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An ultra-cheap B-horror movie, filmed in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1962, with a really creepy Twilight Zone-style premise and some great shoestring atmosphere. Wandering into a small town after an auto accident, to begin her new job as a church organist, young Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) begins to pick up strange vibes: none of the normal people in town seem to be able to see her, and she keeps being accosted by freakish pasty-faced types who seem to be dead on their feet. The nightmarish finale benefits from its one-of-a-kind "found" setting, an empty amusement park rising like a ghostly castle from the prairie landscape. This is much less aggressive and violent film than George Romero's original Night of the Living Dead, but for sheer skin- crawling spookiness, it's in the same class. --David Chute --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
Herk Harvey's spooky little cult wonder, Carnival of Souls (1962), was, according to the director, initially inspired by the spooky sight of the abandoned Salt Palace. The lonely, crumbling edifice standing on the beach of the Great Salt Lake became the setting for the film's memorably creepy climax. "We hoped for the look of a Bergman film and the feel of Cocteau," remarks Harvey on the commentary track of Criterion's deluxe DVD, but this low-budget labor of love more resembles the lyricism of Curtis Harrington's eerie fantasy, Night Tide. In addition to the commentary track--edited together from interviews with Harvey and writer John Clifford and which leaves a few long gaps--Criterion's gorgeous double-disc set is packed with supplements. Two respectful 1989 documentaries produced by a Kansas TV station celebrate the film's rerelease with interviews, a cast and crew reunion, and a "then and now" tour of locations. Clips and short films from Harvey's industrial film company, Centron, are curious artifacts of a bygone era. The generous collection of outtakes (accompanied by the film's organ score) gets a bit tedious, but reveals some interesting experiments with special effects and the then-novel zoom lens. Criterion offers two different cuts of the film--the 85-minute director's cut and the shorter theatrical version trimmed of 7 minutes by the producers. Both prints are clean, clear, and luminescent. Carnival of Souls probably never looked this good in the theaters. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
The film starts with a racy scene. Two cars racing over the bridge and one vehicle falls in to a swift river. Three hours later, a dirty Mary surfaces. Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2013 by B. Chandler
The film starts with a racy scene. Two cars racing over the bridge and one vehicle falls in to a swift river. Three hours later, a dirty Mary surfaces. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2010 by B. Chandler
Okay, well, if you've read the title you basically know what I'm going to start out with.
I think I've watched this movie the equivalent of 40 times, and each time I see... Read more
Legend Films presents "CARNIVAL OF SOULS" (Released: 2 November 1962) (78 mins) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) --- now in COLOR and Glorious Black and White ---... Read morePublished on Sept. 16 2007 by J. Lovins
When I saw a copy of Carnival of Souls together with Night of the Living Dead for a measly buck, I figured I would go ahead and take advantage. Read morePublished on March 10 2007 by Rob Larmer
Some brilliant directors only make a few movies. Herk Harvey made over four hundred -- but sadly, he only brought his astounding talents into one non-educational movie. Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2007 by EA Solinas
It sounds cheap. It looks cheap. There was nothing scary or entertaining about it. The plot doesn't make sense. Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by Phillip Swift
Carnival of Souls was made on a shoe-string budget by industrial filmmaker Herk Harvey and stars the enigmatic and beautiful Candace Hilligoss as the lead character who manages to... Read morePublished on July 16 2004 by Christian Lehrer
Carnival of Souls is the horror movie Albert Camus might have made. It's a lot like George Romero's original Night of the Living Dead - - black and white, low-budget, a simple... Read morePublished on June 9 2004 by Found Highways