography by: Gaeb Ramirez
Edited by: Billy 'Bloody Bill' Pon
Music by: Lauren Comele Morris
Special Effects by: Matthew Ash, Marcus Koch, Heather Buckley, Esau Ramirez
Cast: Bill Oberst Jnr, Rusty Edwards, Parrish Randall, Chanel Ryan, Roger Edwards, Ryan Clapp, Mike Williams, Chanel Ryan, Jordan Bell.
Year: 2014
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 45min

Studio: Bell Cow Films, Bloody Bill Productions

There's nowt like a blooming good killer clown movie is there? I don't mean Spaulding or Stitches, or the Killer ones from Outer Space, I'm talking the downright dirty mean realistic ones who come along and shatter those with phobias to pieces.

Come one, come all, boys and girls, into the Circus of the Dead, a low budget nasty, which gives out clown fear by the shovel full. Hence we open up the show with a woman having make-up applied to her face. Panning back from a mirror, we see that she is dead and a troupe of clowns leave her and head towards the big top circus tent as crowds cheer. “Clowns can get away with murder.” thus spoke John Wayne Gacy.

It's onto the character building of our possible victims in a small town, including a cop who doesn't like clowns, as discovered when a pal mentions heading to the circus. Before we are about to kill ourselves through sheer boredom and the monotonous drawl of badly acting accents, we return to the circus itself which is setting up, and especially a trailer full of chained up women with the clowns stapling a card to some blokes head. I guess they watched a few Combat Zone Wrestling matches then. Afterwards they hack into him with a select comedy moment chucked in for good measure.

“Daddy, are there gonna be any monkeys?” asks Hillary. Here come the main characters arriving at the circus. “Aside from you.” Daddy Donald drawls back like a stoner. Of course, Hillary has an older sister, Alyssa, who teases her about marrying a clown and having clown babies. Oh yeah, this family has apple pies in their pockets as well.

They enjoy the show, but meanwhile on the side-lines, they have been noticed and singled out by our lead clown with help of his pack of cards. The gaggle of merrymakers come out and perform a police and robber routine, the thief being beaten and cattle prodded has added appeal, because unbeknownst to all the audience, he's the guy they tortured who now has been silenced. Afterwards, Donald is selected to collect a basket of weird prizes, as he shakes hands with the main clown, Papa Corn, and then he's squirted in the face. “I'm gonna kill your entire family.” he snarls. Donald frowns, “What?” Papa Corn smiles. “Congratulations!” As they talk further, Donald makes a quip about the smaller of the clowns. Papa Corn says, “Oh, I see, you made a joke about someone with a disorder, how clever you are. For your information, Mr. Jumbo suffers from a growth hormone deficiency called dwarfism. However, the last time I checked, his sense of humour was intact, so I guess he'll find your joke very amusing.”

Donald fills out a form, including his address, so the clowns begin to discuss things after he leaves. We soon discover that Donald's lady is having secret liaisons with police officer T.C., and are unknowingly being watched by a masturbating Papa Corn. HOME INVASION!!!! T.C. is bludgeoned and Tiffany endures standard groping, and more. “Donald's like a brother to me.” whispers Papa Corn. Later that day, the girls get home from school to find a surprise party and entertainment from the clown posse.

Donald returns with coffees and sees a member of his family dead, and soon has muscle relaxant injected into him. He finds himself captive in the domain of the clowns, enduring horrible things, plus a late night shopping/killing trip. “Whoa. That's something you don't see every day.” says a customer entering the gas station store upon seeing the other shoppers. Donald is trapped helping out the gang for the sake of his two girls who are with the babysitter. You see, Papa Corn also has another door to open. It's a bad door. Behind it is Doll Boy.

The use of an authentic circus setup to begin with adds a ‘feel good’ to this like the creators cared a lot. What really is an inspiration to fans of this genre has to be the fun visuals and the randomness of some shots – e.g. a mobile phone jammed in a neck stump, the chilling home of the clowns; it's all so grim and brilliant. A very nasty eye for detail has gone into creating certain set-pieces. Let's not ignore the mean streak of black comedy lacing itself through near enough every murder.

Bill Oberst Jr. totally annihilates everybody around him as Papa Corn. His range when getting into the head of this character who chooses victims via his pack of cards is just excellent. Bill's made his way throughout many years (around ten) and over a hundred credits playing bit parts, underground roles and TV faces. The same can be said for all of the clowns, truth be known. Rusty Edwards and Ryan Clapp both make a great team with Mike Williams. All the clowns are varied and all of them complete Papa's gang perfectly.

As for the non-face painted buddies. Parrish Randall as Donald gets the meat of scenes along with Bill, but I found he was far better away from a family unit setting. His capture and ongoing sufferings really upped his abilities. Chanel Ryan and Roger Edwards, as Tiffany and T.C., well they weren't around long enough to make any impression other than stereotypical victims. Meanwhile the two teens, Madi Lane and Jordan Bell did what most girls may do in a horror, they were sassy, scared, and they screamed in terror a lot.

Of course, the icing on this cake has to be the rampaging killing spree in which Donald's fingerprints are left at each crime scene. Women, men, cops, kids, unborn babies, nobody is safe. It all runs down a long and extremely bloody road to a very open and nasty conclusion. Bloody? The crimson splashes in buckets, spilling everywhere. Stabbings, decapitations, torture, gunshots, carving, and a foetus is removed from its mother. It's all pure Grand Guignol on a large intense scale, lovely. Love it.

All in all, Billy Pon is an incredible talent with a knack for bringing darkness and grimness from his visuals. With Circus of the Dead he has created one of the best circus themed horrors of the last twenty or so years. This guy will be pushing Texan cult cinema further and further over the next few years. This is his first big feature, having done a kind of prequel some years before it, called Doll Boy. He's also in the beginning stages of creating Mister Fister, a movie based on a fake trailer he made to go with Doll Boy. Yep, it's about a killer who slaughters women by... check the title, you'll get it.

Speaking of Doll Boy, whatever you do, don't switch off at the end credits, wait for the extra few minutes which appear afterwards. Indeed. Doll Boy.



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