Berserk (1967) -Joan Crawford at the Circus

Murder and intrigue at the circus! Berserk (1967) follows Monica Rivers (Joan Crawford), the ringmaster and owner of a circus that might be forced to close after mysterious fatal accidents continue.

It's a murderous tale akin to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None,  with characters getting knocked off one by one, but with the spectacle and color of a circus to make the deaths even more gruesome by comparison.

Into the fray comes a new acrobat, Fred Hawkins (played by Ty Hardin), who wishes to prove his mettle on the high wire and his love for Monica. Hardin was a few years out of his Wild West television show, "Bronco." He would continue to make action and adventure movies. His role here is to give the audience another suspect and an occasional breather from the murder so that he can make his move on the widowed ringmaster.

This would become one of Crawford's last films before retiring from the public in the 1970s. Crawford is cool and confident at this point in her career. Her feathers are never ruffled in this role, which makes her character both awesome to behold and mildly robotic, considering the mayhem.

Berserk is pure 1960s camp murder and horror for which our star would become synonymous in later years. It's slowly paced, but if you are a Joan Crawford completest, this is the show for you.


  1. My favorite of Joan's movies from this period is STRAIT-JACKET, but BERSERK is kinda fun and I do like the circus setting.

    1. Strait-Jacket is the axe murderer one, yes? Frightening stuff. I recall a promotional picture of Crawford cutting into a cake with an axe. Joan Crawford can be intimidating.

      You enjoy Strait-Jacket for the camp, right? Most people do. :)


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