A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant. Only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor stand in her way.
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 <email@example.com>
This film was shot on location in Salt Lake City, Utah, and in Lawrence, Kansas, with interior shots at the Centron Studios in Lawrence. Centron was an industrial film company, producing industrial and educational films and "social guidance" short subjects in the 1950s into the 1960s. Most of this film's technical staff, including director Herk Harvey and screenwriter John Clifford, were Centron employees. See more »
When Mary falls into her trance the night she is playing organ alone in church, we see that she is playing the organ's pedals with her bare feet. But when the minister interrupts her playing and fires her, and she gets up from the organ to leave the church, she is wearing black loafers. Then when she steps outside the front steps to meet the waiting neighbor guy, she is wearing white heels. See more »
[pours whiskey in his morning coffee]
What do you think, I'm an alcoholic? I just like to start the day off in a good mood.
You must be hilarious by noon.
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The films opening credits fade in and out, scattered across the footage of the flowing river. See more »
After viewing this legendary flick for the first time, I have to say that the quality they achieved on a shoestring is still impressive today. Every penny spent on this little film makes its way before the viewer, which is something that can't be said of most major budget films then or now. Corman used "getting the money up on the screen" as his yardstick for his own success as low budget producer and director. But while I like the Corman cheapies, like Bucket of Blood and Little Shop of Horrors, and acknowledge that they possess a relatively high level of workman-like resourcefulness, it's hard to deny that Carnival makes many of Corman's films look slapped-out and unimaginative in comparison. Corman usually steered clear of anything poetic, dabbling with it most pointedly in the dream sequences in his first Poe adaptations. In contrast, this films makers are quoted to the effect that they were inspired by Bergman and Cocteau. Now, with such heroic ambition, Carnival could have turned out a laughable mess. But the films dark waking dream atmosphere is well realized. They had some really great locations the pavilion, the wooden bridge, the organ factory and the church with the "casting out demons" stained glass. The actress playing the heroine is lucky (or skillful) casting, too; she doesn't look or act quite like the average person, which is perfect for the story. If I picked one thing to complain about, it would be the interlude with the guy from across the hall in the rooming house, about the writing of that section and especially about the actor who played him. But I won't. There's just too much good to be said about this small masterpiece of independent film making.
Ten stars. See it.
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