Movie Review: Maria's B-Movie Mayhem: Mardi Gras Massacre
First things first don't let that date fool you. Mardi Gras Massacre is a golden oldie from the land of the lost. Or 1978 if you will. Having made the list of the UK's "Video Nasties" it was only a matter of time before the film got a proper "Uncut" release. By today's standards most of the gore here is pretty tame (can human sacrifice really be considered tame?) so kids raised on the likes of Saw, Hostel and Haute Tension will probably yawn during said scenes of horror. That said you have got to have an appreciation for low to no budget horror anyway to enjoy cheese like this. The film is hosted by former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis. Maria is also known for having graced the cover of Playboy magazine (April 20080) and was voted #53 on 100 sexiest women by FHM Magazine. She also was a "celebrity" contestant on CELEBRITY APPRENTICE with Donald Trump for what its worth. Granted she isn't given great material to work with (Who wrote her awful script a 11 year old? Scratch that my 11 year old could have written better material for her!) but still Elvira she isn't. Thankfully you have the option to skip her intro. On to the actual film and what we have here is essentially a semi-remake of 1963's Blood Feast. By way of the title you know that this little slab of sleazy 70's horror takes place in New Orleans. Filled to overflowing with nudity the film follows a pair of cops as they try to stop a well-dressed killer of prostitutes. Seems he is out strolling the streets looking for a special breed of woman to sacrifice to the Wind Gods. This deranged Aztec priest carves up women like its Thanksgiving all for the love of his god Quetzalcoatl. Written and directed by Jack Weis (who seems to have peaked at directing the TV special "Melissa Etheridge: The Awakening Live") the film stars Playboy Playmate Laura Misch Owens, soap actor Curt Dawson and Gwen Arment. Considering the lack of real talent in supporting roles the acting is better than expected. Sure there are some real turds to be found (the actor who plays the Chinese restaurant owner flubs his line so bad that it makes you wonder if that was the best take they had) but for a low-budget horror film I've seen much worse. Despite a truly awful ending that made little sense the film is a fun watch. For a film that was made in the late 70s it has a rustic charm. By that I mean yes, it's dated all right. The disco scene alone is a real crowd pleasure as is the "Huggy Bear" bit character. With bonus trailers and an on-camera interview with the killer (Willam Metzo) the film offers just enough extras to get by. Seeing as Mardi Gras Massacre was ranked as one of the original banned "Video Nasties" it should be appreciated by horror movie collectors. Any film about a psycho priest that pulls out the hearts from his victims as an offering to his god will have a limited appeal. But for those of you out there that love low-budget sleaze the film has a lot to offer. Down the line I hope to review more of Maria's B-Movie Mayhem films.