5.8/10
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13 user 43 critic

Malatesta's Carnival of Blood (1973)

Not Rated | | Horror | 1973 (USA)
The Norris family get jobs working at a seedy old carnival as a cover for searching for their missing son who disappeared after visiting said carnival. Eccentric manager Mr. Blood turns out... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Janine Carazo ... Vena
... Blood
Daniel Dietrich ... Malatesta
... Sonja
... Bobo
... Sticker
Paul Hostetler ... Mr. Norris
Betsy Henn ... Mrs. Norris
Chris Thomas ... Kit
Paul Townsend ... Johnny
Tom Markus ... Bean
Sebastian Stuart ... Lucky
James Lambert ... Winston
Rebecca Stuart ... Leading Ghoul
Jim McCrane ... Mr. Davis
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Storyline

The Norris family get jobs working at a seedy old carnival as a cover for searching for their missing son who disappeared after visiting said carnival. Eccentric manager Mr. Blood turns out to be a vampire while the evil owner Malatesta rules over a gaggle of ghastly ghouls who watch silent movies when they aren't feasting on human flesh. Written by Woodyanders

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You'll Shriek With Horror! ... As You Watch His Victims Take a Diabolical Roller-Coaster Ride to Bloody Death

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Horror

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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1973 (USA)  »

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1.85 : 1
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The filming location of this movie is now a flea market every Sunday. See more »

Connections

Features Nosferatu (1922) See more »

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User Reviews

Surreal Atmosphere Makes for a Nice Gem
7 March 2017 | by See all my reviews

Malatesta's Carnival of Blood (1973)

*** (out of 4)

Malatesta (Daniel Dietrich) runs a fun carnival where he hired a couple people to help run the place. What Malatesta doesn't realize is that the two people are basically working undercover because they're searching for their child that went missing at the carnival. What the parents don't realize is all the sinister things going on there including the fact that Malatesta is a vampire.

MALATESTA'S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD is the only film from director Christopher Speeth and it was pretty much forgotten and never seen for thirty-years. All of this changed when the director started selling copies of a DVD from his personal website. Before long the film gained a small reputation but then Arrow Video released it to Blu-ray and DVD in a Special Edition form. As the introduction by Stephen Thrower states, it's a pretty weird little film and certainly one that deserves more of a following.

If you're looking for a coherent storyline then you probably won't enjoy this movie. There's actually very little of an actual plot and instead the film really plays off like a dream you might be having while you're also running a very high fever. Some have called the film's look psychedelic, which might be a good way to describe it. The story is basically being told by the visuals, which are actually quite striking and I'd argue that the dream-like nature of the picture actually works for it. The entertainment value certainly comes from the bizarre and surreal atmosphere.

The performances are a bit all over the place with some of them being incredibly good while others are clearly being done by inexperienced actors. Still, none of them are bad enough to ruin the film. There's also an effective music score that helps build up the atmosphere and there are some really nice gore effects throughout the picture. There's not a lot of violence but when it does happen with get some of that classic 70's overly-bright red blood.

MALATESTA'S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD isn't the greatest film ever made and there are certainly some flaws throughout it including some pacing issues. Still, at just 74-minutes the film is certainly worth watching and it's bizarre and surreal atmosphere really makes it stand out.


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