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Lucky Dip: Gifts Of The Lost And Lesser Known Presents Malatesta's Carnival Of Blood

Tue 27 September 2011 // 20:00

(Tues 27th / 8pm / all tickets £3 ttt)
(Christopher Speeth / 78 minutes / USA / 1973)

An unfriendly middle-aged couple and their teenage daughter Vena move into the grounds of a run-down amusement park, run by the mysterious Malatesta. The fairground assistants appear to be pale-faced ghouls, and Malatesta’s sidekick Mr. Blood is an oddball who spouts sinister gibberish at the park’s visitors, whilst sporting vampire fangs. Is the place a harmless funfair, or is there something more sinister behind the façade?

A particularly unhinged example of the kind of oddball horror obscurities that appeared in the 'anything goes' climate of independent genre filmmaking during the seventies, ‘Malatesta's Carnival Of Blood' is a restlessly inventive, lumbering stranger of a film, overstepping its conventional horror outline into a warped world of low budget post-psychedelic freakishness that could only have occurred during the hippy-fallout and political disillusionment of early seventies America.

Fans of abandoned fairgrounds, underground lairs peopled by mutant carny creatures, and Hervé de Villachaize (Fantasy Island, Man with the Golden Gun) - here appearing as creepy dwarf ‘Bobo’, may find much to amuse and intrigue here. The film was made by a few friends on scraped together pennies in the drive-in heyday, throwing every horror ingredient into the mix they could think of (zombies, vampires, mad scientists, you name it…), whilst hand building the bizarre and audacious sets from abandoned cars and other detritus. Typically, no-one knew what to do with it, and it sunk into a black hole until the last remaining print was found in a loft a decade or so ago...

Lucky Dip: Gifts of the Lost and Lesser Known aims to bring you an array of rarely seen, would be cult gems from decades past.