Spanish History Meets Insane Clown Posse in The Last Circus


The Last Circus
Directed by Álex de la Iglesia
Magnet Releasing
Opens August 19

Baroquely sinister and grotesquely funny, the latest overstimulated bout of dark comic mayhem from writer-director Álex de la Iglesia (Common Wealth, The Day of the Beast) is a stunning funhouse-mirror allegory of Franco-era Spain that makes Pan's Labyrinth look like Sesame Street. In the middle of the Spanish Civil War (circa 1937) and his own performance, a circus clown in drag is interrupted by a militia, given a machete, and unwillingly enlisted to slaughter the Nationals outside. From prison later, he commands his young son/apprentice, Javier, to play the "sad clown" since, robbed of his childhood, he's better equipped for revenge than making anyone laugh. In post-prologue 1973, the end days of Franco's regime, a grown Javier (Jorge Clemente, looking uncannily like Judah Friedlander sans hat) has joined a Madrid big top as the metaphorically gallant common man and literally greasepaint-slathered scapegoat to a drunkenly sadistic "happy clown" boss (Antonio de la Torre, standing in for fascist authoritarianism), whose acrobat lover (Carolina Bang) would then be the masochistic motherland nursing a sick codependency. The ensuing love triangle and whimsically lurid horror eventually dilute the analogy, but the machine-gun-toting, vertigo-inducing, dually disfigured clowno-a-clowno climax alone is one of the nuttiest sequences to invade theaters this year.


Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!