#22 – Circo Nero (Black Circus)

(1972, It, 93 min) Dir Antonio Marretti. Cast Patrick Magellan, Telly Savalas, Reena Pavlova, Ingrid Pitt.

Watery flower child Duke (Magellan) is abandoned in the woods one night by his brain-dead hedonist friends and after wandering in the day for night to the accompaniment of a lonesome ballad he happens upon a big top in a clearing and risks a peek inside. On the high-wire is barely animated porcelain doll Reena Pavlova with a lonesome ballad of her own. Duke is entranced, obviously. Unfortunately for him sadistic ringmaster Telly Savalas (his bald head inexplicably, if eerily, painted red) has this doll in his collection and isn’t giving her up easy. Duke parlays his juggling skills into the position vacated by a recently deceased clown and lo he can travel with the circus and moon over Pavlova from a distance all the while seeing off the advances of dancing lady (Pitt, having a ball). Of course everyone in the troupe are Satanic hell-spawn pilfering the bodies and souls of the locals as they traverse the countryside but, despite the obviousness of their schemes and the well shot trippy dreams he keeps having about them being evil, the dim Duke is none the wiser until the final reel. The race is then on to save his captured love but is she what she seems either? Silly fun.

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Twitter: @MadeUpFilms

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