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September 8, 2011

Movie Review: The Last Circus (Blu-ray, 2011)

A little over a week ago I had the pleasure of reviewing a recent Blu-ray release of Fellini's The Clowns. As you can guess it's about Fellini's lifelong fascination with the colorful circus characters. Movies about clowns are a definite weakness for me - especially the ones that aren't family friendly. Alejandro Jodorowsky's Santa Sangre is a great example, as is Alex de la Iglesias' The Last Circus from Magnet Releasing.

Buy The Last Circus Blu-ray or DVD or Watch It Instantly

Javier (Carlos Areces) is a doughy, pathetic, son of a clown looking to fill the floppy-shoed footsteps of his successful father. Making people laugh while performing ridiculous antics would give the young Spaniard all the joy in the world - that is until dad tells him he should be a sad clown. After losing his father in a furious prison break during the 1930's, the film fast-forwards to the 1960's with Javier all grown and putting on his clown gear for his first day on the job.

Every sad clown must have a happy clown to balance out the performance of a clown duo. Unfortunately for Javier, his match is a psychotic, wife-beating boozer, midget abuser named Sergio ( Antonio de la Torre, Volver ) Sergio puts poor Javier through all sorts of misery and even goes so far as to nearly killing him at a carnival because he thought Javier was screwing his lady, Natalia (played by the stunning Carolina Bang).

From here it's all about revenge for Javier when he escapes from the hospital. Sad clown is now determined to exact some brutal vengeance on happy clown, which leads to horribly disfiguring Sergio's at one time handsome face. Now, Javier is on the run and getting crazier by the minute Sergio recovers. The Last Circus looks like something the Coen brothers would do - it's dark, funny, violent as hell and beautifully put together by the incredibly talented writer/director Iglesias (Accion Mutante, The Oxford Murders).

Magnet Releasing has not skimped on the extra features as they do offer plenty of material for viewers to go through after you'vd watch the feature. Some behind-the-scenes and a featurette are included, as is the original theatrical trailer.

Simply put, The Last Circus is amazing. It's a visually stunning, action-packed, bloody journey that could only come from one of Spain's elite cult filmmakers in Iglesias. Most importantly, it's completely unique and daring cinema. Highly Recommended.

                     (Screencaps courtesy of Rock! Shock! Pop!)

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