7.1/10
18,546
327 user 206 critic

Carnival of Souls (1962)

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

Director:

Herk Harvey

Writer:

John Clifford (written)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Candace Hilligoss ... Mary Henry
Frances Feist Frances Feist ... Mrs. Thomas - Landlady
Sidney Berger Sidney Berger ... John Linden
Art Ellison ... Minister
Stan Levitt Stan Levitt ... Dr. Samuels
Tom McGinnis Tom McGinnis ... Organ Factory Boss
Forbes Caldwell Forbes Caldwell ... Carpenter in Organ Factory
Dan Palmquist Dan Palmquist ... Gas Station Attendant
Bill de Jarnette Bill de Jarnette ... Mechanic (as Bill De Jarnette)
Steve Boozer Steve Boozer ... Chip - Man at Juke Box
Pamela Ballard Pamela Ballard ... Dress Saleslady
Larry Sneegas Larry Sneegas ... Drag Racer
Cari Conboy Cari Conboy ... Lake Zombie
Karen Pyles Karen Pyles ... Dress Store Customer
T.C. Adams T.C. Adams ... Dancing Zombie
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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 story so unusual it will burn itself into your mind See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1962 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Corridors of Evil See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Harcourt Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (green tinted)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only professional actor in the film was Candace Hilligoss. She was paid $2,000. She turned down a part in Violent Midnight (1963) to take the lead in this picture. She turned down an offer to appear in the remake Carnival of Souls (1998). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

John Linden: [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.
Mary Henry: You must be hilarious by noon.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in Horrible Horror (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Cult horror classic
19 June 2002 | by fallen_angel1ukSee all my reviews

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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