Take a Horror Trip Into MALATESTA’S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD
5-3-74, Greenville, SC – For right now, this is the only serious ad for a once hard to find movie which was on the to-see and wish lists for those wanting to find every movie of The 70’s that tried to step into the extreme. While this is possibly now seen as normal level Horror for today’s fans who have seen it all, one has to remember that back in 1974, Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood was perhaps a little too out there or twisted for it’s time in a day when the red stuff was just starting to flow through post-1970 films like I Drink Your Blood and Mark of the Devil and Flesh for Frankenstein/Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein, and the legendary total game changing Texas Chainsaw Massacre was not yet released by this time. Winding up with a distributor who hardly did anything with it (International Co-Productions, who had it rated in August, 1973), this played a few Southern DIs, a few in Florida (Cocoa Beach area), and even a two-day showing in Philadelphia’s Germantown area, and then POOF!
3-19-75, Philadelphia – No ads, just this small curious mention of this two-day showing! Filmed in the Germantown area (Willow Grove, North of Philadelphia), and with help from Alley Friends for some of the visuals, someone at least got the film in for a local showing.
The story of the film is that of parents looking for their missing son wind up working at the carnival he was at only to discover that it’s ran by some very ghoulish people, cue the madness and weird stuff you were wanting to see. The film was reportedly cut to get a rating and more showings (My opinion, a bad move – should have went Unrated!) and with a movie scene that was seriously in competition enough to shove smaller companies out of the way, it was gone after it’s short life. The company that had it possibly could not give it away in the Fire Sales a Distributor does when it goes out of business – in its list were films like Hammer’s under-rated Demons of the Mind and the Sexploitation of Tis Pity She’s a Whore, both of which had some Last Run showings released through other companies – and even with a marquee value star, it was not even on the VHS circuit.
Co-starring Herve Villechaize, Director Christopher Speeth released an independent DVD release a few years back and the film is now on the Blu Ray market thanks to Arrow Video. Jerome Dempsy as Blood went onto a good acting career through the years and Malatesta himself Daniel Dietrich was in Andy Milligan’s Fleshpot on 42’nd Street (already a cult hit by that time) and later in George Romero’s classic Dawn of the Dead. The article in Stephen Thrower’s Nightmare USA revived interest in the movie, and is now easy to catch to see what a few Drive In patrons and some Germantown residents caught in a brief period of time.