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Old 09-30-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
Kim Bruun
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Terror Circus/Barn of the Naked Dead

Any fans of this?

I sat down with the 2009 Media Blasters release (which looks pretty darn good) again a few days ago, and I had the same reaction to it when I first saw it a couple of years ago: I was surprised to enjoy a movie that is mostly disliked and ignored (at the time of writing, it has a 2.6 average from a measly 287 voters on IMDB). Honestly, it's not that bad.

The plot is familiar wrong turn protoslasher stuff: Three girls going to Las Vegas for a gig have car trouble and are assisted by a friendly stranger (Andrew Prine) who turns out to be not so friendly.

Buoyed by that grimy drive in feel so specific to lowbudget 70's horror, it plays like cheaper riff on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but still with a great use of location, a game cast, and a fair bit of gore.

The makeup is done by Byrd Holland and Douglad J. White, who also did the makeup on the drive in gem Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural. They did a great job, especially considering what the budget must have been. We get some cheap blood, a cut off head in a birdcage, and one awesome, gnarly radioactive mutant dad!



Some bemoan that the exploitive title Barn of the Naked Dead is misleading, but in all fairness:



Obviously, this is an authentic grindhouse experience, and even if it does not match The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in thrills, it still has some enjoyably disturbing moments and picks up speed for a nicely downbeat finale. Oh, and there's even a cool theme ballad!
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:35 PM   #2
Marshall Crist
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Yeah, that theme song is great. Decent film. Thanks for pointing out the LEMORA connection.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:46 PM   #3
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I own the DVD but haven't watched it yet.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:52 PM   #4
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I've always liked the makeup effects in Lemora. They are perhaps modest, not completely veristic, but creepy and effective nonetheless. They are also of a different school than gory effects of Don't Torture a Duckling and Torso, for instance (movies I like IN SPITE of their effects - it's as if the film makers wished to please the audience with graphic images but failed to realise that human flesh does not have the consistency of hardened resin).

Also, Lemora is actually quite an artistic movie, and Barn is less so, but I still find myself enjoying a little of the same atmosphere in both.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:57 PM   #5
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Oh, and that's a cool poster, Russ, so thank you for sharing. Doesn't it make you just a little bit curious?
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:05 PM   #6
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I have the old Code Red/Media Blasters DVD, which surprisingly has a ton of bonus features.

The film itself is quite tame even by 70's exploitation standards. It's certainly not great, but is still enjoyable trash.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:28 PM   #7
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Of course I'm curious which is why I purchased the DVD. It's just a matter of getting around to watching it.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim Bruun View Post

Some bemoan that the exploitive title Barn of the Naked Dead is misleading, but in all fairness:
The title is misleading because the screenshot you post is the only nudity in BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD and its of the "blink and you missed it" variety.

Despite the lack of nudity it is incredibly sleazy and mean spirited. It's worth watching for Andrew Prine's performance as the psychotic ring master.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:24 AM   #9
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True, crikan - perhaps they should have called it Barn of the Occasionally Naked Dead? Anyway, the selling point for me was the hideous radioactive mutant - can't get enough of those!
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim Bruun View Post
True, crikan - perhaps they should have called it Barn of the Occasionally Naked Dead? Anyway, the selling point for me was the hideous radioactive mutant - can't get enough of those!
Why, Barn of the Barely Naked Dead sounds almost Christian.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:29 PM   #11
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Barn of the Naked Dead would get me into the theater back in the days before home video whereas Terror Circus probably wouldn't. Exploitation title at its finest. Also the poster for Barn of the Naked Dead makes you want to see it.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:56 AM   #12
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is it just me, or does it look like madman mars is hovering above everybody else in that poster? (i haven't watched the movie yet, so don't know if that actually corresponds to a character in the film).
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:02 AM   #13
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There seem to be a few different versions of this movie on DVD, anyone know what the best version(s) is?
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:53 AM   #14
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There seem to be a few different versions of this movie on DVD, anyone know what the best version(s) is?
The Code Red/Media Blasters DVD. It has the best transfer and bonus features.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:44 PM   #15
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There is indeed a striking resemblance to Madman Marz, Dave. It is very tempting to think that those who designed his makeup took a gander at Radioactive Dad:





Right down to being visually impaired on their right eye...

But hey, I can still appreciate both of them.
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