In our Movie of the Month conversation about the deeply strange, beautiful and undeniably ahead-of-its-time The Masque of the Red Death, I pointed out how much the movie reminds me of Carnival season in New Orleans. I wrote, “With Fat Tuesday looming around the corner, it was impossible not to see aspects of Carnival in the masquerade ball hosted by Prince Prospero (Vincent Price). The cheap costumes & mockery of opulence is very much reminiscent of Mardi Gras parades. There’s even a scene where Prospero literally throws beads from a balcony shouting ‘Gifts! Gifts!’ and scoffs at the greed of the people below. As the threat of The Red Death plague becomes increasingly severe, the masquerade takes on a ‘party while the ship is sinking’ vibe New Orleans knows all too well. Horror films are usually tied to Halloween, but The Masque of the Red Death is distinctly akin to Mardi Gras in my mind.” In an effort to put my money where my mouth is, I took the Movie of the Month out into the streets on Mardi Gras, masquerading as The Red Death himself. Here’s a few pictures of the costume below to help solidify the memory.
I hope everyone had a great, safe Mardi Gras and maybe even costumed as their own pet obsessions, movie-related or not. It’s certainly been a fun Carnival season on my end and I was glad to take a little bit of Swampflix with me into the Quarter on Fat Tuesday. I might even do it again next year!