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Classic DVD Review: The Jim Rose Circus Show | The Jim Rose Circus Show

The Beatles of the bizarre bring you 80 minutes of gruesome squirm-inducing antics.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Before there was Jackass, there was Seattle’s Jim Rose Circus Sideshow, a motley crew of freaks and geeks whose squirm-inducing antics could make Johnny Knoxville shriek like a girl.

These Beatles of the bizarre included Mr. Lifto, who hoisted sizable weights on hooks threaded through various sensitive body parts; The Torture King, who boasted more piercings than an indie record store clerk; Matt (The Tube) Crowley, who drank vile concoctions, pumped them out of his stomach and then quaffed them with fans; The Enigma, a jigsaw-tattooed mutant who dined on bugs; and Rose himself, a carney huckster of the first order. Put them all together on a hometown stage and you have this self-titled performance DVD, originally released as a 35-minute tape in 1993 but expanded here to an extra-disgusting 80-minute version, accompanied by rehearsal footage, TV ads and bloopers. Sure, chances are you’ve seen much of this before, but as Rose himself intones, a fan could “watch this 10,000 times and never tire.” Just don’t try it at home, jackass.