Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mardi Gras Massacre (1978)

All the worst aspects of grindhouse sludge appear in Mardi Gras Massacre, a sexed-up horror picture with so much nasty gore that it received an X-rating during its original release. We’re talking closeups of women’s torsos getting sliced open so their hearts can be yanked out. Telling the story of a psychopath luring New Orleans prostitutes back to his lair so he can sacrifice them in weird rituals—maybe it’s Satanism or maybe it’s voodoo, but the end result is the same—Mardi Gras Massacre offers crappy filmmaking, exploitive nude scenes, and rotten acting. Worse, it drags on for nearly 100 minutes thanks to slow pacing and the presence of two long interludes: a documentary-style sequence featuring on-the-street footage of Carnival celebrations, and a dance number. More specifically, a disco dance number. Because, you see, instead of proper local flavor for a picture set and shot in New Orleans, Mardi Gras Massacre is driven by a soundtrack of thumping, upbeat disco numbers, and at one point the picture stops dead so leading lady Gwen Arment can swirl and twist her way through several minutes of generic gyrations. As can be said of so many other bad movies made for the grindhouse circuit, Mardi Grass Massacre has nowhere to go and isn’t in any hurry to get there. The plot, such as it is, concerns a detective (Curt Dawson) and his hooker girlfriend (Arment) getting mired in the search for a dude preying on the Big Easy’s working girls. From start to finish, this is a reprehensibly bad film, so it’s only of interest for the most masochistic viewers. That said, scuzz-cinema freaks may dig some weird elements, including the opening scene, during which the killer solicits his first victim by searching for the “most evil” prostitute in New Orleans. Also worth mentioning is the occasionally disquieting score, a bizarre mixture of bouncy dance tunes and creepy electronic noises.

Mardi Gras Massacre: LAME

No comments: