Spanish cult director Alex de la Iglesia (The Day of the Beast, El Crimen Perfecto) delivers his darkest work to date, an ultraviolent saga set during the last days of the Franco regime. This begins as a straightforward and often funny allegory about fascism, with a close-knit circus staff tolerating the tyrannical behavior of its star clown (Antonio de la Torre) because he knows how to appeal to tourists. But as an epic rivalry develops between this sadist and his partner (a sensitive “sad clown”), the story takes on a life of its own, turning into a full-fledged horror movie about two obsessive monsters. As usual, de la Iglesia packs in as many plot twists and stylistic flourishes as he can but delivers them so fluidly that the movie feels like a genuine nightmare. In Spanish with subtitles.