Carnival of Souls

Discussion in 'Cult Films' started by Arch Stanton, May 15, 2017.

  1. Arch Stanton

    Arch Stanton New Member

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    One of the eeriest, creepiest films, that might be classed as an early zombie flick, is Herk Harvey's "Carnival of Souls" (1962). It is a low budget wonder, think "The Night of the Living Dead", which is often likened to an extended version of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone"
    To wit: rather than rely on FX or CGI (CGI? In 1962 there was no CGI) CoS relies on skilful story telling. There really isn't much of a plot to it, it is largely a story of the journey of a young woman, to an unexpected destination.
    Herk Harvey had university training in the theater arts and worked for Centron Films directing educational and industrial films in Lawrence, Kansas. In 1961 he took a leave to work on Carnival of Souls as a personal project. It was shot in three weeks in Kansas and Utah on a budget of about $20,000 with a cast of unknowns.
    It failed at the box office upon its release in 1962 but slowly gained a cult following via late night television. In 1989 it was rediscovered, restored and re-released in NYC. It is available on DVD as part of the Criterion Collection. If you haven't seen it, do.
    In case you can't find the two disc Criterion DVD, it can be seen via the Internet Archive, as it is in the public domain. https://archive.org/search.php?query=carnival of souls
     
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  2. The Seeker

    The Seeker Active Member

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    $20,000? Well it didn't look like a big budget film but that's pretty cheap. I do love the twist at the end. Very Twilight Zone-esque!
     
  3. Amyghost

    Amyghost Member

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    Still remains one of the creepiest and most atmospheric chillers ever. The black and white film only adds to the shivers, and I sincerely hope no one ever decides to do some misguided remake of it.
     

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