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Malatesta's Carnival of Blood (1973)

Not Rated | | Horror | 1973 (USA)
The Norris family get jobs working at a seedy old carnival as a cover for searching for their missing son who disappeared after visiting said carnival. Eccentric manager Mr. Blood turns out... See full summary »


Christopher Speeth


Werner Liepolt (story)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Janine Carazo ... Vena
Jerome Dempsey ... Blood
Daniel Dietrich Daniel Dietrich ... Malatesta
Lenny Baker ... Sonja
Hervé Villechaize ... Bobo (as Herve Villechaize)
William Preston ... Sticker
Paul Hostetler Paul Hostetler ... Mr Norris
Betsy Henn Betsy Henn ... Mrs Norris
Chris Thomas Chris Thomas ... Kit
Paul Townsend Paul Townsend ... Johnny
Tom Markus ... Bean
Sebastian Stuart Sebastian Stuart ... Lucky
James Lambert James Lambert ... Winston
Rebecca Stuart Rebecca Stuart ... Leading Ghoul
Jim McCrane Jim McCrane ... Mr Davis


The Norris family get jobs working at a seedy old carnival as a cover for searching for their missing son who disappeared after visiting said carnival. Eccentric manager Mr. Blood turns out to be a vampire while the evil owner Malatesta rules over a gaggle of ghastly ghouls who watch silent movies when they aren't feasting on human flesh. Written by Woodyanders

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You'll Shriek With Horror! ... As You Watch His Victims Take a Diabolical Roller-Coaster Ride to Bloody Death See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site | Official site





Release Date:

1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Malatesta's Carnival of Blood See more »

Filming Locations:

Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Christopher Speeth went to court to defend actor Herve Villechaize in case where Herve stole another filmmaker's negative because he was over dubbed without Herve's knowledge. Herve said of the film "It is only half of me" since his voice was not included. Villechaize was forever grateful for Speeth's testimony that overdubbing and actor's voice without their knowledge violated their craft See more »


Features The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) See more »

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User Reviews

At last the carnival has come to town!
8 November 2003 | by reptilicusSee all my reviews

After waiting for 30 years I have finally been able to see this movie! Other people who read my earlier entreaty finally contacted me and told me where to look. Lo and Behold I found out I could order a copy on DVD . ..and so I did. I have just finished watching it. Was it worth the wait? YES. The action takes place around a carnival that sometimes appears brand new and at other times looks like a wreck. You have to pay close attention if you want to know why; in a single throwaway line we are told "It's all an illusion." The movie becomes an exercise in existentialism very quickly. The carnival is built over a sulfur spring and the workers there are all cannibals because "No one ever told them eating human flesh was bad." Many of them have never seen sunlight in all their lives, however long that might be. They are also movie buffs who enjoy watching things like THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925), THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1923) and THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1919) in between snacking. The manager, the aptly named Mr. Blood, is a vampire and Mr. Malatesta is a . . .well . . .he might be a ghoul, he might be a wizard . . .that is one of the many things we must wonder about. The one "normal" family who comes to work there is questionable too. Dad seems to know something is wrong about the place and asserts "If anything happens I'll have my revenge." while checking his snub nose .38 to make certain it's loaded. Has he come to get even for some earlier victim? That is something else we never learn. I could easily say the shortage of gore is a weak point but remember this was made in 1973 before audiences were really used to loads of graphic gore in their movies. There was enough here to satisfy audiences of the time I think. A quick decapitation, an eye puncturing and the ghouls snacking on the flesh of a still living victim! Okay, I was not satisfied with the ending and I probably would not have been even if I had seen the movie when it was brand new but still I was not disappointed! Performances are all good, effects are . .. well . . . adequate, editing is effective at times and frustrating at others (fadeouts are happening constantly!). Is MALATESTA'S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD worth seeing? Yes! The movie is out on DVD now but who knows how long it will be on the market. Get your ticket for this carnival now!

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