A group of strangers all receive a mysterious invite with the offer of winning $250,000 if they’re willing to participate in a game orchestrated by the mysterious Circus Kane. Kane ran a horror themed sideshow many years ago but has disappeared into obscurity. Of course all of them are up for it and meet up at a warehouse where a truck arrives to take them to the ‘game’.
Whilst in the truck driven by gun-toting clowns they are gassed unconscious and soon arrive at a secluded mansion. Greeted by a scary looking butler type (played by the great Richard Moll) they enter and soon get their instructions from Kane himself. It’s not long before one of the group has been horribly murdered and they have to work together to stay alive. Of course this isn’t easy as there are all sorts of riddles and traps along the way as well as monstrous clowns prowling around.
Primarily set at one location (Kane’s lair) the film has really imaginative set designs which will creep the hell out of you if clowns and vile looking dolls aren’t your bag. There’s plenty of blood and guts on display which is all physically done on set so no dopey looking CGI here. The film also has some clever editing on display as well with double exposure used regularly and to very atmospheric effect.
Cast wise, everyone takes the proceedings reasonably seriously in particular the individuals lined up to be slaughtered. Of course the killers, in particular Kane himself over-act a bit but it’s works within the context of the film. Kane’s look and design is part Alice Cooper/Rob Zombie and maybe a bit of Captain Spauding as well, whatever the influence he’s a cool looking mean dude.
There are sprinkles of humour throughout to relive the cruelty as are some nice in-jokes as well. One character wears a Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers T-shirt which was made by the director Chris Olen-Ray’s Dad, Fred and there’s also a Jerry Maguire gag as Jonathan Lipnicki is a member of the cast.
Circus Kane ENTERTAINS you for being nothing more than a bloody good horror film. There’s no deep meaningful story of good vs. evil here, just a bunch of people who should know better getting butchered and some clowns as well. Wonderful, I found it immensely appealing.
- Starring Jonathan Lipnicki Mark Christopher Lawrence Nicole Fox
- Director Christopher Olen-Ray