The New York Times calls it "the crispest, handsomest and most stylish movie shocker in a long time." BFI Screen Online says, "Circus of Horrors takes full advantage of the location's potential to exhibit voluptuous women in skimpy costumes meeting nasty deaths in front of a horrified audience."
Moria calls it an "amusingly lurid piece of sensationalism". DVD Talk calls it "a very entertaining show, transcending its own exploitative nature by way of some curious and sick ideas central to the appeal of Horror films. It's a colorful mix of sex and sadism served up for public display, with good performances and excellent direction." Weird Wild Realm concludes, "With moderate forgiveness for being so simple & melodramatic -- a product of its era -- the film is suspenseful & effective."