Carnival of Blood (1970)

Article 3902 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-10-2012
Posting Date: 4-20-2012
Directed by Leonard Kirtman
Featuring Earle Edgerton, Judith Resnick, Martin Barolsky
Country: USA
What it is: Psycho in a carnival

Somebody is knocking off women at Coney Island. A policeman investigates, unaware that his girlfriend may turn out to be one of the victims.

Who is the killer? Is it the fortune-telling woman? The balloon barker? His hunchback assistant named Gimpy? Personally, between this batch of suspects, it’s pretty obvious. This one is pretty bottom of the barrel, with a lousy script, shaky camerawork, less-than-convincing gore effects, and a total inability to milk any suspense out of the material. Still, there are moments when this one gets by on sheer strangeness; there’s the bizarre and unexplained opening credits which have something to do with the talking but silent head of a disembodied woman (if this means anything, I don’t get it), and then there’s one of the weirdest flashback sequences I’ve ever seen near the end of the movie, just to name a couple. Still, for the most part, the movie seems obsessed with showing you just how annoying the victims are; it spends endless time wandering around the carnival with them before they finally get offed, and even that’s no relief, because the movie will just move on to another annoying character. This one does have the novelty of featuring at least one actor who became something of a name; Burt Young plays Gimpy, which is (apparently) his character’s real name.

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