Join us tonight in the MeTV big top for the greatest show unearthed ( see what I did there?)- as we’re bringing back to the center ring a chilling tale of sawdust and the sinister- with Joan Crawford as the owner and ringmistress of a travelling circus whose main attraction seems to be murder in – “Berserk!”
Joan is Monica Rivers, who presides over a circus that tours Great Britain-which she co-owns with the disgruntled Dorando. The reason for his unhappiness is a tragic- and highly suspicious-high wire accident- and Monica’s rather cold response to it. She feels it will pay off in publicity- and that disgusts Dorando enough to ask her to buy out his part of the show so he will no longer have anything to do with it. Alas- she can’t do it- and instead decides to hire a new high wire artist.
The new hire is handsome young Frank Hawkins- a skilled daredevil whom Monica appreciates for more than his acrobatic skills. The happy excitement of this new act is eclipsed when there is another death- and the circus crew is beginning to think Monica has a hand in it in an attempt to generate more publicity. Especially vocal about that theory is the voluptuous assistant to the knife-thrower, Matilda- who also has her eyes ( and , she hopes, more) on Frank! Meanwhile, Frank tries to use the suspicion to his advantage to try to coerce Monica into providing a share in the circus for himself.
As if the situation needs an additional twist- Monica’s semi-estranged daughter, Angela, shows up at the circus, having been thrown out of school for bad behavior. With nowhere else for her to go, Monica’s cold heart melts a little- and decides she can stay on with the circus.
Happy days are NOT here again, however- as there is more murder, more accusations, and fear and unrest among the circus folk- with Monica in the center ring of suspicion!
This 1967 film, actually Joan’s next-to-last big screen appearance, utilizes a real travelling show- the Billy Smart circus. We’ll introduce the performers, including Ty Hardin, Diana Dors, and Michael Gough- as well as conducting our own circus and sideshow- not to mention bringing you a new song- though it will be airing a little later in the show than usual.
Go “Berserk” tonight on MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central, and for the time and channel check in your area , visit www.metv.com -or check your local listings. During the show, our fans on Twitter will again be live-tweeting, using the hashtag #svengoolie – feel free to join them. Last week they again had our show trending high on the national list. The U in our Chicago viewing area returns our show to its usual time- 11 am- for this week, with an encore of “The Old Dark House”.
On a personal note- my brother Michael Koz has passed away just shy of his 60th birthday. Mike worked as an assistant editor on various TV shows and movies, including “Get Shorty”, “Men in Black”, ”The Gates”, and “Collateral”. As was stated in his memorial service- he was a nice guy. One of the nicest.
Remember that you can join me next weekend – in Berwyn- at the new “Pet Supplies Plus” store at the Harlem and Cermak Plaza - 7133 Cermak Road . It takes place Saturday, February 1st from 1-3 pm. In February, we’ll have a full schedule appearing at the big C2E2 comics and entertainment convention at Chicago’s McCormick Place- more about that soon!
But tonight- step right up for circus thrills that are not always death-defying- as in, they may not be lucky enough to defy death!