3/10
Carnival of Crap.
20 July 2017
Carnival of Blood's cheap and cheerful gore scenes owe a lot to the splatter films of H.G. Lewis, but the stuff that happens in between the movie's messy murders makes Lewis's efforts look positively professional by comparison. Set on Coney Island, the bulk of writer/director Leonard Kirtman's extremely low budget horror follows a variety of obnoxious characters as they visit the attractions of Coney's famous amusement park, upsetting a killer with mommy issues, who metes out extreme punishment for bad behaviour. Investigating the grisly slayings is assistant district attorney Dan (Martin Barolsky) who drags his fiancée Laura (Judith Resnick) to the carnival to check out the murder site.

Sluggish pacing and terrible acting from all involved make the film a real challenge to sit through, but Carnival of Blood's biggest problem is its repetitiveness, Kirtman using the same setup over and over again: introduce a thoroughly loathsome character, have them upset the killer, see them visit a fortune teller (who quickly ushers them out of her stand when she foresees their fate in her Tarot cards) and then bump them off in grisly fashion. All of this is sporadically interspersed by scenes of Dan and Laura as they get engaged, canoodle, argue and make up, and of sideshow barker Tom (Earle Edgerton) chatting to his hunchbacked assistant Gimpy (Burt Young of Rocky fame, in his feature debut).

The whole film is a boring mess, but especially crap low-lights include the bizarre opening credits that feature a lousy theme song and a body-less head mouthing wordlessly, some of the worst drunken acting ever committed to film (courtesy of Glen Kimberley, in his one and only movie role), and the most insufferable woman imaginable (bespectacled and bewigged Gloria Spivak, who will have you cheering her character's death). Those who check the film out purely for the gore will be treated to a decapitation with blood spurting from the neck stump, a stabbing/disembowelment, and a woman having her tongue and eyes yanked out.
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