The carnival is the perfect breeding ground for fear. Strangers on the fringe of society, brought together to drift about the country bringing their acts and oddities to the 'normies' of the world. Well, it's either that romantic stuff or the fear of that toothless carnie putting your kid on the super swing. All the same, nearly everybody's afraid of SOMETHING at the carnival!
With Mark's staff choice on this week's Bloody Good Horror Podcast introducing us to Alejandro Jodorowsky's "Santa Sangre", what better time for a list of 10 Carnival Flicks?
Seeing a new surge in life thanks to both Netflix Instant Watch and a slick new blu-ray package from Severin films, "Sangre" still remains to be a wonderfully trippy and gory throwback. The whole circus bit just gives it extra creep.
Hammer Studios are known for it's Christopher Lee Dracula flicks, but this lesser known fanged feature ramps up the sexiness even more! I know more Hammer Sexiness seems pretty daunting, but hey, it's worth it.
Tod Browning's Freaks is the pre-eminent circus based horror flick. Tell me you don't get chills when the gang starts their "Gooble gobble gooble gobble ONE OF US!" chant!
Carny funhyouses are terrifying, though that fear tends to come from wondering what kind of carnies are hiding in the dark, not so much the animatronic beasties. Thankfully, we have Tobe Hooper to bring these fears to life! On a sidenote: Saturday Night Live has had a couple of skits this season, playing on a similar setup!
More freaks? The term's a bit derogatory, but those side show denizens bring a natural flair for the dark and unknown. Throw in the fact that Bill S. Preston, Esquire (a.k.a. Alex Winters) directed this little joint! It also helps to look back on this one knowing that Randy Quaid grew to fit in perfectly with the freak show.
See! Tobe Hooper played off this scenario so well in "The Funhouse", these guys decided to rip it off!
David Lynch's bio-pic on the late John Merrick may not revolve too closely around the circus, but the movies roots start firmly in the tented domains. A young (and rather dashing) Anthony Hopkins helps push this flick into classic territory.
The Final Destination moved quickly into ridiculous territory and you could say the amusement park setting is a bit of a stretch for a carnival list. We've all stood in line waiting to ride a rollercoaster wondering what would happen if the car came off the track mid-ride. Thankfully, we have this flick to help show us how entertaining it might be.
A poor remake of the 1962 original, Wes Craven's take on "Carnival of Souls" doesn't even resemble the original. It does have clown rape though, got to give Wes credit for that.
And here you thought "KISS Kaskets" were going to far.