Notable Cast: Janine Carazo, Jerome Dempsey, Daniel Dietrich, Lenny Baker, Paul Hostetler, Betsy Henn, Herve Villechaize, William Preston
“I don’t understand anything that’s going on around here, Kit. I feel like a fly caught in a spider’s web. I keep looking for the spider, searching for him before it’s too late.”
The above quote is from some of the dialogue that pops up in Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood and I’m not sure there is any moment in the film where the audience truly connects more with our protagonists then when this statement is uttered. Even before the movie started, Arrow Video felt inclined to include a little introduction by Stephen Thrower who, essentially, warns the viewers that the following movie is going to be hard to digest and it’s one that needs a certain mindset to be enjoyed…even for cult horror fans. He’s certainly not wrong as the following film was indeed, a bit hard to digest. Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood is a testament to the creative will power of the low budget horror films of the 1970s (something I’m sure I’ll repeat as I continue to dig into the first volume of American Horror Project) that earns its merits by being more creatively insane than really a well-made film. Like Mr. Thrower prepares you for, if you go in with the right mindset it’s a delightful little horror gem, but if you do not…prepare to be devoured by the spider hiding in the room.
For the Norris family, Malatesta’s carnival allows them to work and raise their young daughter Vena (Carazo) in the same place. As they quickly learn though, in the few days leading up until the carnival opens, that this place is not nearly as fun as it would seem…and there are more sinister creatures and forces afoot that want them there for a different reason.
|Dolls. Why does it always have to be dolls?|
Outside of its stylistic approach to its nightmarish decent into carnival hell that features stabbing score cues and odd lighting effects, Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood earns some credit when it comes to seemingly crafting a horror drug trip with what looks like no budget. The acting is surprisingly solid, although the surrealistic tone makes ‘good and bad’ acting almost irrelevant as it plays into the atmosphere, and the special effects are impressive too. A sort of odd story about cannibal workers (they kind of seem zombie-ish on the surface without the explanation) allows the film to add in some gore pieces for shits and giggles and the funhouse nightmare of the entirety of the third act makes the film certainly feel unique – which is always a welcome aspect for the horror fan who has seen a lot of weird stuff. If anything, there is a charm to it's low budget craftiness.
|This is the first film in the three film set.|
ARROW VIDEO FEATURES:
•Brand new 2K restorations of the three features
•High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD presentations
•English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
•Reversible sleeves for each film featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil
•American Horror Project Journal Volume I – Limited Edition 60-page booklet featuring new articles on the films from Kim Newman (Nightmare Movies), Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women) and Brian Albright (Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990)
•Brand new interview with director Christopher Speeth
•Brand new interview with writer Werner Liepolt
•Draft Script (BD/DVD-ROM content)
•Production stills gallery