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Carnival of Souls (1962)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  2 November 1962 (Finland)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 11,974 users  
Reviews: 271 user | 160 critic

After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.

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Title: Carnival of Souls (1962)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Candace Hilligoss ...
Frances Feist ...
Sidney Berger ...
Art Ellison ...
Minister
Stan Levitt ...
Dr. Samuels
Tom McGinnis ...
Organ Factory Boss
Forbes Caldwell ...
Carpenter in Organ Factory
Dan Palmquist ...
Gas Station Attendant
Bill de Jarnette ...
Mechanic (as Bill De Jarnette)
Steve Boozer ...
Chip, Man at Juke Box
Pamela Ballard ...
Dress Sales Lady
Larry Sneegas ...
Drag Racer
Cari Conboy ...
Lake Zombie
Karen Pyles ...
Dress Store Customer
T.C. Adams ...
Dancing Zombie
Edit

Storyline

Mary Henry is enjoying the day by riding around in a car with two friends. When challenged to a drag, the women accept, but are forced off of a bridge. It appears that all are drowned, until Mary, quite some time later, amazingly emerges from the river. After recovering, Mary accepts a job in a new town as a church organist, only to be dogged by a mysterious phantom figure that seems to reside in an old run-down pavilion. It is here that Mary must confront the personal demons of her spiritual insouciance. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A weird tale of the unnatural See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 November 1962 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Corridors of Evil  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(green tinted)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Herk Harvey, one reel of footage for the film was unfortunately ruined during processing. Harvey said it was a long series of shots that was suppose to take place just before Mary sees the "souls" dancing in the ballroom. In the shots the ghouls were supposed to slowly appear from behind the rotting dock pylons out on the salt flats and slowly walk across the prairie to the ballroom, where they would begin to dance. Sadly, the footage was overexposed during the processing and couldn't be included in the film.. See more »

Goofs

The service station garage, supposedly in Utah, has a poster on its wall advertising a sports show on TV station WIBW in Topeka, Kansas. (While it's generally true that broadcast stations west of the Mississippi River have call letters beginning with "K" instead of "W," WIBW is an actual station which still carries the same call letters today.) See more »

Quotes

John Linden: That's just what I need! Get mixed up with some girl who's off her rocker!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The films opening credits fade in and out, scattered across the footage of the flowing river. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jacob's Ladder (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Come to Utah For a Good Time
4 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After a traumatic accident, a woman (Candace Hilligoss) becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.

This film is a horror movie more in the psychological sense. It relies on surreal camera-work, eerie organ music, and minimal actual frights (though some zombie-like beings do show up). This film reminded me of Hitchcock's "Vertigo" in its pacing and mood, though the plots have absolutely nothing to do with each other (this film was once an Ambrose Bierce short story).

The black and white was not a hindrance and at times added something more. The sound could have been better. A colorized, touched-up version exists, but I did not see that one (I would get it for the Mike Nelson commentary track, but otherwise avoid it).

I appreciate how it was independent film-making at its finest. Department store scenes shot on the fly, a cast of college kids... as far as classics go, this one has the most independent pedigree -- no one associated with this film had a history or went on to become anyone big, but all were / are known for this film.

If you do not like a slow film and do not like black and white films, stay away. But if this is your cup of tea and you want to see a piece of horror history (this film inspired David Lynch, Tim Burton and other directors) you must see this film at some point. Super-recommended for the true horror fan.

If you are looking to own it, you must get the Criterion Collection version. Various versions exist (I presume because it is in the public domain), but Criterion has the best looking one, and they have loaded their two discs with special features (featurettes, audio commentary and more).


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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