Some of you might have read my review for Doll Boy awhile back, and if you did, you probably remember the gigantic list of awards that it won. Well, Doll Boy’s nasty little creators are back and they have really out done themselves this time.
Billy ‘Bloody Bill’ Pon and the equally disturbed Lee Ankrum have created a nasty new little film called Circus of the Dead and I’m here to tell you folks… this one goes above and beyond to please even the sickest of horror fans. If Doll Boy let us peek into the window of what these guys were capable of, Circus rips the front door off the frame and invites us right into the sick minds that they call home.
Papa Corn (Bill Oberst Jr.) leads a motley crew of psychopathic circus clowns on a murder spree, turning an innocent mans life into a complete nightmare. While all of the performances are strong, Bill Oberst Jr.’s portrayal of Papa Corn is incredibly well done. He is an extremely likeable character, yet the most disturbing to watch. His portrayal of a villain really is captivating.
I also have to give major credit for the cinematography (Gaeb Ramirez) and editing (Billy ‘Bloody Bill’ Pon); This film really can compete with some of the bigger budget horror that has been released as of late. It has the feel of an old grindhouse nasty, but looks sharp and clean.
I really can’t say enough good things about it… Circus of the Dead knocked me for a loop folks! The FX crew did a wonderful job with all of the gore gags, which are frequent and some are certainly not for the squeamish. From bashed-in heads and severed limbs to some Gein-like creations, Matthew Ash, Heather Buckley, and Marcus Koch really knocked it out of the park.
Summer’s coming to an end, folks. Skip the beaches and catch the circus when it’s in town. You don’t want to miss this one! Circus of the Dead is what’s been missing from horror!
I personally give this one 4.5 bald caps out of 5.
While I wasn’t the biggest fan of Billy Pon’s Doll Boy, I did know that I was very interested in watching the semi-sequel as soon as it was announced. Circus of the Dead is better than its predecessor by leaps and bounds! From the effects and acting to the overall production quality, a horror fan couldn’t ask for more.
To me, Doll Boy was a neat little indie slasher, but it didn’t really stick out in the sea of indie horror all that much. Circus of the Dead, however, does exactly that. I don’t know what happened between the making of both of these films, but holy smokes, did Billy learn a thing or two about filmmaking. I really can’t find anything wrong with COTD!
The acting in this movie is pretty damn good for an independent flick and I have to give credit to the amazing Bill Oberst Jr. He played his role of Papa Corn the Clown remarkably. At this point, I’ve seen Oberst in only a few movies, but with every role, I am becoming a bigger fan. The man is brilliant on-screen and any film who can cast him as a character, automatically becomes ten times better for it! Thank you, Bill Oberst, for being an awesome performer and a joy to watch on screen, especially in a brutally vicious film like Circus of the Dead.
The variety of clowns in Billy Pon’s mastermind of a traveling circus is something I want to note. He could have easily chose three or four generic looking clowns, but instead he created multiple characters with their own unique attributes and characteristics. Jumbo, Noodledome, Mister Blister, Pepe, and of course, Papa Corn, all brought something new to the film, creating an awesome variety in our crazed pack of circus performing psychos.
It doesn’t take long for this film to get into the gory stuff. Within the first 13 minutes of the film, we see some pretty graphic maiming and I have to say that it looks amazing. The entire special effects team did an outstanding job with, as far as I could tell, an entire practical effects production. There is nothing worse than an independent flick that tries to pull off CGI blood splatters or the like. Thankfully, there was none of that nonsense in this film. It was all beautifully executed with traditional make-up effect techniques.
If you are a fan of Bloody Bill Pon’s previous titles, you definitely need to watch Circus of the Dead. The film has everything you could ask for and more. I give it 4 decapitated heads out of 5.
– Frank Fulci