Directed by Jack Weis [Other horror films: Crypt of Dark Secrets (1976)]
This is a movie that I’ve long wanted to see, and for the longest time, I’ve pretty much known it wasn’t going to be that great, which is certainly accurate after finally having seen it.
In many ways, I was reminded of the classic H.G. Lewis flick Blood Feast from 1963, from a sacrificial killer to decent gore, only it wasn’t near as engaging (Blood Feast, on a side-note, isn’t really an amazing movie, but in many ways, it blows this out of the water). The main problem was that this was so repetitive, almost to the point of parody.
Step one, the killer enters a bar and asks for someone evil. Step two, the evil woman accompanies him back to his apartment. Step three, the killer offers some wine. Step four, they go to a room where oil is rubbed on the evil woman’s nude body before she’s tied up and stabbed through the hand, sliced on the sole of her foot, and lastly, slit from her gut upward. This happened three times in the movie with minimal variation. The first time was fine, and the gore is decently gruesome (or it tries), but God, is it as dull as it sounds? Is it ever.
It doesn’t help that the main protagonist of Mardi Gras Massacre is a woman-hitting cop (which isn’t surprising, as a rather high amount of cops beat their spouses) with the sympathy level of a KKK Grand Wizard, played by Curt Dawson. None of his investigation was particularly interesting or noteworthy, and when he slaps his girlfriend (Gwen Arment) twice, I hoped for a painful death that he never got. Instead, the girl apologized to him and they got back together. Fantastic character arc – love it. The killer, played by William Metzo, did the best of everyone, and possessed a certain charm, so if you see this one for any reason, do it for Metzo.
Also worth noting, I’m not opposed to disco. I love me some Bee Gees, Tavares, KC and the Sunshine Band, and a handful of others, but when your whole soundtrack is composed of generally generic disco, I’m going to have a problem, which I did. It was sort of funny, but boy, just like the repetitive nature of the plot, the soundtrack got really old.
With a title like Mardi Gras Massacre, I personally think people would expect a movie more wild and fun, but this is neither. It’s not a great film whatsoever, and it’s pretty close to being too dull to classify as a ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ film. The best I can say is that the gore is decent, but even that can’t make up for the unlikable characters or the dull nature of the film.
This was discussed on Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen to Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this below.