Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Last Circus

 (2010) *****

During the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930’s a circus is interrupted by a group of soldiers forcing the men to abandon their acts and pick up a weapon to immediately go into battle. Javier’s father, a happy circus clown is given a machete and recruited along with the others. He tells his son to go to his aunt’s house to wait, then heads off with the troops where he single-handedly slaughters the charging troops before getting wounded. He is then picked up and taken to a prison camp to await his execution. Javier sees his father through the gates who then tells him he must take up the role of a sad clown from this point forward and to focus on revenge for inspiration.


We rejoin Javier in 1973 as he is applying to be a sad clown with a local circus, he gets the job. His new boss, Happy Clown Sergio is a real prick, he drinks profusely, beats his wife the beautiful acrobat Natalia and treats his fellow clowns disrespectfully yet he is wonderful in his job and the children adore him so the circus master puts up with his crap. Javier falls madly in love with Natalia from the first time he sees her. Natalia reciprocates his feelings but the girl continues to play both men. She loves Javier for his gentle and loving nature while she clings to the brutish Sergio for sexual pleasure. When Sergio discovers her betrayal he beats Javier to near death. Once Javier is able to move he escapes from the hospital only to find Natalia and Sergio going at it like dogs in heat, he bursts in and hacks Sergio's face to pieces but the clown survives. With his new monster-like face Sergio finds his beloved career in ruins he searches for Javier who is completely insane and fleeing from the police. The two men finally meet in a climactic and brutal battle for the love of Natalia.

Had I found this amazing clown flick before the end of last years Horrorthon I would have immediately reported it to JSP. As it goes, I discovered it shortly after Horrorthon and when JSP visited I forced him to watch the opening sequence with me, he loved it. This film is one long ride on the crazy train from beginning to end. There is no more pathetic character than the sad clown. A sad clown is the butt of every gag in clown world, the happy clowns relentlessly brutalized him and tease him while little children squeal with laughter delighting in his misery. When you see what Javier sacrifices just to be near Natalia it is no surprise when he snaps a gasket and goes totally insane. This is not the kind of love any woman wants and Natalia finds herself right smack in the middle of it with seemingly no way out. The film is a fast paced rush with a fantastic circus worthy finale that merited a big round of applause from me.


JPX said...

Wow, this sounds terrific! The screenshots suggest excellent cinematography as well as some pretty terrifying looking clowns. I’m sure JSP is kicking himself for missing this chestnut. I wish you would give us access to that secret wormhole where you are finding all these films. I’m certain that it’s a parallel universe.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I am kicking myself, thank you very much JPX. After all the clown poop I sifted through last year I could have used something like this. I wasn't able to squeeze it in this year but I did catch about 5-6 excellent Cat recommendations so all was not lost.

Catfreeek said...

Can't wait to read the reviews, quit slacking JSP;)

Octopunk said...

This sounds completely amazing. That top screenshot alone has that compelling "I MUST know what's going on!" quality to it. Why the guy being shot? Why the clown in a dress? Awesome.

Great pick and great review, Cat.

Landshark said...

It looks like a Del Toro movie, it's so pretty.

Abduscias said...

Friggin awesome movie :)