Director: Álex de la Iglesia
Writer: Álex de la Iglesia
Stars: Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre and Carolina Bang
What they say: Javier, a Sad Clown, finds work in a circus where he befriends an outlandish cast of characters, including the brutish Happy Clown, Sergio, who humiliates Javier daily in the name of entertainment. It is here that he meets Natalia, a gorgeous acrobat and abused wife of Sergio. Javier falls deeply in love with Natalia and tries to rescue her from her cruel and violent husband, unleashing Sergio’s jealousy. With neither man willing to back down, this twisted love triangle evolves into a ferocious battle between Sad Clown and Happy Clown, escalating to unbelievable heights in this shocking, irreverent and unforgettable film.
What I say: When I was offered the opportunity to review The Last Circus, I was unfamiliar with the film. I was somewhat familiar with Álex de la Iglesia, mostly from Acción mutante. I was in no means ready for what I was about to witness. While not a straight horror film, there were surely horrific things going on. The horrors of humanity.
The film opens in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War, as a circus is drafted into fighting. One of the clowns (in drag no less), is also enlisted. What follows is a horrific, bloody battle with a clown in drag with a machete. It only gets more odd from here. After the battle, the clowns son tries to free him, but it goes horribly wrong. We then jump ahead 20 years, and the son, Javier, goes to work at a circus as a sad clown, alongside “happy” clown Sergio. Sergio is brutish, controlling, and more than a little violent. Javier then meets and falls for Sergio’s beautiful acrobat girlfriend, Natalia. Here begins the most horrible and evil love triangle ever as the two clown battle over Natalia (who can’t make up her mind which clown she wants). The violent stakes keep rising until both clowns, bloody, insane, and disfigured, have a final battle at the site from the beginning of the movie.
The Last Circus boasts a beautiful transfer, as well as great audio. If you are afraid of clowns, stay far, far away. Otherwise I cannon recommend this tragic tale enough. The performances are fantastic, especially the three leads.