Review of “Circus of the Dead” by The Headless Critic
Circus of the Dead – 2014
Production by: Bloody Bill Productions, Cow Bell Films
A family night out at a rundown circus turns into a night of horrors for a family who are unlucky enough to have the winning seat numbers on a one way ticket to clown hell. F-32 marks the spot and Don Johnson (Parrish Randall) is the family man who just won a romantic giveaway. Never give your home address to clowns. Don doesn’t seem to have noticed his wife’s “love tunnel's recent expansion from two lanes to six”. With his family held hostage and threatened with death, Don must step into the games of a maniacal clown on a hell-bent night of blood, gore, mayhem and murder in a crime spree filled journey across a small West-Texas town. “The circus is coming… Hide.”
“Bloody Bill” Pon writes and directs his first feature which may just be the brutal clown film horror fans have been waiting for. From the poster to the trailer it's everything you want it to be. Circus of the Dead captures the 1970’s grittiness of Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses while giving us the array of clown characters in Rob Zombie’s 31. The psychedelic night of murder makes more sense than 1000 Corpses and the clowns are more circus oriented than The Running Man clowns in 31. With the recent success of the It remake, low budget horror movies were bound to come out in abundance like clowns from a clown car. Pon’s 2014 vision isn’t a coattail rider, not only predating the It remake but also being a truly inspired original piece of horror clown gore.
Like his killer clown predecessors before him Captain Spalding and Doom-Head, self-proclaimed “homicidal, serial rapist whose day job happens to be a clown” Papa Corn is a madman behind make-up that steals the show with an excellent performance. But at least he’s not a liar. Like Sid Haig and Richard Brake, Bill Oberst Jr.’s over-the-top, bare ass performance makes this film. Oberst is helped with some of the best one-liner dialogue you’ll find in a killer clown movie. The versatile actor not only sticks his dick in anything that feels good but he also gives a better lunatic clown performance than you’ll find in the latest DC superhero movie.
Papa Corn’s sidekicks are an excellent array of onscreen personas in lunatic clown form. Mister Blister (Rusty Edwards) is a smoky second in command of sorts. He’s not so good at being incognito but knows how to pick a car. Noodledome (Ryan Clapp) is the mallet wielding, baby smashing muscle who brings the size of Gacy and the taste buds of Dahmer. I would tell you about Jumbo the Clown (Mike Williams), but he’s a dwarf so who gives a fuck about him?
“Bloody Bill” Pon lives up to his name in his first feature creating a brutal and gory film for the sake of brutality and gore. On a budget, a lot is left up to the imagination but “Bloody Bill” pulls it off well displaying just enough gore to make us think we’re seeing something a lot worse. If you think your kids are safe in this one, think again. It also has an excellent performance from Oberst with some truly quotable dialogue and most importantly it entertains. Kids will be checking under their beds, those weak of stomach will be puking, sensitive people will turn it off, coulrophobics will be contemplating killing themselves and the rest of us horror fans will revel in every dirty whore raped, innocent baby smashed, loser kid murdered and memorable one-liner delivered by Papa Corn. Always remember, Papa loves you.
Available Now on VOD
3 out of 5 Headless Critics