Wow, where does one begin with this movie, first by stating this is a bad, bad movie, it appears at times as a muddled mess, and hints to H.G. Lewis’ Blood Feast as clear indication of reference materials, nevertheless it comes from Leonard Kirtman, who served as both director and writer. Kirtman only helmed one horror flick as director, and another as producer, coming one year later called Death by Invitation (1971), otherwise Leonard entered into the adult entertainment business and stayed there for 63 productions. The reason one should find themselves interested in Carnival of Blood, as it’s the first horror movie of Burt Young’s famed career, the movie did find distribution over the years first from Kirt Films International in 1972 as a theatrical release, with the launch of VHS a rebirth from Wizard Video; then the DVD market in 2007 thanks to Alpha Video Distributions, and lastly in VOD from Amazon Prime.
Carnival of Blood, actually used a real place to film, Brooklyn’s Coney Island, where a psychopath enjoys himself by killing women at an amusement park. Each of the victims have one thing common a teddy bear they won from strange carnival game booth operated by Tom (Earle Edgerton) and his bizarre assistant, Gimpy (Burt Young, best known for his work on the Rocky movies, but also recently starred in The Amityville Murders ). The movie starts quickly introducing you to a bickering married couple complete with nagging and whining, but also drown-out audio issues. They mosey into a haunted house ride only to emerge later with the wife missing vital organs. Sadly, one needs to watch another 75-minutes of the film, ugh, due to so many errors the movie drags excessively onward, but as a reviewer, that can’t stop one from viewing the material. Also a character on the credits actually called ‘The Dumpy Woman’ played by Gloria Spivak, who gives a series of loud, obvious crude lines of dialogue, and starts more problems with anyone who cross her path, who ultimately becomes another forgotten character. Then the introduction of Dan and his fiancée Laura, (Martin Barolsky and Judith Resnick) Dan is an assistant D.A. investigating the murders, and he drags her, who’s friends with Tom, to the carnival, where the crimes occur. A continues with some mingling of couples mingle some never seeing another tomorrow (lucky them). Meanwhile a foolish fortune teller appears in the film who is always swiping money from patrons but never gives a complete reading, running the scam is her skill set. Basically, everyone who seems to attend the carnival is more interested in fights than shrieks of thrills and pleasure. However, the key person to see in the movie, is none other than Burt Young who mumbles his lines, and wears the strangest whitish face paint. His contribution factors are more as non-existent, his actions more annoying than an asset to any scene, serving as a red herring to the so-called plot. In the flashback the killer revelation comes for anyone still caring to watch the drivel on the screen.
There are many meaningless moments throughout the film, often filled with dull dialogue and appearing with actors trying to ab-lib their lines, sometimes that works in comedic productions, or with professionally trained actors, however not the case herein. The individuals all flubbing their lines, and not shocking most of the cast never made another production, but the issues are not limited to cast, the crew needs to own the mess on the screen, such as the continuity problems, confusing scene segments with takes a majority of the problems too, with bouncing back and forth between day to night shots all in the same day. Yes it happens, along with strange shadows, blurry shots, sloppy boom mics, and pitiful special effects, and yet still not quite worthy of DOA branded film, shocking yes, but saving the film, the gore which does occur provides just an ounces of entertainment.
Amusement park horror flicks, a true sub-genre of the haunted Locations, but when they work well, allow for some worthy moments, and even when they down it still entertainments overall, such as Scream Park (2012); Closed for the Season (2010) and despite the negative comments Hell Fest deservedly better than this muck on the screen, even the thriller Rollercoaster (1977)gives more passion for the craft than this dredge.
Likely, most have never heard of this horror movie, and hopefully you won’t ever discover this dreadful mess, while the gore works with the removal of eyeballs and guts, it’s the display of these body parts that the laughter comes from as there is nothing but fakery running amok. Even a shrug of shoulders becomes too much for caring for the movie, as it lacks a cohesive story, and boils down to one thing if you want to waste your time, then here’s that ride.
Terror Strikes The Carnival!
A Horrifying Creepshow
IMDb Rating: 3.8/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.0/10