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, with only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor standing 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>
The drag race starts at a traffic light, but once the cars clear the intersection we see there is no traffic light at that intersection. 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.
See more »
The films opening credits fade in and out, scattered across the footage of the flowing river. See more »
There are at least three different versions to be found on video/Digital Video Disk. First is the 84 minute director's cut which includes an extended conversation in the organ factory, a scene between Mary and a gas station attendant shortly after her first seeing the man,an extension of the scene where Mary first goes to the church, an extended dream/otherworld scene, and a scene between the landlady and the doctor shortly before Mary leaves to go back home. This is the version that Herk Harvey premiered in Lawrence Kansas in 1962. The 81 minute version contains all of these scenes, except the extended scene in the organ factory, and a few short shots. This is the version that Herts-Lion released in 1962. Then there is the 75 minute version which contains none of the extended scenes or other additional scenes. See more »
Carnival of souls (1962) is that rare thing in life. An intelligent and genuinely unsettling horror film. Where most horror films go for the obvious effects of gore and leave nothing to the imagination, this film takes a far more subtle approach. The film deals with the story of a withdrawn church organist Mary (Candice Hilligloss) who is involved in a car crash from which she is the only survivor. She then finds herself being pursued by a strange ghoulish looking man and has episodes where it appears no one around her can see or hear her. This leads to a startling revelation for Mary at the old abandoned Carnival in the desert.
What makes this film so good is its eerie atmosphere and the strong visual influence of German expressionist cinema, mixed with some pretty good photography (for such a low budget) and good performances from a mainly non-professional cast, results in a fine example of how to unnerve an audience without big budgets and special effects.
The film can also be seen as being a major influential on other such films as David Lynch's Eraserhead (1976) and George Romero's Night of the living dead (1968).
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