It's 1978, and the maniacal "Mr. Smith" is hunting the most "evil" women he can find in the days leading up to Fat Tuesday. Preying on the working girls (hookers), Smith pays top dollar to take the evilest women back to his apartment, which he has halfway converted into an Aztec temple to honor the goddess Coatlicue.
Once his prey is stripped naked and tied onto the sacrificial alter, he massages their body with oil, then takes a dagger and cuts the hand that "sinned when it took the money," and then the feet that "sinned when they walked the streets. Graphic disemboweling follows.
The two cops on the killer's beat, Frank Abraham and Dennis Mayer, are beyond their best years. Abraham falls in love with hookers and Mayer falls into a bottle every day, on the clock or not. (Neither are opposed to taking drugs to keep them moving, running down leads and shaking down suspects while tweeking.)
As Fat Tuesday arrives, Smith pays for five girls for the ultimate orgy. Among the women selected is Sherry, a hooker who earlier had an affair with Abraham and she can't stop thinking about the guy.
Mardi Gras Massacre came along just before Halloween ushered in the Golden Age of Slasher Films. It is a prototype for the type of horror film that would soon become very popular, but it falls more in line with Drive-in Massacre and The Severed Arm than it does Friday the 13th or My Bloody Valentine. It was more or less a remake of Blood Feast.
Some may question the reason for a novelization forty-five years after the film's release. I mean, ultimately, novelizing the film now offers Carter the opportunity to do the ultimate remake of the film.
The fun here is seeing how Carter adds to the narrative, adding new characters and subplots, but keeping it true to the source film. Here, he goes bug-shit crazy with the story's graphic and sexual violence.
Mardi Gras Massacre was never a favorite for me. The poster is easily the best thing about the film, and the film fell far short of cashing the check that poster wrote. Now, I can say honestly, Carter has delivered a story that cashes that check, with dividends.
This is the third novelization Carter has written for Severin Films in concjunction with their Blu-ray releases of the films. The first was Cruel Jaws, followed by Night of the Demon (that penis ripping Bigfoot flick) and now Mardi Gras Massacre.
If you are a fan of Mardi Gras Massacre, or novelizations, particularly novelizations of 80's horror, I urge you to go to Severin right now and pick up both Mari Gras Massacre and Night of the Demon. (I believe Cruel Jaws is sold out.)
I hope Carter has a new novelization out this year. If so, regardless of what it is. I will grab a copy no matter what it is.
If you are a fan of film novelizations, check out It Came From Hollywood's first official novelization, The Brain That Wouldn't Die 60th Anniversary Novelization! All the sleaze and scum, drama and terror of the original film, only cranked up to 11! Available everywhere books are sold.