Submitted for a rating in 1970 by the director's Kirt Films International, the MPAA's website states Carnival of Blood was initially branded an R but edited down to a GP rating. I have no idea which version currently survives; I find it hard to believe the entrail-yanking sequence would've ever made it past the censors with anything less than an X! Did the R cut ever play by itself? Materials from its 1972 release with Curse of the Headless Horseman show a PG version definitely circulated. There's currently no nudity, and the choppiness of the violence makes one wonder what exactly we're seeing.
Gaining a small VHS release in the early '80s courtesy of Wizard Video, the film was rescued for the digital age by exploitation saviors Something Weird Video, who found and transferred a rare 16mm element. In 2002 they issued a packed DVD replicating its original drive-in double-bill, supplementing it with tons of cool trailers (including a U.S. spot for Hunchback of the Morgue!) and some hilarious Super8 home horrors.
Poster image courtesy of Wrong Side of the Art.
© 2010 -- Bruce Holecheck. All Rights Reserved.