Thursday, September 15, 2016
Blu-ray Review: CIRCUS OF FEAR (1966) / FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS (1967) Double Feature
CIRCUS OF FEAR / FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS Double Feature
(a.k.a. PSYCHO CIRCUS)
Directed by John Moxey / Jeremy Summers
Distributed by Blue Underground
Blue Underground has recently released this awesome double feature featuring two films from the 1960's inspired by stories by author Edgar Wallace. While it includes both CIRCUS OF FEAR and FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS, my review will mainly focus on CIRCUS OF FEAR., and I must start by saying that this is not a true horror film by any means. It has a few horror elements in it, but this is definitely more of a mystery/thriller/crime film. Here is the plot synopsis and some info about the films from the Blue Underground website:
CIRCUS OF FEAR: What begins as a daring daylight armored car heist on London's Tower Bridge leads to a sinister circus where a disfigured lion tamer (Christopher Lee) is one of several suspects in a three-ring nightmare of red herrings, grisly 'accidents' and cold-blooded murder. Klaus Kinski (VENOM), Suzy Kendall (BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE), Margaret Lee (FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS) and Leo Genn (THE BLOODY JUDGE) co-star in this gripping thriller directed by John Moxey (HORROR HOTEL, THE NIGHT STALKER) and based on a novel by legendary mystery writer Edgar Wallace.
Originally released in America as PSYCHO-CIRCUS in black & white and cut by more than 22 minutes, Blue Underground has now restored the film to its full running time. Presented in a stunning new 2K High Definition transfer from the original British color negative, this is CIRCUS OF FEAR as you've truly never seen it before!
FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS:
After arriving in Hong Kong, wealthy American playboy Bob Mitchell is the recipient of a strange note found on the body of a dead man. A clue to an illegal gold-trafficking operation, Mitchell is unwittingly thrust into a deadly power struggle between a secretive global crime syndicate and brutal local mobsters. Can he survive long enough to unmask the mysterious FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS?
An international all-star cast including Bob Cummings (DIAL M FOR MURDER), Margaret Lee (THE BLOODY JUDGE), Rupert Davies (WITCHFINDER GENERAL), Klaus Kinski (FITZCARRALDO), Maria Rohm (EUGENIE), Maria Perschy (THE GHOST GALLEON), Brian Donlevy (HANGMEN ALSO DIE), Dan Duryea (WINCHESTER '73), George Raft (SOME LIKE IT HOT) and Christopher Lee (COUNT DRACULA) star in this thrilling mystery from producer Harry Alan Towers (VENUS IN FURS) and director Jeremy Summers (VENGEANCE OF FU MANCHU). Based on a story by legendary author Edgar Wallace, FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS has been newly remastered in High Definition from the original uncut negative for its U.S. home video debut!
So far I have only had a chance to watch CIRCUS OF FEAR, which is a very intriguing film and
not at all what I expected. As I stated above, it's more of a murder mystery/crime drama than a horror film, but that didn't keep me from enjoying this film by any means. In fact, the opening scene involving an armored car robbery on a bridge was a very cool action sequence. The people that pulled off the heist go to hide out at the circus which is where the majority of the film takes place.
The film is full of subplots and plot twists, although to be honest, most of them you can figure out beforehand. Christopher Lee plays an awesome character, a disfigured knife thrower who wears a mask most of the film. Lee is one of my all time favorite actors, any movie is greatly improved with the addition of him to the cast!
The Blu-ray transfer on this disc is stunning. The picture is crystal clear and just looks wonderful! I highly suggest you check this out as soon as you can. This Blu-ray double feature is available now from Blue Underground and contains the following special features:
* Audio Commentary with Director John Moxey (Circus of Fear)
* Theatrical Trailers (both)
* Poster & Still Gallery (both)
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for CIRCUS OF FEAR
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray