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Case Number 22796: Small Claims Court

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Maria's B-Movie Mayhem: Mardi Gras Massacre

Code Red // 1978 // 89 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis (Retired) // November 25th, 2011

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All Rise...

Nobody in the bar is as evil as Judge Daryl Loomis.

The Charge

I want a special kind of girl and I'm willing to pay a special kind of price.

The Case

What might be the worst entry yet in Code Red's series called "Maria's B-Movie Mayhem," starring ex-WWE Diva Maria Kanellis, finds us in New Orleans just days before Mardi Gras. It should be a time for celebration, but not all is well in the Big Easy. A psychotic killer (William Metzo) is on the loose and he's targeting local prostitutes, ritualistically slaughtering them in the service of the Aztec goddess of evil. The cops have no leads, but if the lead investigator (Curt Dawson) can't solve the case immediately, his hooker girlfriend will be the killer's next victim.

There are a ton of amazingly terrible things about Mardi Gras Mayhem, but probably the most striking thing to me is that, while Jack Weis (Crypt of Dark Secrets) only directed four films, this is the second that I've reviewed for Verdict. Quadroon is certainly more outwardly racist than this one, but Mardi Gras Massacre is definitely a worse overall movie. In fact, it's one of the most ridiculous movies I've ever reviewed for the site.

Terrible on every level, Mardi Gras Massacre reminds me especially strongly of Z-grade '50s films like those of Ed Wood (with a little more blood and a lot more nudity). Close up shots are repeated over and over during the murder scenes in the most obvious fashion imaginable. The killer's desire to satisfy the goddess of evil by sacrificing "evil" people is laughable. Wouldn't the goddess of evil want good people sacrificed so the evil ones could flourish? It doesn't matter. William Metzo is given about a hundred lines to get his character across and nearly all of them incorporate the word evil. He says the word in drawn out fashion like the character is played by Skeletor. Beyond that, there's enough pointless on the street footage of New Orleans during Mardi Gras to fill up a Girls Gone Wild video and the ending is spectacular in its senselessness. There isn't a moment in the film worth recommending, and I'm sorry I lost these ninety minutes.

Code Red sent a screener for review of Maria's B-Movie Mayhem: Mardi Gras Massacre, but the results are basically what I expect from the final release. Before the film, they have included a disclaimer apologizing for the state of the print and for good reason. The full frame image looks absolutely wretched. It's not as though a better transfer could improve the movie in any way, but it is probably the worst I've seen from the label. The stereo sound is not quite so bad, but it's not very good, either, with plenty of noise and a lack of definition in every respect. The only place in which the disc doesn't completely fail is in the features. In addition to the series standard intro and outro with the charming Ms. Kanellis, we get the standard inclusion of her cruddy music video, which appears made by a holdover from Whitesnake's director. In addition to the requisite bank of Code Red trailers, most of which are far preferable to the film at hand, we have an interview with Metzo. In it, he reveals the telling, if fairly obvious, fact that the director gave him no real indication of how he was supposed to play his character and that Weir just took whatever Metzo gave him. This couldn't be more apparent in either Metzo's abysmal acting or Weir's inept direction.

You know you're in trouble when the best thing about a movie is the cheesy host presenting it. I'm shocked to find a movie worse than Quadroon; Mardi Gras Massacre is as bad as it gets.

The Verdict


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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 35

Perp Profile

Studio: Code Red
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 1978
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Bad
• Crime
• Cult
• Exploitation
• Horror
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• Introduction
• Interview
• Trailers


• IMDb

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