Sunday, August 18, 2019

Terror Circus, The Humiliation of Show Girls

However glamorous the life of a Las Vegas show-girl may be, there are also many drawbacks to that lifestyle. For example...snags in stockings...or bad hair days...or even worse, adoring fans attaching a mommy-complex to you. Hence our film today, 1974's drive-in classic, "Terror Circus." See what happens when an unstable rancher kidnaps three show-girls and whips (literally) them into shape to be a gratuitous circus act. Yep...a story you have been waiting for.
Simone (Manuela Thiess), Sheri (Sherry Alberoni), and Corrine (Gyl Roland) break down on a detour in the California desert. The trio of show-girls are headed to a Las Vegas casino where they have just been hired. Andre (Andrew Prine), an apparent good Samaritan stops to help. He charms the beauties and they catch a ride back to his place. His place? A ranch in the middle of the desert. Andre immediately chains the trio in his barn, and adding them to his collection of about a dozen other beauties. The other beauties have obviously been tortured and raped and the three newcomers will suffer the same fate. Andre terrorizes his captives and with his whip and chains he tames them to do circus acts. Uh oh...he also keeps a cougar and a really big snake. If the gals misbehave or show disobedience, he covers them in calf's blood and has the cougar chase them down.
Poor Corrine, her disobedience will earn her a bout with a large, probing snake. The gals seem to have no hope when Andre suddenly believes Simone is his mother...he's delusional, of course. Now Simone is brought into the farmhouse and dressed nicely, pampered, but still chained. As the other gals continue being tortured and raped, Andre's dad enters the plot..and guess what! He's a disfigured monster who likes to rip off people's heads. The H-bomb tests have filled him with radiation and now his skin has melted and his mind has gone. Uh oh again, he finds out there are babes in the barn and he is hungry...but for what?
Will our show-girls find a way to escape the demented circus master? Is this film shedding light on the perils of Las Vegas show-girls in an entertainment industry rife with misogyny? If this film was billed as a riveting warning to society on the perils of the escalating nuclear arms race, would we be living in a nuclear free world today? This is a grim one and as cheesy and exploitative as the film is the fate of many of the gals will be hard to watch. Not the feel good film of 1974, yet "Terror Circus" is still worth a look for all you B movie and drive-in fans.


  1. Drive in, but will you ever drive out, great movie you found here, I see you are paying homage to it in book three, great stuff.

  2. You found another film I've somehow missed Christopher. I noticed "Terror Circus" is running on my good old Amazon prime so I'll pop the viewing cherry soon! Sounds like one of interest that must be seen!