Mardi Gras Massacre (1978) Poster

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Amateurish video nasty with a good quota of laughs
Red-Barracuda7 July 2007
Yet another video nasty. Yet another laugh-riot. Before I actually saw many of the films on the DPP list, I, somewhat misguidedly, thought that they would be shameless atrocities full of shocking violence and depravity. I know better now. A significant number of them are unintentional comedies. And Mardi Gras Massacre is a perfect example.

The story concerns a madman who picks up prostitutes and ritually slaughters them in his bachelor pad. He's pursued by a couple of hopeless cops. The Mardi Gras goes on in the background.

This film is spectacularly badly made. The acting and especially the exposition scenes are of a pornographic standard. Although, the killer, played by an English bloke, is very very amusing. He is fond of overly dramatic pauses, such as 'are you......................evil?'. The dialogue in the movie in general is atrocious in a gloriously stupid way. In fact, so is the editing. Scenes cut into each other suddenly and jarringly but, again, this only adds to the fun. As does the music. It varies from the type of music you would expect to hear in a porno, funky disco, avant-garde noise and the bass-heavy proto-house that accompanies the murders. In other words technically and artistically, this film is a mess, albeit enjoyably so.

The murder scenes are all identical. They're not particularly convincing but nevertheless crude and sleazy; pretty obvious video nasty material. And the aforementioned music that accompanies them is, in fairness, pretty much effective. Less effective but brilliantly rubbish is the love-montage scene where our detective and prozzie stroll around New Orleans - it's an utter cheese-fest of the first order. The cops in these kind of movies are usually pretty ineffective - let's face it, if they did their jobs properly we wouldn't have much of a movie - however, the police in Mardi Gras Massacre are biscuit-taking in their ineptitude. They are absolutely hopeless.

A similar thing could be said of this movie but I'm not going to because I found it way too enjoyable. This is proper Z-Grade film-making. They really don't make them like this any more. There was a peculiar type of slightly out-of-order sleazy-violent horror film that was made in the 70's and early 80's. And this is a good example. It's terrible but good. If you like unintentionally funny bad movies with a dash of sleazy violence then really I have to recommend this to you; to do otherwise would be.................evil.
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The director was no stranger to gross incompetence, but I still like this.
Bloomer30 January 2007
From the perspective of yet another guy who's trying to see all the 'official' video nasties - namely me - Mardi Gras Massacre passed the litmus test. It offers another dose of the very particular atmosphere unique to a lot of no-to-low budget shock horror films from the seventies and early eighties, in this case involving one crazy devotee of a Mexican death goddess who ritually sacrifices (disembowels) a series of prostitutes in New Orleans pre- Mardi Gras. While I was satisfied in a broad sense, I can't stress enough that Mardi Gras Massacre is an extremely incompetent film, both hilariously and tediously so. It's riddled with the kind of woeful technical blunders I thought had ceased to be with the underground exploitation flicks of the sixties and early seventies. I'm talking about tons of non-featured actors clearly reading their lines from cue cards held just off camera. I'm talking about actors not being given another take even after they've fluffed multiple lines of dialogue. I'm talking about the kind of continuity screw-ups in which a person can be standing, then sitting, then standing again in consecutive shots. During an arguably important chase scene of the villain by the cops, the actor playing the villain is curiously absent. A series of long shots of scenery and of anonymously driven cars appear to be intended to cover up this omission. (Maybe the guy wasn't paid to stay on the set that long?)

Technically, it is all that bad, but of course there's content to entertain. There's real New Orleans scenery, lots of crass discoey glitz, badly amusing dialogue ("I hear you're the most evil woman in this room,") a cheesefest love montage between a cop and his newly beloved prostitute, and several cheap but plenty splattery disembowelment murders. The killings are all executed identically in editing and FX, which is a curiosity for this genre, as well as just something which kind of sucks. But I did find effective the grizzly synth score associated with the bad guy and used during the lead up to each of the sacrifice scenes.

All in all, Mardi Gras Massacre is another dire triumph for lurid, bad-bad horror.
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Cheezy splatter-trash supreme!
one4now422 February 2005
Man, this is one dumb, idiotic movie with excessive sex and violence and no redeeming values whatsoever... Great! This blast is a treasure for schlock-lovers, as a mad priest who worships the evil entity of Quetzacoatl (which I have INDEFINITELY misspelled and can't pronounce for the life of me... then again, did they pronounce it right in this movie?). He gets down on the town, looking for prostitutes with reputations for being... "evil". (Ha ha, couldn't resist.) As the crappy spaced-out disco music soars, he torments and guts the fully nude ladies. Such ugly trash, and funnier than hell. The acting, the dialogue, the gore, the music, the dumbass characters (especially the cops)... A laugh riot, all in all! Recommended, fer shore!
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epic grindhouse sleaze
EyeAskance12 July 2003
flavorless performances..."exHOTic" dancers...a deranged madman...bondage...torture...grrrl-fights...bumblesome cops...a "falling-in-love" evil Aztec goddess...a cheezy bachelor pad with a sacrificial altar...disco...a repeat of that disemboweling we saw earlier...scheming hookers...dope pushing pimps...street scenes where passers-by stare blankly at the camera, unaware that they are unpaid and uncredited extras in a bottom-of-the-barrel celluloid bowel movement...

Thank you, Mr. Jack Weis. I'm going to name a pet after you one day.

This sort-of-remake of H. G. Lewis' BLOOD FEAST is an all-time anti-classic, and not to be missed. Ten filthy stars...that's one star for every dollar spent on making it. Now you just run along and get yourself a copy, 'cause you KNOW you can't have mine.
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Enjoyable chunk of low-grade 70's horror junk
Woodyanders28 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A deranged killer cultist (woodenly played by William Metzo) picks up hookers in New Orleans and sacrifices them to an Aztec god by pulling out their hearts. Man, does this gloriously ghastly cinematic abomination possess all right wrong stuff to qualify as a real four-star schlockfest: hilariously horrible acting from a lame no-name cast (Gwen Arment cops the top thespic dishonors for her wince-worthy turn as jaded streetwalker Sherry), hopelessly all-thumbs (mis)direction by Jack Weis (who also wrote the wafer-thin script), tacky gore, a plodding pace, slipshod editing, crude cinematography, a complete dearth of tension and creepy atmosphere, and plenty of needless filler in between the killings all add up to create one of the single most spectacularly shoddy celluloid stinkers to ever ooze its lurid way across the big screen. Foxy brunette "Playboy" Playmate Laura Misch Owens, who was almost invariably cast as whores in the handful of movies she popped up in, appears here as -- big surprise! -- evil prostitute first victim Shirley Anderson. The tasty abundant gratuitous female nudity and seamy Big Easy red light district milieu keep things nice'n'sleazy throughout. The get-down groovy disco soundtrack hits the funky-throbbing spot. A total cruddy riot.
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Gorefest in New Orleans
lor_8 February 2023
My review was written in May 1984 after a screening at Selwyn theater on Manhattan's 42nd St.

"Mardi Gras Massacre" had the makings of an atmospheric B-movie set in New Orleans, but emerges as a mee Grand Guignol exercise reminiscent of Herschel Gordon Lre7744ewis ("Blood Feast") pictures of the 1960s. Extremely obscure feature is not listed in any fantasy reference books or film production charts but appers to been lensed circa 1978.l Story concerns an unnamed nutcase who seeks out "evil" prostitutes and ritualistically sacrifices them on Tuesdays to an Aztec goddess whose name translates as "The Lady of the Serpent Skirt". This leads up to Fat Tuesday (i.e., Mardi Gras), when he plans a three-girl sacrifice. Frank, the cop on the case, falls in love with a heat-of-gold blond prostie named Shelley while he incompetently tries to track down the killer. Not surprisingly, Shelley (who proves to be amazingly forgetful, having met the killer at film's opening) is one of the three potential Mardi Gras victims until Frank and cohorts come to the rescue.

Location lensing at bars and strip-joints plus some flavorful quirky performances (particularly an ofay pimp who has his rhyming slang down pat) are "Massacre"'s high pints. Unfortunately, the pic's raison d'etre consists of repetitive gore stagings in which the killer ties each nude prostitute to a table, ceremonially cuts her hand and foot and then (switch to closeup of a well-matched rubber model torso) cuts open her chest to remove the heart as a sacrifice. Target audience for this old-hat attempt at shock is very limited.

Filmmaker Jack Weis directed a black-oriented period picture "Quadroon" in 1971 and announced an ambitious (bu apparently unrealized) project entitled "Storyville" in 1973, the milieu later captured in Louis Malle's "Pretty Baby". With "Massacre", he has taken the low road, which leads directly to obscurity.
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So sleazy and bad it really needs to be seen.
HumanoidOfFlesh23 October 2008
"Mardi Gras Massacre" is a sleazy trash with misogynistic murders and tons of hilarity.It surely is one of the most unintentionally amusing experiences one can have.New Orlean is a dangerous city.There is a killer on the loose.The butcher of strippers and hookers.He is looking for evil women.He narrows his eyes and says to his female victims "I am looking...for someone...Evil!" then asks "Are you evil?".This gentleman killer,who orders Chinese Food delivery for one of his sacrificial lambs,has an Aztec fetish,so he wants to tie naked ladies to an altar and sacrifice them to some bloodthirsty Aztec god."Mardi Gras Massacre" delivers tons of full-frontal nudity,sleaze and a bit of nasty gore.There's also an incredibly poorly acted subplot surrounding the cop investigating these ritualistic murders falling in love with one of the hookers.The funniest thing is that "Mardi Gras Massacre" was classified as a video nasty.7 out of 10.
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Undeserving of its reputation--good and bad
lazarillo11 July 2006
This inept gore movie is often compared to Herschell Gordon Lewis' "Blood Feast", but it is not quite as bad nor nearly as unintentionally funny as that anti-classic. However, it is very hard to take seriously and didn't really deserve its famous inclusion on Britain's "video nasty" list.

The very repetitive plot involves an Aztec high priest picking up surprisingly attractive New Orleans prostitutes, tying them naked to a makeshift altar, and cutting their hearts out with a stone dagger. This is intercut with a few expository scenes of the local police stumbling ineffectually around, and some canned footage of the Mardi Gras celebration to (barely) justify the title. I might point out that the influence of the Aztecs never quite reached New Orleans (it should have been a Haitian voodoo priest but I suppose THAT would have been culturally insensitive). Also, the real-life Aztecs generally preferred to sacrifice MALE warriors from other Indian tribes, and besides anybody that knows anything about making sacrifices to the dark gods knows that they prefer virgins, not prostitutes. Obviously, this movie is pretty damn ridiculous and hardly compares to bargain-basement realism of other "nasties" like "Maniac" or "I Spit on Your Grave". It does mix full-frontal nudity and a lot of gore, but even in that respect it's not as disturbing as such films as "Bloodsucking Freaks" and "The Gore Gore Girls" (although it does lack the black humor of those films).

The film has been accused of misogyny (probably based on throw-away dialogue and ad-lines about "cutting out the part with which the women do evil"). But as I've often said, just because you enjoy seeing naked women tied to fake sacrificial altars doesn't necessarily make you a misogynist, and NOBODY is going to mistake the unconvincing plastic dummy that they use for heart-ectomies with a real woman (real women have rib cages). Far from encouraging "sexual sadism" as censors have claimed, it might turn normal people on with the nudity but will have them laughing their asses off at the inept special effects. This is a movie very undeserving of its reputation--either good or bad.
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No budget or no creativity?
insomniac_rod19 August 2006
Not exactly a straight slasher as many believe but it's surely as cheesy, and unintentionally funny as any slasher from the 80's.

"Mardi Gras Massacre" could be considered as a toned down exploitation low budget. The plot asks for brutality, violence, sleaze but the truth is that the execution of the idea isn't as half as good as it should. Poor New Orleans, really. Not because of the recent tragedies, but, because this movie has generated a bad fame for the Mardi Gras celebration. Of course, only among in the Horror movies world.

The ritual method is repeated in all the death scenes. So we don't get originality or probably there wasn't enough budget to at least create three different gore scenes. It's okay but even ultra low budget slashers have at least two different killing methods! Anyways, "Mardi Gras Massacre" has generated some kind of cult over the years but sincerely, this isn't a must see. The movie should only be watched by b-movie lovers or morbid fans of low budget cheese and sleaze!
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Sleazy trash
Tikkin10 June 2006
As much as I think this film is a pile of crap, there's 'something' about it that I like. I think it's the grainy, dirty feel to it, which isn't something many horror films have. This cannot save it though, because whichever way you look at it, it gets rather tedious after the first few deaths. Don't get me wrong - they are quite bloody in a Herschell Gordon Lewis kind of way. I even thought the weird sounds that are played when the killings occur added to the grainy atmosphere. It's just that you get sick of seeing the same thing over and over. Also there's too much tedious bumbling from the police and a dull sub-plot. I thought the ending was rather cool though, when he drives the car into the water and all they find is his mask. Mind you most people would have fallen asleep by this point.

Overall I would say Mardi Gras Massacre is worth the once over if you're a horror completist - just don't expect too much!
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A total - total - stinkus maximus - Grand Stinkerado
Kurwa-Monger11 July 2004
Of all the films that were banned in the United Kingdom during the Video-Nasty era of the eighties, Mardi Gras Massacre is probably the least notorious. It's also one of the few that has remained on the rejection list, which isn't because it's extremely sickening or shockingly gory like so many of the titles that it shares its status with. It's just that I doubt any distributor has had the heart (or the balls) to admit to wanting to resubmit it. The fact that it truly is a cinematic nightmare that's so bad - it's bad - probably has quite a lot to do with the on-going abandonment. Despite the somewhat suggestive title, a cover picture showing a hooded killer about to murder a bikini-clad bimbo and various misleading plot summaries that describe a masked maniac stalking the Mardi Gras festival, surprisingly this isn't a traditional stalk and slash flick. But if you consider movies such as Maniac and Nightmares in a Damaged Brain to be classified in that category (which I guess they should be, kind of), then MGM just about fits the bill. This would signal director Jack Weiss' last attempt at box office success, and watching it through just once, leaves it not too difficult to understand why. I'm betting - although I don't know for sure - that this one emptied drive in theaters quicker than a terrorist bomb threat, creating a similar amount of disgust and animosity towards those responsible for the sudden evacuation. But for readers that find themselves still mysteriously allured to learning more about this long-erased from existence exploitation offering, let me tell you exactly what was going on over at the festival that particular year…

After a seemingly never-ending black screen displaying the title in what looks like Times New Roman fonts, the camera pans into a nightclub. That's right, there's no credit sequence or any kind of opening, it just dives straight into the, err, 'action'. A smartly dressed guy enters the club and approaches two cheery hookers. He begins flashing a few bucks and tells them that he's looking for something 'special'. He asks them who they think is the most 'evil' woman in the bar tonight and they point out Shirley, a dark haired strumpet that's seated at the opposite end of the dance-floor. He heads on over and asks her if she's truly as nasty as her pals have described, to which she replies cheerily, 'Listen honey, I could probably take first prize in any evil contest!' So with that, a sale has been made, and the two of them head back to the Gentleman's apartment. I should make it clear now that we never learn this mysterious fella's name, but he looks like Robert Mitchum might have done if he'd been smashed in the face with a shovel repeatedly, so I'll call him Bob. Bob seems like a polite sort of fella, kind of like a bizarre throwback from the cinema era of the forties - complete with three piece suit, Bogart-worthy dialogue and even a dodgy brylcream-laden side-parting! (Or was it a toupee – Hmmm?)

Once inside his bachelor pad, he proposes that the couple retire to the next room to engage in something 'special'. Although cinematic ally they're only meant to be crossing the hallway, in reality, they must have hurried along to the nearest soundstage, because the room's the size of a five-a-side football pitch! The hooker doesn't bat a fluttering eyelid to the fact that the décor resembles a satanic mausoleum, and she's even less concerned when Bob re-appears dressed from head-to-toe in traditional psycho garb, which includes a striking copper-mask! She strips butt-naked and lies down on the bed, whilst the soon-to-become madman gives her a massage to get her in the mood. Shirley's clearly enjoying herself at this moment in time, she even remarks, 'Maybe I should pay YOU for this!' By now, I was rather scratching my head and considering re-evaluating this particular movie-viewing experience. I mean, here I am watching a psychopath in full killer-costume massaging a clothes-less hooker with her legs spread like a tonne of margarine in a furnace? I've heard of couples getting their kicks by sado machoism, but I'm sure you'll agree, this is taking things to an altogether stranger level. Eventually the tone is set, when Bob finally reveals his less than erotic motives. He ties the prossie down and again begins asking her if she's truly a naughty girl. (Kinky, eh?) Then he grabs a dagger and stabs her in the hand, remarking, 'This hand accepted the money for evil!' Next up, it's her feet, presumably for transporting her to the place where she committed such…oh, you know! Finally, the masked menace performs a cack-handed autopsy, in order to remove the part of her that she uses for all this apparent wrongdoing. This sequence is undeniably the film's gory highlight, which most probably single handedly got it added to the DPP list quicker than a moggy fleeing a rabies ravaged rott weiler. And no, it isn't the 'body part' that you're thinking of (you dirty bugger!), - it's her heart, actually!

Cue some chop-socky editing as we switch scenes, and we see that poor old Shirley's corpse is being loaded into an ambulance for her last journey in an automobile. Kudos to Bob – the artistic maniac, who tried to disguise his work by dumping her body smack bang in the middle of a set of train tracks. Whether the 10.30 to Mardi Gras central splattered her across the landscape we'll never know, but still, ten out of ten for creativity! Then we head over to the morgue, where we meet the town coroner and the two nincompoop detectives that are soon to be on the case of the bizarre ritualistic killer. Seeing how this was released during the 'do you feel lucky' era of grizzled lawmen on the edge like Dirty Harry, Serpico and Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle, we explore the notion that cop and killer are two sides of a similar jaded coin. This particular psychopath may not be the kind of guy that women would want to spend too much time alone with, and he may not possess the warmest of intentions towards naughty natured hookers. But at least he's not a woman-bashing light-fingered alcoholic, which is more than can be said for our male-protagonist, who is supposed to be on the righteous side of the law for gawd's sake! Anyway, he heads out to interview a few of Shirley's buddies, which results in him meeting Sherry (Shirley, Sherry – all we need is a Shelly and we could have an alternative to the Three Degrees!). Sherry is yet another of the town's down and out sex-sales-women, and she arouses the interests of Sergeant Mike Abraham – our very own Dirty Harry. The two begin a relationship, which punctures the plot of Bob and his sacrificial slaughters. It also results in a bad movie moment straight from the abyss of cruddy cinema hell. After the two have a heated argument, Sherry heads down to the local discotheque to drown her sorrows the old fashioned way. Among other things, she fights with a couple of bimbos, shows John Travolta how it was done by clearing the dance-floor and boogieing like a Bee Gee on speed, and then ends up getting dragged away by the local constabulary. A good night all round then!

Meanwhile, Bob is busy working his way through the Mardi Gras band of Gold, repeating the same gore effect ad naseum. At one point, he even makes one naked prossie do a ballet routine in her patterned knickers! After he's watched her 'performance' and probably considered the fact that this particular youngster was two cans short of a six-pack, he feels a tad of sympathy and tells her to get out of his house. She almost becomes the one that got away, but at the last moment, he changes his mind and she ends up becoming just another hokey gore effect to add to the collection. Next we finally learn the true motives for this sacrificial killing spree. Apparently, he offers the victims to an Aztec goddess in order to receive God-like powers, which brought me to the conclusion that he possesses all these super human abilities, but acting is still something that he hasn't quite got to grips with. The festival comes around and if you hadn't already guessed, Dirty Harry ends up chasing the Aztec warrior through the carnival, while passers-by stare blankly into the camera, completely unaware that they were unpaid extras in the biggest pile of crapola that was released during horror's heyday! Does the lawman prevent any reoccurrences or sequels from emerging years down the line? Well now, that would be telling, wouldn't it!

On the surface at least, Mardi Gras Massacre offers everything the fans of exploitation find so immensely appealing. Graphic gore, excessive nudity, a masked maniac and the added bonus of a 'video-nasty' disqualification, - it's all here for the taking baby! But scratch beneath that glossy veneer and what you're left with is a vial of puss-drenched slumraderie that is so abysmal it defies description. Now I'm the last one to stand up for political correctness, and often I wonder how stringent our ancestors will be forced to live their day to day lives in years to come. But MGM is so shamefully misogynistic that if it were released today, I'm sure it would cause women's rights activists to bend over backwards in disgust. The lowlights of all this misogyny include: A heavy-handed detective with a fetish for prossies, a maniac that would rather spend his spare time disembowelling them, a lowlife hooker as the film's female protagonist. Come to think of it, every Woman in the damn thing was classed as either a) a dishonest slapper or b) an under achiever worthy only of an autopsy by dagger! Does anyone get the feeling that Jack Weiss had something deep-rooted against the fairer sex of the species? Hmmm indeed. The only thing that's really worth mentioning about this stinker is the fact that it tries to include everything that was in demand around the mid to late seventies. There's disco music and THAT hilarious scene to tickle fans of Saturday Night Fever; the grizzled Dirty Harry I told ya about earlier; and of course the satanic references to stay in vogue with The Omen et al. But Weiss is such a shamelessly poor director, that he fails to make use of any of the clichés that he steals, and to be honest, I was a little more than surprised to learn that this managed to grab even the smallest deal for world-wide distribution.

There really are not too many words in the dictionary that I could use to describe the contents of this 90 minutes snooze-marathon. Well actually, I can think of a couple: appalling, tragic, nonsensical, stupid, long-winded and above all boring - take your pick from the list. If heinous acting, a soundtrack straight from a seventies porno and a director that must've been absent from the entire shoot add up to your idea of a great movie, then there's no doubt that Mardi Gras Massacre will rock your world. But if like me, you value your movie-viewing experiences, leave this one nestling in the suburbs of obscurity until the end of time. It really doesn't deserve to be kept anywhere else.
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Lots to see...unless you want intelligence.
haildevilman13 May 2007
I almost admire this.

It KNEW it stunk from the git-go. So they piled everything they could think of into the film so we wouldn't realize it. They almost got away with it. Almost.

Witch Doctor/Lunatic kills people during Mardi Gras. Mystery and terror ensue. In that order.

The Mardi Gras setting gave it excuses to show all types of weirdness. This is the films' success. Hot women, bikers, street performers making asses of themselves, it's a grindhouse fan's feast.

The mystery itself was bare bones, the extras made it watchable. All one did was predict the next one to get pierced.

Worth a look just for the party scenes...and the women.
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Blood Feast's seventies update
The_Void31 October 2006
Blood Feast will always have cult value for the fact that it was directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis, and for the fact that it is the oldest film to be featured on the DPP Video Nasty list. Whether or not it needed a seventies update, however, is up for debate; but it got one, so I guess someone thought it did. Mardi Gras Massacre puts more focus on nudity than HG's classic did, and the gore is a lot more realistic; but despite the script which contains some real inept lines of dialogue, Jack Weis' film just doesn't have the camp class of the earlier schlock-fest, and overall the film just isn't as good. The plot once again follows a deranged psycho who is going round killing various women in order to sacrifice them to some god or other. We follow the psychopath as he goes about his macabre business, and also a rather ineffective police investigation into the whole affair.

The acting and dialogue are continually ridiculous...perhaps not quite to HG Lewis' standards, but certainly below the level of most B-movie pictures. Many films on the DPP list didn't deserve to be there; and there's nothing in this film that warranted it's banning either. The gore is fairly plentiful and is often fused with 'scenes of a sexual nature', but it's nothing that the average adult couldn't endure. The music is note for being particularly stupid, and also for featuring far too often. The music, like a lot of the scenes in the movie, seems a lot like filler. Blood Feast didn't have a lot of plot to go on either, but at least it didn't stretch its running time out to over ninety minutes. Mardi Gras Massacre could easily have been cut down by twenty minutes without losing a thing. There are certainly a few good scenes in this film; the opening murder being a highlight, but even so; it has to be said that Mardi Gras Massacre is severely lacking. There is a lot of rubbish on the Video Nasty list; but despite that, if I were to line them all up in terms of quality - this would be nearer to the bottom. Not particularly recommended.
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only for the lovers of a good sleazefest
trashgang21 May 2013
Nowadays it's available on DVD but in the time when it was only available on VHS it was a real collector even as it doesn't have that much of horror in it. To be honest, it's a kind of rip-off of Blood Feast (1963).

But the acting here is really dull. It's just like they are reading their lines from something. Not only that, there's almost no blood in it. But when it does it really looks sleazy because it's always girls who are sacrificed and have to go naked all the way. Not only that, the killer do search his victims in strip joints and even that looks rather sleazy. We do some strip acts but they are so unwatchable that you wont be turned on by watching them.

Nevertheless that nothing positive can be said about this flick I still enjoyed it somehow and that's what most people did who do like a sleazefest. The title is still a mystery for me and only some footage added from the festival explains this title. Why they have added the Saterday Night Fever feeling is also unexplained. Have a look at the cop dating a hooker, listen to the score, see the girls never wearing underwear, yes, pure grindhouse galore and that's what I like from those good old seventies.

Gore 0,5/5 Nudity 2/5 Effects 1/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0/5
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There's a crazy killer loose in 'The Big Sleazy'.
BA_Harrison1 July 2010
A wealthy weirdo (William Metzo) trawls the seedy strip clubs and brothels of New Orleans, searching for the city's most evil women; those considered wicked enough are taken to his apartment where, instead of partaking in sordid sexual acts, they are sacrificed to an ancient Aztec goddess. Tough cop Sgt Mike Abraham (Curt Dawson) is on the case, but falls for hooker with a heart Sherry (Gwen Arment), who inevitably winds up chained in the killer's apartment awaiting her turn on the sacrificial altar.

Mardi Gras Massacre is what H. G. Lewis' s Blood Feast might have looked like had it been made 15 years later, during the disco explosion of the late seventies: it's cheap, sleazy, and features enthusiastic scenes of splatter—Lewis trademarks one and all—but it also features a funky soundtrack, frequent full-frontal female nudity, not one but two hilariously naff montage sequences, bushy beards and 'taches aplenty (on the men, that is; the women sport their excessive hair elsewhere!), a jive talking pimp, and a hilarious dance-floor scene in which Sherry becomes lost in music before getting into a cat-fight (don't forget to look out for the 'disco-tranny' and 'fat girl in a big sweater' who are also getting' their groove on).

Thanks to these outrageously trashy elements, I found Mardi Gras Massacre to be very entertaining nonsense, although it's clear that the film is not everyone's idea of a good time: this sucker found itself a place on the Official UK DPP 'Video Nasties' list during the '80s, most likely due to the graphically violent murders, which show each victim bound naked to a table and rubbed liberally with oil before being savagely cut open with a big knife.

As a card-carrying gore-hound, I naturally welcome such gratuitous on-screen nastiness, but regrettably, director Jack Reis is almost as ritualistic with his handling of these scenes as his well-heeled whack-job is in offing his wayward women: each death is shot in precisely the same manner, and they soon become rather dull and predictable. Had a little more imagination been applied to the execution of these key moments, then I would have happily raised my rating of 7/10 to an 8.
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Cheap Fun with Gore and Nudity
Michael_Elliott2 March 2010
Mardi Gras Massacre (1978)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Low-budget horror film is pretty much a re-telling of the Herschell Gordon Lewis cult-classic BLOOD FEAST. This time out a deranged man (William Metzo) hires prostitutes and brings them back to his house where he ties them up on an altar and cuts out their hearts for the goddess he worships. A policeman (Curt Dawson) joins the case and during the investigation he falls for a hooker (Gwen Arment) who might end up putting herself in danger. If you want a classic movie with great action, a heart-tugging story and masterful direction then you're not going to find it here but if you want a fun, gory and nudity full horror film then this one here is a real gem. There's nothing overly good here but the cheap atmosphere really makes for some fun as the New Orleans settings are good enough to put a smile on your face and the sleaze factor is pretty high. The film has enough gore for two movies as several women are tied up and then slashed up the middle so that their hearts can be ripped out. The special effects aren't the greatest as you can tell the bodies are fake but this adds some mild charm to the film as does the fact that the same camera angles are used and the editing pattern is the same on each murder. The film also isn't shy about the nudity as pretty much every hooker has a full-frontal scene and when this isn't going on, the action is usually taking place in a strip joint where we get even more nudity. The gore and nudity certainly keeps the film moving but so do the three leads. No, they don't give Oscar-worthy performances but they are campy enough to make you laugh, which is a good thing. Dawson is a hoot as the cop and some of his line deliveries are priceless especially a sequence in the middle where he and the hooker break up. Some of the lines thrown out during this fight are classic. Metzo is extremely laid back in his role and this stiff nature makes for a few laughs. The costume he wears while killing the women is pretty funny as well. I think the film could have been better had the screenplay not spent so much time with the relationship between the cop and hooker. At times it seems the film wants to be a love story between the two. Another problem are a few random scenes that lead to nothing and easily could have been edited out without it hurting the story. With that said, the exploitation level here is extremely high and I'm sure fans of low-budget horror movies will get a kick out of this thing.
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What sleaze!
BandSAboutMovies9 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The fact that the creator of Mardi Gras Massacre, Jack Weis, went on to direct a Melissa Etheridge special makes me happy to no end. Because it's as far away as possible from this scuzzy, scummy and downright nasty addition to the world of the slasher.

While most slashers spend so much time naming their killer exciting names like the Phantom Killer, Madman Mars or Frank Zito, the killer here is just named John.

That said, he may as well have been named Fuad Ramses, because if Mardi Gras Massacre was any more like Bloof Feast, it would have to film a TV playing that film.

John is searching the bars and strip clubs of New Orleans to find the most evil women possible so that he can take them home, tie them up on his Aztec altar, but on his metal mask, give them a massage and then rip out their hearts in a ritual to the goddess Coati. If the shot of the heart being sliced out looks the exact same every single time this happens, so much the better.

Sergeant Frank Abraham gets assigned to the case after the first girl, Shirley, is found on the train tracks with her organs missing. Along the way, he starts sleeping with one of the local girls, Sherry. Their romance is, well, it's not really a romance as much as a bad cop sleeping with a bad girl with a heart of gold. Honestly, no one in this movie is all that morally sound, as we should see Frank as the hero and then there's a scene where he slaps Sherry around. When they reunite at the end, it's not really something that's a call for celebration.

What does make this movie worth shouting about are the extended disco scenes that seem to go on forever. There's an amazing one where several girls get into a dance floor skirmish that I watched several times in a row, shouting at the screen in pure joy. There's also a montage where he cops are questioning suspects intercut with dancing, particularly a dancing street performer who answers all of the cops' questions with some fancy steps.

Mardi Gras Massacre has everything a movie needed to make it in the slasher boom: an amazing poster, a great tag, lots of gore and nudity, an interesting title and a willingness to be reprehensible trash (that's a compliment, I swear).

It's no accident that it ended up as one of the original video nasties, a title that I'm certain it wore with no small amount of pride.
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Makes HG Lewis look like Fellini
tomgillespie200222 March 2012
In the build up to the world famous mardi gras held in New Orleans, several prostitutes are disappearing and turning up dead and mutilated. They have been sacrificed for an archaic Aztec ceremony. With the festival approaching it is left to Sgt. Frank Herbert (Curt Dawson) to uncover the beast before the street party. The film leaves no illusion to the audience who is committing these murders, as the first scene involves John (William Metzo) entering a bar with the intention of procuring a prostitute for "something special". In fact whenever John is on the prowl, he always speaks to someone asking who the most evil woman in the bar is. The fact that he requests someone evil never actually gets mentioned to the cops by anyone interviewed. Bizarrely, the first woman Herbert speaks to, Shirley (Laura Misch Owens), simply tells him that he worn a distinctive ring on his finger, leaving vital details alone. What transpires after this is even more baffling. After asking rudimentary questions about the suspected killer, Herbert asks Shirley out to dinner and they begin a short relationship. Unbelievable.

There are in fact so many issues with this film that it would be tedious to even mention them all. The majority of the "action" in the film - including the rather repetitive, and dull sacrifices - is shot in frustratingly bleak long shot. Each sacrifice is practically identical to the last; well I guess this could be justified slightly by suggesting that it is a ritual sacrifice and therefore would be similar. However, the director could at least use some different camera angles, or even perhaps use a moving camera instead of the constant static shots. As for the sequences shot during the mardi gras, it seems they must have filmed a street that forgot to have a full display, as it looks about as fun as a hernia.

Well, I'm guessing that this film is fundamentally influenced by the wonderfully crass cinema of Herschell Gordon Lewis, so you could argue that it is intentionally crap. Well, if that were the case then we would need to re-evaluate the cinema of HGL. For if it was simply about the ludicrous dismemberment of girls with all the illusion of a badly painted butchers shop, then the world would probably be less aware of the Lewis effect. Yes, the likes of Blood Feast (1963), 2000 Maniacs (1964) et al, are awful examples of cinema, but the audience knows very well that his tongue is placed firmly within the cheek. Mardi Gras Massacre fails to even be humorous, and does not have the intentionally hyperbolic, histrionic acting. Simply put, this film was a waste of my time, it wasted the time of the actors, but luckily director, Jack Weis, never directed a film again. Hurray!!
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Would you like some wine with this cheese?
lastliberal18 April 2009
Remember the video nasty called Blood Feast. it was banned in Britain, and finally let in in 2005. This film is a cheesy remake of the Herschell Gordon Lewis classic. It was banned and never let in.

Instead of an Egyptian goddess, this guy here (William Metzo) is making sacrifices to some Aztec goddess. He takes a prostitute (Laura Misch Owens) home, oils her up, and performs his ritual, which includes removing her heart.

The cop (Curt Dawson) is too busy getting prostitutes (Gwen Arment) in bed himself to solve the crime. I really don't get this police sergeant strolling though the city with his arm around the prostitute. While he is in bed, another girl gives her heart to the slasher. This doesn't make the police chief too happy as Mardi Gras is about to start and they need to get Jaws out of the water. Sorry, wrong film.

Cheesy dialog, hairy men in wife-beaters, incompetent cops, and a score that belongs in a porno film: all the elements of a good grade Z grindhouse film.
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They thought their lives would be a Mardi Gras; a never-ending party
Coventry22 November 2007
"Mardi Gras Massacre" is a very, very (very) bad seventies film; approximately 75% retelling of, and 25% homage to Hershell Gordon-Lewis' "Blood Feast". Now, I know what you're thinking and you're correct! Why would anyone want to remake a movie like "Blood Feast", let alone pay good money to see it? Admittedly, it build up a well-deserved cult reputation for being the very first gore film ever made, but it basically remains a poorly scripted and amateurishly put together piece of nauseating trash! There's nothing even remotely unique about "Mardi Gras Massacre" and, on top of that, it appears to be even poorer than Lewis' original film. This is purely a tedious 90-minutes-lasting excuse to exhibit cheesy gore and gratuitous full frontal nudity, without any attempt of storytelling and/or creating atmosphere whatsoever. Just a few days before the famous Mardi Gras festival, a clearly deranged self-acclaimed Aztec priest arrives in New Orleans and promptly begins to scour the local bars and strip joints looking for hookers. Not just any hookers, mind you, but EVIL hookers to take home and sacrifice to a hideous statue of a malicious deity. Our mysterious weirdo ties the girl to an altar, rubs brown oil all over their bodies and subsequently cuts their hands & feet before removing a handful of their intestines. This rather repulsive (but UN-shocking) ritual killing is repeated four or five times throughout the film and I even suspect you're watching the same damn footage each time. That's the plot! There's absolutely nothing else going on, unless you consider the hugely annoying love-hate relationship between a sexist copper and a nagging prostitute to be a sub plot. Whatever "Mardi Gras Massacre" lacks in plot, it surely makes up in pointless padding and incompetent directing. The Mardi Gras setting is original but wasted entirely, the dialogs make your ears ache and for some reason there's awful music playing non-stop. The women are beautiful fully dressed as well as naked, but that's hardly a reason to track down a horror film, isn't it? The film is included in the infamous list of "video nasties" (as well as its role model "Blood Feast"), but honestly doesn't deserve to be on any list except maybe the 'avoid-like-the-plague' one.
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Cheap thrills with too much filler.
abduktionsphanomen47118 July 2021
Mardi Gras Massacre - 1978 (This film rates a C )

A wealthy authoritative serial killer with large beady brown eyes is killing dumb naive prostitutes in a ritualistic way, days before Mardi Gras. He ties them up and cuts out their hearts in a room that resembles an alter and table of death. The hearts are offered to an Aztec goddess that he chants to. The acting is really some of the worst I've seen. The script is terrible. Poor editing. Horrible soundtrack of really bad 70's electronic cheese. It just does not fit the film. Bargain basement gore scenes. What's up with the fight at the restaurant, the awful dancing prostitutes at the "club", the rhyming surfer pimp, the dancing prostitute just before her death in the room. Why none of the prostitutes feel threatened by a guy roping each limb on a large sacrificial table. Everything is so bad that it's laughable. The phony relationship between a homicide detective and a prostitute becomes nothing more than a dragging time filler for two people who had no chemistry. The cheap gore and murders could have worked better if the sacrificial scenes were not all the same. There are PLENTY of T&A with full frontal nudity. The footage of vintage Mardi Gras is exhilarating and a big highlight. This is in no way a good film, however, it retains a sense of under achieved charm that makes this something I'd watch again. And I love that stache on the sergeant.
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Can movies get any worse?
poolandrews18 October 2002
This is a really obscure horror/gore film from the late seventies directed by the very untalented Jack Weis and starring the equally untalented Curt Dawson and Gwent Arment (who?!). Basically it has some nutter running around picking up prostitutes and taking them back to his house, wherein he has built some sort of sacrificial altar. Once there he ties the girls down on a bed and cuts 'the hand that excepted the money' the 'feet that brought you here' and finally 'the part you use for evil', at this point he slices their stomach open and pulls some guts out. The rest of the running time the movie follows the detective hunting the killer and a prostitute whom he tries to use to help his investigations. There is nothing good I can say about this movie. The acting is awful even by ultra low budget standards. The photography is hideous even by ultra low budget standards. The directing is non existent, and the script, if they had one, is a waste of the paper it was printed on. Surprisingly the special make up effects are acceptable, considering the rest of the film even quite impressive. Although when the best most impressive part of a movie is when someone cuts open a womans stomach and removes her intestines you know your in for a rough 92mins. The video version I watched had really cool artwork on the cover, I should just have looked at the box for the 92mins! Avoid at all costs.
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Below Average in Just About Every Way Possible
Uriah4318 July 2014
Just prior to Mardi Gras a well-dressed man walks into a nightclub and asks a prostitute named "Sherry" (Gwen Arment) where he can find the "most evil" woman in the club. Sherry points to a particular woman and the man quickly walks over to her table. Not long afterward he brings her to his apartment and then proceeds to tie her up and plunge a dagger into her nude body as a sacrificial offering to a statue of an Aztec god. The police find the body the next morning and soon the newspaper reports the grizzly details. Quite naturally, the police immediately begin an investigation and a hard-nosed detective by the name of "Sgt. Frank Hebert" (Curt Dawson) is put in charge of it. However, once he interviews Sherry the two become romantically involved which causes problems of its own. Meanwhile, exactly one week later the killer again picks up a hooker and kills her in the same manner. Needless to say, with Mardi Gras fast approaching Sgt. Hebert is under quite a bit of pressure to catch the maniac. At any rate, rather than detail any more of the movie and risk spoiling it for those who haven't seen it I will just caution viewers beforehand that this is one film they might want to avoid. The acting is terrible, the camera work is second-rate, the nudity was unappealing and the music is truly dreadful. However, it does offer some cheap gore, a nice film location (New Orleans) and the story itself wasn't too bad. But none of those good factors are a reason to rate this film any higher than I have. If anything, I have been overly generous as this movie is below average in just about every way possible. Viewer beware.
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The music!!!!!!!!
Maciste_Brother9 April 2008
MARDI GRAS MASSACRE is a typically bad low budget horror film made in the late 1970s. It's about this kooky guy who likes to sacrifice women in some sort of ritualistic fashion for god knows what. The film is extremely repetitive as the women are seduced or hired by the killer, brought to his place and strapped to an altar of sorts and killed. Repeat that 4 or 5 times, the same angles, the same dialogue and it's enough to drive anyone crazy.

But if that wasn't enough to drive anyone crazy, the music would sure do it.

The disco music or score is insane. Oh my! It just didn't stop. It was like disco musak gone mad. Honestly, it's the most invasive soundtrack I've ever heard! It was so omnipresent that I couldn't stop laughing at it or the movie. It's not the Mardi Gras Massacre but more like the EAR BLEEDING DISCO MUSIC MASSACRE.

HG Lewis made better (well better is not the word but you get what I mean...) gore films than this. He knew not to clobber the audience with an annoying soundtrack. Just with bad acting and stagey sets. Arf.

BTW the massacre of those women occurred well before the Mardi Gras started so the title is misleading. I know, shocking for a no budget movie.
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I Watched It So You Won't Have To
Squonkamatic15 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I mean, you can, if you insist. Hell I had to buy the damn thing, to know it was on my shelf as a physical unit. To say "I have "Mardis Gras Massacre" uncut on DVD", paid the right price for it (less than $15*) and yeah. I wish it was the VHS, but now I don't have to go through all the rigamarole to find one that is in decent playback condition enough to rip a copy onto my phone. Which is where movies like this belong. In some scummy gutter like venue where men watch shamefully as stacked 70s movie babes are suggestively stripped nude, oiled, shackled to a table and eviscerated for the entertainment of jaded minds. What other reason is there to see it? And if you're going to go along with it that far you might as well own your own copy, and in the most degrading format possible. Which these days means on a phone so you can take it anywhere, gleefully sneaking some sleaze in private, at convenience, and with no one else observing how you consume it.

Rest assured I watched the damn thing with my clothes on sitting up at my desk and found the proceedings to be about as erotic as getting fresh squid at the Korean market up on Avondale Place. The nudity is all depicted in static long shots, the closeups of the Hero Torso which the guts are cut out of laboriously fake in appearance. If anything the Code Red DVD picture quality hammers home the fact that one is watching cheaply made depraved prurient junk. The women are attractive enough, but so what? If you can't see them. The movie is a pale drab exercise in applied sleaze and a working demonstration of how even the most artless and inept among us can likely squeeze out a gory low budget horror film if they put their minds to it. The filmmakers did it purely for the money with no delusion of art, artifice of reality, imagination. Or even the honest filthmongering of your basic Grand Guginol showpiece with freaks biting off chicken heads and turning into gorilla women. The fascination for me to see it an extension of a morbid interest in the DPP "Video Nasty" list, wanting to see what the furor was about, why this or that title ended up "banned" from kids who were looking for a cheap rental night thrill. Or vicarious sex criminal wishing to see his most base of fantasies played out, since he doesn't have the stomach to go through with it himself. I bet Mary Whitehouse sold more movies than any other hustler of horror schlock dreck just by being herself. Hell that's why I bought it.

The movie sucks and is awful on so many different levels, but has a kind of mindless attention to duty which is still somewhat admirable. The women all walk through the proceedings like they are waiting in a dentist's office, and the inept handling of the shock sequences deadens whatever juxtaposition of prurient fascination which make other gore-shockers border on the pornography department. This does too, but only in the sense that porn is a cheat and this stupid little movie cheats at every chance it gets to try and escape being anything less than a base voyeuristic fantasy for sick twisted minds who wish pain & suffering on their fellow human creatures.

So in that sense score one up for being able to lambast the thing for being stupid, predictable, drecky and unrewarding. Adventuresome and challenging horror thrillers are given distinction by having crap like this available to be better than, and yes even stupid "Drive-In Massacre" is better than "Madi Gras Massacre". At least that movie gave us a couple of characters to observe. Here it's just gutting mannequin dolls with strange disco music playing. Watch it if you feel the need but you're not missing anything by looking for something else. It's no "Psycho Puppet", that's for sure. There's nothing in this movie that you haven't already seen done by those who had genuine talent and vision for morbid phantasmagorical cinema shows. This one has the imagination of last season's shriveled brown iris bulbs. The taste of a warmed up leftover TV dinner. And the fun factor of a soggy sandwich bag. You can do better.
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