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Circus of Horror.jpg

Circus of Horrors is a 1960 British horror film directed by Sidney Hayers. It stars Anton Diffring, Yvonne Monlaur, Erika Remberg, Kenneth Griffith, Jane Hylton, Conrad Phillips, Yvonne Romain and Donald Pleasence.

Film critic David Pirie considered it to be the third entry in Anglo-Amalgamated's "Sadian trilogy" in his book A Heritage of Horror (1971), because the films focus on sadism, cruelty and violence (with sexual undertones) as opposed to the supernatural horror of the Hammer films in the same era. The previous films in the trilogy were Horrors of the Black Museum and Peeping Tom, both in 1959. It was released in the United States by American International Pictures as a double feature with The Angry Red Planet.

Plot

In England 1947, Dr. Rossiter (Anton Diffring) is a plastic surgeon wanted by the police after an operation goes hideously wrong. However, believing himself to have brilliant abilities as a surgeon, he and his assistants (Kenneth Griffith and Jane Hylton) evade capture and escape as Dr. Schüler to the Continent. There Rossiter sees a girl scarred in the recent war, Nicole (played by Carla Challoner as a child, Yvonne Monlaur as an adult), and befriends her father, a circus owner (Donald Pleasence).

He worms his way into the family, operating on the girl and curing her injuries for "free" and manipulates his way into running the circus, taking it over when the owner dies in a drunken incident with a bear. A decade later, he is running an internationally successful circus, which he uses as a front for his surgical exploits. He befriends scarred women and transforms them for his "Temple of Beauty". However, when they threaten to leave, they meet with mysterious accidents which raise the suspicions of international police (Conrad Phillips among them), who are soon hot on his trail.

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