Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mardi Gras Massacre, Aztec Psycho vs. Women of the Night

As New Orleans prepares for Mardi Gras, perhaps 1978's "Mardi Gras Massacre" can act as a training video.  Gratuitous, in violence and nudity, to the max, this film captures the essence of this Big Easy celebration...frivolity and decadence.  With over-the-top gore and misogyny, our film today teeters on a corny romance and a horror gore-fest in which lovely women have their organs torn out of their torsos.  True, some may darkly call this an appropriate metaphor for the festivities occurring in this historic city just before Lent.
For the most part, Aztec High Priest-wannabes are a valuable ingredient in an ever diverse society.  However...when Mardi Gras appears on their calendar, it is possible for anti-social behavior to manifest. Such happens here as John (William Metzo) walks into a bar (, not a joke) and asks for the most evil prostitute in the room. In the first instance he brings Shirley (Laura Misch Owens) home, has her strip, ties her to an altar, dons Aztec garb, rubs sacred oil all over her, and cuts her abdomen before reaching in and yanking her heart out.  This scene is repeated with more prostitutes later on.
The New Orleans Police are on the case, more specifically Detective Hebert ( Curt Dawson). Following up on clues takes a back seat to finding dates for our horny detective. Instead of questioning Shirley's prostitute pals, Hebert starts romancing her pal Sherry (Gwen Arment). Sherry and Hebert fall in love.  They laugh...they frolic...they have lots of pre-marital sex...and yes, they eat lots of beignets  at Cafe Du Monde. As John continues to go through prostitutes like crap through a goose, we sense that he has something grand planned for Fat Tuesday.  Is Sherry part of this plan? If she is, will Hebert begin tracking down clues?
Is the judgmental portrayal of Aztecs a mere example of the establishment Catholic bias against religions using human sacrifice?  Is the prostitution trade in New Orleans a more exact way of finding a date for cops than  With lots of ominous gore and shoddy camera work, "Mardi Gras Massacre" went down as a 1970s drive-in favorite.  Not for the weak of stomach, but a great elixir for those of you who were dragged to see "La La Land."

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