Genre: Comedy / Drama
Director: Alex de la Iglesia
Starring: Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre, Carolina Bang, Manuel Tallafe
Duration: 107 min.
Javier, the son of a clown, dreams of following in his father's career footsteps, but has seen too much tragedy in his life he's simply not funny and is only equipped to play the role of the Sad Clown.
The Last Circus or literally translated as A Sad Trumpet Ballad is a film written and directed by Álex de la Iglesia, it opened at the 2010 Venice International Film Festival where it was awarded twice, for Best Screenplay and the Silver Lion for Best Director.
It is a ridiculously silly, gruesome and at times wildly entertaining picture, with hyper-stylized violence and demented characters that looks and plays out like a twisted graphic novel. How else does one begin to describe a film that starts out with a mad circus clown dressed in drag wielding a machete and slaughtering armed soldiers after he is forced to fight in the militia.
It's hard to call this a good movie, but it does have its moments. Like the aforementioned scene and another when Javier, the sad clown, escapes capture from the evil colonel. But not before donning a gaudy priest's uniform, melting his own face with caustic soda, then branding it with a hot iron. Disfigured and with full on psycho mode engaged he gets his revenge, then goes out in search of his love interest the blonde and beautiful circus acrobat Natalia.
Everything is ridiculous and over the top and seemingly a never ending tribute to everything from Saturday morning cartoons to Tarantino with a dash of Jodorowsky and Fellini for good measure. Sadly, the story itself is an awful mess that can't decide what direction to take and ends up going nowhere but at least it plays out unpredictably, and features an ending that in more ways that one recalls the church rooftop scene in Tim Burton's Batman or is the Mount Rushmore scene in Hitchcock's North By Northwest?
The Last Circus is a crazy ride that starts off absurdly insane and doesn't let up, never once takes itself seriously and seems like it just might be destined for legendary cult status.