The Web    www.100share.com    Google
 
Carnival Of Souls (Rifftrax Version)
List Price: $2.99

Our Price: $2.99

You Save:

 


Customer Reviews:

  • Carnival of Souls: Criterion Collection
    I am reviewing this item not for the feature (as I already reviewed this excellent film a while back), I am reviewing the Criterion Special Edition DVD, which is a two-disc set packed and
    loaded with tones of special features. The first disc contains the original theatrical version which director Herk Harvey edited some sequences and scenes out. The first disc also contains a really neat look back on the film in a 1989 documentary "The Movie That Wouldn't Die". There is also a very neat extra of 45 minutes of rare outtakes seen for the first time, and accompanied by the eerie organ music of Gene Moore. Some rare songs not heard in the original movie are here for your scary enjoyment. There is also a theatrical trailer feature.
    A very interesting look back on the locations for Carnival of Souls is included, and it talks about the history of the Saltair Resort, which has a very magnificent history and was used for the carnival location, this is an illustrated history.

    On the second disc, there is a director's cut of the film, including some scenes not even shown on the VHS "director's cut" editions. One scene that is most notably absent from the original
    is the scene where the priest talks to the church carpenter about how strange Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) is. This disc also contains a selected audio commentary by screenwriter John Clifford and the late Herk Harvey. Some excerpts of films made by the Centron Corporation. As well as an essay on the history of Centron. Some printed interviews with film illustrations are featured here as well.

    This DVD-set is the best DVD-set I've ever seen. The image quality of the black and white transfer is unbelievably clear, and is the best image transfer I've ever seen. The special features are very cool, and believe it or not, the outtakes featured here are remastered in picture quality as well, along with the music score.

    I was blown away with this DVD, and I'm sure you will be too. It is one of the best treatments to a cult classic every put on screen. I am so pleased with this DVD-set I could just burst. I thank the Criterion people for making this a dream come true :)...more info

  • With a Twilight Zone feel but more Ominous leftover feeling...CREEPY
    Twilight Zone anyone? I have always thought that Carnival of Souls has had a Twilight Zone feel, or maybe they were just trying to make a buck off the cult following it had generated. At any rate, this Cult Classic, made on a shoestring budget, is sure to please any fan of the Horror Genre. I recommend watching this movie at night with the lights off, the ominous effect will stay with you for days.

    Two cars are drag racing through the countryside when suddenly the car carrying three young women careens off a bridge and into the water below. Three hours later, one woman emerges from the water...What happens next, and what she sees will scare the pants off you.
    ...more info
  • GREAT MOVIE!!!
    I saw this movie last night, and I was truly amazed at how GOOD it actually was!!! The B&W transfer looks amazing and 100% clear, except in a few spots, and it was really exciting. It has a sort of twilight zone feel to it, and the organ carnival music throughout the whole movie was so eerie. Candace Hilligoss, who plays Mary Henry, did an excellent acting job, even for a B-Film. She is an amazing actress, and deserved an Oscar for her riveting performance as Mary Henry. I reccomend this movie to everybody, and would also like to thank Criterion for giving this awesome film such a beautiful treatmant. ...more info
  • In the dark, your fantasies get so far out of hand

    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.

    That one brilliant movie is cult horror flick "Carnival of Souls," a nightmarish tale of a young woman who is lingering on in the world of the living -- and is pursued by the dead. Made for a piddling seventeen thousand dollars, this little gem is as eerie now as it was in the 1960s.

    Three young women decide to drag race a car of young men -- and their car goes off a bridge into the river. Only Mary (Candace Hilligoss) staggers out of the water, seemingly undisturbed by the accident. The next day she travels to Utah for her new job as a church organist, but on the trip she keeps seeing a grinning, corpselike man watching her from the road.

    Mary tries to distract herself with shopping, dodging her lecherous neighbor, and playing the organ. But she keeps seeing the corpse-man), having strange moments where nobody can see or ear her, and also finds herself drawn to a run-down former carnival pavilion. As the dead close in on her, Mary runs from them. But she can't escape what has already happened.

    A simple plot, but Herk Harvey handles it with brilliant skill. There's a goofy moment here or there -- at one point Mary turns around to shriek into the camera lens. But most of the time, Harvey keeps the atmosphere piling on, with relatively little dialogue (the most memorable lines are usually shrieked ones like "I don't want to be alone!").

    In short, Harvey had the ability to inspire something a lot rarer than fear or shocks -- dread. Mary's confusion, fear and denial are almost palpable as she wanders through the town. By the climax, it has transformed into a sort of nightmarish maze that Mary can just run through, with the dead people just a few steps behind her. And there's that creepy organ music all the time.

    The ending is not so much a twist as the inevitable answer to all the bizarre events that came before it -- and it's a brilliant, bittersweet ending. Suddenly the "invisibility" moments and the dead faces make perfect sense, and we understand that Mary was not meant to be where she was -- having never lived, she could not bear to accept the inevitable.

    Mary is also not your typical early-sixties heroine -- she's sharp-tongued ("Thank you, but I'm NEVER coming back here") and kind of spinsterish by nature. What's more, she is completely detached from everyone around her, since she is not meant to be in the world of the living. Hilligoss (who only made one other movie) is absolutely amazing here, with her distant attitude and frightened eyes.

    Brilliant and creepy, "Carnival of Souls" is a deserving cult classic. It's a shame that Herk Harvey never made another horror flick, but at least we have this one....more info
  • Early Stage Proto-Zombies!
    As a zombie connoisseur to other zombie fans, I must point out that Carnival of Souls should not be missed. Here are some of the earliest images of the walking dead on film. Check it out for the early makeup effects and general zombie styling, which has evolved into the look of zombies in today's films.

    Also, it's worthy of watching as a traditional ghost story: girl dies, but doesn't realize it for a while & tries to go on living. Very cool vintage horror. Criterion picks great films! ...more info
  • More haunting the first time but still interesting
    The first time I saw this better than average 'B' film was when I was fairly impressionable. Seeing it recently, it didn't have the same effect and the flaws were more obvious. One can understand how some may say it's one of those 'so bad it's good' films but I think it is not really that bad. In fact the concept was great: a woman who dies in a car crash wanders the Earth in search of her soul, pursued by a dead man-apparently. The car radio only plays weird organ music; on the horizon she sees a haunting looking carnival dance hall ( or in her mind's eye); she gets sacked for her 'lack of soul' when playing the organ at a church; she has weird experiences at every turn; she can't connect with people and seems dissociated. Eventually her dead pursuer lures her to the abandoned carnival where she joins in the dance of the dead. No explanations, no blood and gore required, no mushy love interests, no high profile actors all adds to the haunting flavour. This movie has all the ingredients of something special but, sadly, on second look it falls well short of what I remember as an eerily haunting film in my youth. But it still deserves credit because the idea alone is worth gold. It is typical of Hollywood not to fully exploit this idea with subtlety but to use over the top 'in-your-face' concepts instead....more info
  • A bargain priced surprise of a DVD
    This DVD of Carnival of Souls and Horror Hotel features fully restored and remastered prints from the best sources that exist in the US, in the case of Carnival of Souls, the best print that exists, period making this a great bargain priced alternative to the Carnival of Souls Criterion Collection DVD. In the case of Horror Hotel, it was originally released in the UK as "The City of The Dead" and the VCI DVD uses the UK print, but for those that just want to see a version of the movie, such as myself, in excellent picture quality, this will definitely suffice, but purists shold get the VCI DVD. The interactive menu is very gaudy looking and only has 2 scenes in the selection menu per movie, but you can go chapter browsing through the DVD remote anyway for both movies, plus there are bios of the cast, etc. of both movies plus a promo for other Diamond Entertainment DVDs. Highly recommended for those Carnival of Souls and Horror Hotel fans on a tight budget but want quality....more info
  • sacred or profane; it all sounds like organ music to me
    Carnival of Souls is a movie made, apparently, almost on a whim by two men who never made another feature film and stars an actress who was only in one other minor movie. With that sort of background, the rather unique finished product is maybe not so surprising.What is very surprising is that the movie turned out as well as it did.

    Some of the other reviews have compared it to the twilight zone, and that is maybe the closest thing. They are from the same time period and have overlapping themes. The plotting for Carnival, though, is loose and leaves you wondering if there was a point -something you could almost never say about the twilight zone. Is it, like another reviewer stated, a hyper literal portrayal of a woman rejecting all the things that make life worth while and becoming an actual lost soul? I don't know that the movie lets us know enough about Mary to come to that conclusion. (Maybe it's all just a dramatized depiction of an undead beauracrat correcting a paperwork mistake.)

    Plot, I don't think, is what this movie should stand or fall on.
    Atmosphere seemed to take precedence with the film's creators(the director, Herk Harvey, told his writer, John Clifford, that he didn't care what he wrote about, except that he wanted to make a movie that had dead people dancing under the Saltair dome). From this point of view, I think, the movie is very successful. Carnival effectivly creates a tone of strangeness and dread that is sustained almost throughout it's length. It reminded me much more of the silent film, Nosferatu, than any modern horror movie (the nearly omnipresent pipe organ score might have something to do with that).

    Candace Hilligloss, who plays the main character, Mary, does an excellent job in her role as a brittle, eccentric young woman, right down to the hand and body movements. She also has the perfect looks for the part; doe eyed and blond, with long, pale hands that look like they were made for playing music (a church pipe organ, in this instance). It's a pity she wasn't in more movies (she, rather admirably, retired from films to raise her children). Another good actor who went on to do really nothing else on the big screen, Sidney Berger, has the only other very important speaking role in the film. He's also does quite well in a very unsympathetic part as Mary's slimy neighbor.

    There's one scene in this movie that really sticks in mind; the one where Mary visits the deserted interior of Saltair for the

    first time. The scene has no real action, aside from Mary just walking around, but it's effect is quite eery ( it concludes in an utterly sinister shot, which may possibly have been what Peter Jackson was thinking of in the dead marshes sequence of The Two Towers). What I believe this scene trades on is the strangeness, the unwholesome sensation that comes of being alone in a large, festive, public place. A personal experience of mine which parallels this scene -I'm certain it's part of why this movie had such an effect on me- is my memory of walking around the desserted ruins of the massive, domed Baden Springs luxury resort in Indiana (it's since been gloriously restored, apparently) when I was a kid back in the 80's. I've never quite forgotten the lonely and desolate sensation it inspired.

    Having said all that, I don't believe it's a perfect movie by any means. There's bad acting from bit players, at least a few near camp moments, mostly at the beginning (I was nearly expecting, was almost afraid, that the deadly drag race at the start of the movie would veer into a wooden PSA from some beefy sheriff). I think how much of an impact this movie has on you will depend on when you watch it, who you watch it with (watch it alone), and whether you will allow yourself to get caught up in it's mood. There's no real violence, nothing that will involuntarily repulse you. If you want to give it the MST3K treatment, parts of the movie will certainly lend itself to that, or if you sit in front of the television, cross your arms and determine not to let this film get to you, then I think you will very probably stand up unfazed. Speaking personally, I think there are a number of things that I'll never quite look at again in the same light, after seeing this picture....more info

  • CRITERION vs. IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT DVD (FANS WILL WANT TO CHECK THIS OUT)
    Get ready, `cause this is gonna get complicated (real fast, lol).

    Okay, so you have both Criterion and Image Entertainment releasing the same movie in the same year; a film that until then, had only known cruddy, "Public Domain", hell (on TV, $0.99 VHS and $1.99 DVD's) and with pretty much the same remastered picture quality, right?

    Well here's where it gets very odd; the, Criterion set, has two versions of the film, a 78 minute theatrical version and an 83 minute Director's Cut, where as the Image Entertainment DVD has a running time of 82 minutes (note: all of the actual discs, corroborate, the DVD cases, printed running times).

    So, one would assume that the Image disc, was culled from the same print used to create the Criterion, Director's Cut, seeing as the run times are so close, and as previously mentioned, the prints look very much the same...

    ...but you would be wrong.

    The reason being, is that both of the Criterion versions have a scene near the beginning of the film where a police/detective, person, is interviewing the driver of the second car in the opening drag race, asking the driver his version of the events on the bridge, but this scene is absent from the Image version.

    Now granted, this is a little 10 second scene, but it dose rise the question as to where Image got this pristine print from (as there are no restoration notes on the Image packaging) and why does it very from the theatrical version in this one scene (possibly others as well, but I've yet to do any serious, frame-by-frame, comparisons to all three films because, well, I do have a life, lol).

    The scene in question is actually quite redundant, as we already have witnessed the events on the bridge, and know what happened, and it's non-inclusion in the Image version is seamlessly done, making it look, for all the world, like the scene was an added scene for the Director's Cut of the, Criterion version, but since this scene is also in the theatrical cut, one has to wonder (once again) where the Image print came from (and how much more is different between the three versions, for that matter).

    Then there's the running time issues, as you would assume that the Image DVD would be the theatrical cut (possibly licensed from Criterion to provide a cheap alternative to the Criterion set, as was done with the movie, Zombi, which both Blue Underground and Shriek Show paid to have the film restored, and one put out a low priced, movie only DVD at the same time that the other put out a two disc special edition version) but where as the theatrical cut is 78 minutes, and it's Director's Cut is 83 minutes, the Image disc is 82 minutes (and is missing at least one scene that both the theatrical and Director's Cuts have).

    This is curious, and just thought that fans might want to know, or might even have some ideas, as to the nature of the Image DVD....more info
  • CRITERION vs. IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT DVD (FANS WILL WANT TO CHECK THIS OUT)
    Get ready, `cause this is gonna get complicated (real fast, lol).

    Okay, so you have both Criterion and Image Entertainment releasing the same movie in the same year; a film that until then, had only known cruddy, "Public Domain", hell (on TV, $0.99 VHS and $1.99 DVD's) and with pretty much the same remastered picture quality, right?

    Well here's where it gets very odd; the, Criterion set, has two versions of the film, a 78 minute theatrical version and an 83 minute Director's Cut, where as the Image Entertainment DVD has a running time of 82 minutes (note: all of the actual discs, corroborate, the DVD cases, printed running times).

    So, one would assume that the Image disc, was culled from the same print used to create the Criterion, Director's Cut, seeing as the run times are so close, and as previously mentioned, the prints look very much the same...

    ...but you would be wrong.

    The reason being, is that both of the Criterion versions have a scene near the beginning of the film where a police/detective, person, is interviewing the driver of the second car in the opening drag race, asking the driver his version of the events on the bridge, but this scene is absent from the Image version.

    Now granted, this is a little 10 second scene, but it dose rise the question as to where Image got this pristine print from (as there are no restoration notes on the Image packaging) and why does it very from the theatrical version in this one scene (possibly others as well, but I've yet to do any serious, frame-by-frame, comparisons to all three films because, well, I do have a life, lol).

    The scene in question is actually quite redundant, as we already have witnessed the events on the bridge, and know what happened, and it's non-inclusion in the Image version is seamlessly done, making it look, for all the world, like the scene was an added scene for the Director's Cut of the, Criterion version, but since this scene is also in the theatrical cut, one has to wonder (once again) where the Image print came from (and how much more is different between the three versions, for that matter).

    Then there's the running time issues, as you would assume that the Image DVD would be the theatrical cut (possibly licensed from Criterion to provide a cheap alternative to the Criterion set, as was done with the movie, Zombi, which both Blue Underground and Shriek Show paid to have the film restored, and one put out a low priced, movie only DVD at the same time that the other put out a two disc special edition version) but where as the theatrical cut is 78 minutes, and it's Director's Cut is 83 minutes, the Image disc is 82 minutes (and is missing at least one scene that both the theatrical and Director's Cuts have).

    This is curious, and just thought that fans might want to know, or might even have some ideas, as to the nature of the Image DVD....more info
  • Yes? Really?
    I can't believe the Criterion Collection has the nerve to charge 36 bucks for a fancy schmancy special edition of Carnival of Souls. I know Criterion is usually expensive but this is a public domain title guys! PUBLIC DOMAIN!
    They don't have to pay for any royalties so why charge us this much? I know they are expensive because they must buy rights to the films they use but they had to pay no money for Carnival of Souls (or The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes for that matter). They could at least cut the price. This is one of the more expensive Criterions yet the title is in the public domain.

    Now on to the film. The film is worth three stars (the public domain price didn't effect the rating). I watched it late at night and boy it was so chilling! I was really scared that that scary man was going to pop up. That was one of the scariest elements of the film. And that guy who lived across the hall (don't remember his name) was creepily obsessed with Candace Hillgoss's character.

    So basically what happens is a group of girls drive into a river. They all die except for one. She sees a creepy man that is following her everywhere (apartment, highway etc.). She continues to go to an abandoned carnival that seems to be her stalker's home base...

    A horror flick that is scary, fun and great!...more info
  • Kcin likes it
    Well, I'm a pretty serious horror fan, I think, but I lean heavily towards modern stuff. I have some theoretical interest in pre-Night of the Living Dead horror cinema, but defintely not as much as I have for the post-NOTLD stuff, and I really haven't gotten around to seeing much pre 70's work. Sure, I've seen pretty much all your classic Universal films at some time or another, though most of them so long ago that I couldn't really tell you how much I'd like them now. Other than that, I haven't really seen a whole lot other than what you see on MST3K.(Which actually comes out to quite a few cheap old horror movies, even if they aren't in their original or intended form) And, those films aren't too encouraging, naturally, though they aren't meant or expected to be. (Though I do rather like 'The Screaming Skull') Despite all that, I was very interested in seeing this film since the first time I heard about it. Fortunately, it didn't disappoint. Certainly, not everyone in a modern audience is gonna be able to get into a film this old and cheap, but some if your the sorta person who can you shouldn't hesitate to check this out.

    The basic setup is that our protagonist, Mary, is in a tragic drag racing accident, where her car is dumped off a bridge into a river. Still, she seems unscathed by the incident, and goes on with her life, moving to Utah and becoming a church organist.(Funny, I didn't think that Utah existed in Movieland, or pretty much any of the south west or mountain west, other than an endless, nameless desert, perhaps inhabited by cannibals. Admittedly, it is mostly just endless desert, but we've got cities and lights and running water and all that.) Things seem to be generally okay, except that she is haunted by strange visions of a desiccated, mysterious man(inspiration for the Tallman, I'll bet) eerie music, as well as other bizarre occurrences. While reading about 'Carnival of Souls' I constantly here it compared to the 'Twilight Zone'. This is not without good reason, as it does feel very much like that show. (Whether or not you enjoy 'The Twilight Zone' is perhaps the best test of whether or not you'll like this film. Personally, I love it.) As a matter of fact, the final revelation basic nature of this film are pretty much identical to that an early (and classic) 'Twilight Zone' episode. Some may claim it's stolen, I dunno, but it doesn't really matter. The film has some very good ideas of it's own, most of which are more interesting then the basic revelation of the film.

    This film was definitely made on the cheap, something like 30,000 dollars, so you certainly aren't gonna see anything fancy, even by early 60's standards. Still, it is competently made, with a very eerie, shapeless yet somehow still melodic organ score, and some striking visuals. Scenes of ghoulish individuals rising from a lake or dancing about a deserted pavilion are particularly affecting, as is the apparent head ghoul, played by the films director, Herk Harvey. In fact, pretty much all of the scare tactics used in this film are pretty cool, though I don't want to hurt it by going into any more specifically. The performances do tend to be pretty amateurish, but that rarely matter all that much in horror films, this one included. They also appear to be trying to portray particularly banal, lifeless individuals, which makes their performances less of a concern. The landscape, though shown relatively little, is quite effective, as it isn't gorgeous or lively, just cold and ugly and dead, which is, naturally, fitting to the tone of the movie.

    The film isn't without a few flaws. First of all, Herk Harvey's character randomly appears maybe 2 too many times I think. Also, the climax is less effective, as it often is when atmospheric films finally start to have something actually happen. Still, it is very enjoyable as a whole. Not a scary film, but a fairly eerie one much of the time, provided you are willing and capable of getting into it. Perhaps a full-on five star rating is slightly generous, but this is about as good as I could hope for a horror film of this sort to be, so I'll let it stand....more info
  • Cult film that gets to your subconscious/ Comprehensive DVD
    I remember seeing this on TV in the 1970s and the final scene shot at Saltair in Salt Lake City is a classic of camp horror that seeps into your subsonscious. With a motivation of nostalgia I attended the revived film festival screening in 1989.

    "Carnival of Souls" has become a cult classic and this 2 disc DVD contains everything you could possibly want to know about the film and then some. How director Herk Harvey got the original idea based on the Saltair locale, and how John Clifford wrote the script. As a low budget film it succeeds on many levels, the story being a version of the '40s Mercury Theater episode "The Hitchhiker" and the '50s Twilight Zone treatment. Candace Hilligoss was a Lee Strasberg method actor when she got the offer to star in this film set in Lawrence, Kansas and Salt Lake City, Utah. She was paid $2000, the only member of cast or crew to see any real money from the original film.

    The amateurishness of certain aspects of the film also are part of its charm. The beginning uses voiceovers that are completely out of synch and you can see the car is empty as it goes over the bridge, but when the lead character Mary comes up on shore after the car/bridge accident the otherworldly feel of the film starts to take over. The gothic pipe organ building
    sets the atmosphere, and as she makes her way to Salt Lake City the ghoul (Herk Harvey) starts to appear. Also of interest is the in town scenes where we get a good glimpse of 1961 street scenes. One scene doesn't quite gel with the rest of the film, namely the scene where Mr. Berger (John Linden) brings Mary coffee in the morning. She is so bubbly with dialogue such as, "You're just what I needed this morning", that she seems a completely different character than that in the rest of the film. But as the ghoul keeps appearing and she keeps getting drawn to the carnival the scenes of mysteriousness that make this a great film get underway. The Saltair building scenes are classic, an abandoned dance hall and amusement park full of ghoulish ghosts. The fast-motion dancing ghouls and the end where they run past and jump up in front of the camera predate the same feel of Night of the Living Dead by 7 years. As Mary wanders through the abandoned park, the true atmospheric essence comes to the fore.

    Much can be read into the theme of someone caught in a dimension between life and death, from the quantum theory of Schoedinger's Cat to the Many Worlds theory to ideas of purgatory, etc. However as the writer admits the deeper aspects were not considered by him. In the many world's theory we die in one dimension, but not in another. If the dimensions overlap the death dimension can influence and change the life one.

    A few things to watch for: When Hilligoss is running from the ghouls at the end she is happily smiling the whole time. At the end you can see how the girls in the car, supposedly dead, are twitching (look for the middle one twitching her eyes)...then again they were in cold water. Its weird because in an outtake scene they are not moving. The priest fires Mary because her playing is "profane". Well the playing doesn't really sound profane to me, and either way it's not a convincing reason to fire someone. In the DVD outtakes we get some good extra scenes of the ghouls in the bathhouse, and some extra footage of Mary wandering through Saltair. If you're into 1960s horror films with substance and atmosphere, this is at the top of the list. ...more info
  • 5 Stars!!! Another great Criterion Collection release!!!
    If you are a fan of this cult classic the the Criterion version is the only way to go!!! This contains two versions of the film(Theatical version and Extended Director's Cut). Both versions are superb!!! The audio commentary from the late Herk Harvey and John Clifford is also top notch!!! The extras are awesome!!! The outakes are super cool and look great to boot!!! Other extras include short film excerpts from Centron:the company who employed Herk Harvey and John Clifford!!! It also contains documentaries and other cool goodies!!! This is one of the best deluxe DVD sets out there!!! Five Stars!!! A+...more info
  • gotta love the oldies
    if you are a fan of oldies horror, this is a must purchase. the two films go well together for a double feature of horror...more info
  • I love you church organist
    Carnival of Souls aka "Corridors of Evil", is a crowning jewel in American Cinema. Despite the low budget and poor film quality, this 1962 masterpiece stands as a cult more than 40 years after it's release. Candice Hilligoss' fine performance will overwhelm you as she portrays a character caught in a purgatory between life and death. Her beauty alone will strike the viewer in a way few actresses can. Her physical acting, facial gestures, and line delivery will leave you wondering why this woman did not become a household name like Marilyn Monroe or Raquel Welch.

    The story is as simple as it is complex. A woman is an innocent passenger in a car that gets into a drag race with some teenage thugs. The result is her car going over a bridge into a fast running, sandy river. As she crawls out of the wreckage covered in mud, the viewer thinks she has survived, but has she?

    Ms. Hilligoss' character is a musician, an organist to be exact who takes a job as a church organist in Salt Lake City, Utah. As she begins her journey she is terrified of images of a phantom of sorts who seems to be seeking her out. Anyone who has driven for an average of twelve hours straight can tell you that driving can take its toll, and the mind can play tricks on a sleepy driver. However, after she checks into her room, she finds the same phantom lurking in the window, then in the hallway. Who is this creature, what does he want, where is he from?

    The main point of the film is not horror, but human nature. Are we all alone in this world? Is everyone an island unto themselves. The lesson is thrown upon our character by a minister, a psychologist, and a would be male suitor. They all try to help her in their own way (except the suitor who is only interested in her for a chance to have sex). But our character waves a hand at them all, convinced that she can do it her own way. She is an independent woman who needs no man or companionship; a view that may have gone against society's thinking in 1962.

    The male suitor (or 'just your normal guy' as he likes to call himself) is an obnoxious oaf to say the least. His headstrong pursuit of her is only his own selfish desire to have her. He's not an alcoholic he claims, yet he drinks at dawn. He quit college because he doesn't like to learn. This is not an ideal resume for a long term relationship for her or any other woman. When she is truly frightened by the visiting spectre, and she reaches out to him as a last resort for help, he runs. Not wanting to get involved, he was only interested in her for her body and his own sexual desire. Yet another lesson in this film for all the young ladies who care to pay attention.

    As the story goes on Candace's soul seems to deteriorate. She slips in and out of reality and a strange sort of parallel world. This dimension looks the same as real life, but she cannot be seen or heard. The department store dressing room for example, shows how the lost spirit must learn that she is no longer of this world, but now belongs in the spirit world, where yet another companion awaits her.

    Who is this man that haunts her in visions? We see at the end of the film that they are to be together forever. In the final seen where we see Candace's peek at her after-life. She screams in horror as the ghosts dance eternally as the haunt the carnival. She is finally captured by the ghosts and is spirited away. The police and minister are confused and baffled as her footprints and final body print leads nowhere. The minister gives a knowing look as if he has known all along, but says nothing.

    The minister must have known there was something wrong with his new organist when he first met and eventually fired her. She had not the soul of a musician, she only had a knowledge for music. She was told this too by the organ builder in the beginning of the film. When she is possessed in the church and her true musician ship comes out as she plays without control, that is her true spirit, but the misinster fires her for 'blasphony'.

    This film cannot be watched once and dismissed. It deserves to be watched over and over again. It is a timeless movie where something seems new every time you watch it. I applaud you 'Carnival of Souls'. One of the greatest movies ever made....more info

  • A rare gem
    Carnival of Souls is very subterranean, going underneath our merely verbal senses. The plot is of little importance, but atmosphere is everything. The eerie music, strange people and oddly shot black and white scenes grab at our fears of loneliness and death. You know (but more importantly, feel) that Mary is inexorably doomed. The effect is powerful because it succeeds in making Mary a proxy for ourselves. The effects are subtle, not depending on "special effects" in the usual sense. Rather, they rely on creative use of camera composition, restrained acting (where less is more), and hauntingly strange music. ...more info
  • AHEAD OF IT'S TIME
    THIS IS A MUST SEE FOR ANY HORROR FAN SEEKING TO FULFILL A LONG COLLECTION OF DIVERSITY AND GREAT FILMS. THIS FILM HAS POOR DIRECTING AS WELL AS ACTING, BUT THE OVERALL PURPOSE OF THE FILM IS AMAZING. THERE ARE KEY MOMENTS THAT ALLOW YOU TO WONDER,"WOW, HOW DID THIS FILM MAKE IT DURING IT'S TIME". ENJOY.......more info
  • Best Low Budget Horror
    CARNIVAL OF SOULS is my vote for the best low-budget horror film of all time. It blends eerie, surreal imagery with fascinating characters (albeit unexsposed) and psychlogical fears. Candace Hilligoss, after a car accident, moves to a small town, to play church organ. Along the wqay, however, she is haunted by an ominous specter (Herk Harvey, in an extended cameo), and soon is beckoned to the desolate carnival at the limits of the city.

    She walks in a sort of middle-ground between life and death, alternatley here and on the other side. One wonders why nobody who was involved with this film went on to do other films.

    CARNIVAL is a odd excersise in the psychological, worothy of high esteem from both horror and general film fans alike....more info
  • Very chilling film, dont give away the ending
    I very much enjoy this classic low budget horror movie. Its a great creepy ghost story which to me inspired Night of the Living Dead. It is full of atmosphere,and just genuinely creepy. A woman (Candace Hilligos) gets into an auto accident and sees ghost(or are they). Some of the 'ghosts' faces are really creepy to look at. Yes it is a bit dated in some aspects, but it still can shock/spook people who haven't seen it before. And there is a twist ending which makes the movie stand out above others like this. I wont spoil it. Cold,rainy days make me want to watch this. This is a great example of what a low budget but a great flair for understanding what makes horror work. Great movie ! The DVD to get - Criterion has a blockbuster release with 2 versions and bonus features. If you do want the DVD for it , Criterion is the way to go....more info
  • AHEAD OF IT'S TIME
    THIS IS A MUST SEE FOR ANY HORROR FAN SEEKING TO FULFILL A LONG COLLECTION OF DIVERSITY AND GREAT FILMS. THIS FILM HAS POOR DIRECTING AS WELL AS ACTING, BUT THE OVERALL PURPOSE OF THE FILM IS AMAZING. THERE ARE KEY MOMENTS THAT ALLOW YOU TO WONDER,"WOW, HOW DID THIS FILM MAKE IT DURING IT'S TIME". ENJOY.......more info
  • Early Stage Proto-Zombies!
    As a zombie connoisseur to other zombie fans, I must point out that Carnival of Souls should not be missed. Here are some of the earliest images of the walking dead on film. Check it out for the early makeup effects and general zombie styling, which has evolved into the look of zombies in today's films.

    Also, it's worthy of watching as a traditional ghost story: girl dies, but doesn't realize it for a while & tries to go on living. Very cool vintage horror. Criterion picks great films! ...more info