- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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carnival of souls
- kevin sellers
Good morality tale about the dangers of cutting oneself off from one's fellow humans to say nothing of renouncing God. And while a better, deeper film would have explored why and how the protagonist Mary got that way there is no denying the power of director Herk Harvey and cinematographer Maurice Prather's early 60s, Twilight Zone meets "Freaks" imagery and overall feel as well as the performance of Candace Hilligoss as the emotionally checked out Mary. (As soon as I finish this review I'm gonna Google this babe and try to find out why she didn't have a bigger career.) And how about that creepy, organ music score courtesy of Gene Moore? Let's give it a B plus which would have been higher except for some clunky performances by some of the non actors in the cast (i.e. the blue collar guy who comes onto Mary and the doctor) and a fairly flat screenplay. P.S. Loved the Kansas and Utah location shooting too. Reminded me of "Route 66."
A real Halloween Weekend Treat
If you are sick of realty TV and you want to appreciate black and white film in its glory watch Carnival Of Souls! I really thought the actress who played the organist was wonderful. She really made me believe her off character. It's very artsey and probably is the kind of movie you need to watch again to get all the nuances. Thank you TCM for never disappointing.
Was she dead or alive? Were the various encounterees dead or alive? She did not want to be dead nor did the encounterees want her dead. The ghouls were dead & wanted her dead. Alive in body but dead in spirit which brought the body with it. In its elementary style, this movie artfully switched on & off cinimatc reality/nonreality- a virtual daymare!
Good Acting by all ! 4 Stars
- DON RILEY
The producers of this film were exceptionally lucky to have cast Candace Hilligoss in the starring role. She is truly stunning. With very little emotion or overacting she is able to be captivating and insanely believable. Incredibly fine in this low budget feature. The film is much better than its stature, the other actors are also capable and do a fairly good job. I didn't like the character Mr. Linden at first watch but he's such a low level personality, he actually is perfect for the part. He actually may win a place in the top 50 all time Film Lowlifes. The quality of the film doesn't hurt it either, its low level and creates a quirky feel to the film. Its not as well made as Dementia 13 by Coppola but I like this film better (although there are some similarities). Its not as good but I prefer this one, Hilligoss is exceptional, love her in this and believe she deserves much credit. Four Solid stars !
Camp and Creppy.
- Susan Ohmann
I love this movie. I don't know why I am drawn to it, but I am. The acting is bad the script is probably written by first year English students, yet for some reason I have to watch this movie every Halloween, or at least every other.
Classic low-budget Horror
Love this movie, creepy organ music, great story. Made for $33,000 using local talent and the director as the ghoul. This is movie gold. Almost seems like you and a few friends could make this. Which is part of its greatness. Well worth a watch.
Carnival of Souls
An influential cult classic. Hilligoss is a church organist haunted by a mysterious man, director Harvey himself, after surviving a car crash; the other performances are amateurish. While the film succeeds in creating an eerie mood and setting, it gets campy at times, while still being serious. A small, very creepy B-movie perfect for Halloween. I give it a 3.5/5.
Trivia about the film
I heard that the same location was used for this film and Neon City. Is that true?
ONE OF MY TOP FAVORITES
- John DeBlasi
Carnival of Souls has been one of my top favorite films ever since I first saw it many years ago. It is haunting and creepy. Yes, it was made with not much money and the acting is not the best, but that's what makes it different then those high gloss horror films. After seeing it many times it is now just a good time when it is on, that is why I am so glad that TCM is airing it this month, and at a decent hour of the day, not in the middle of the night. I will be there right from the start to view it once again. Now if we can only get TCM to air The Mask, and I don't mean the Jim Carry movie, But the 1960's horror film that is in 3D.
- Eric Von Gerdes
An hour an a half of my life that I wish I could get back
I enjoy this type of movie very much for the clothes, cars, wooden acting and overall lo-budget 60's feel. In the final scene I am positive I saw the eyes blink of the middle corpse in the car pulled from the river. What a great film!
Carnival of Souls
- claudette McCormack
I am stuck in a motel in a horrible tiny burg (hey, could be a horror movie)! while orientating for a new job. Seriously, just because it is Halloween is no reason to show such a terrible movie. The writing perhaps may not be that bad, however the acting is just atrocious! It appears as if the director decided to save money by letting the extras who happened to live in the movie location perform major lines. I would really rather watch an Ed Wood movie and at least get some good laughs. How about Glen or Glenda in addition to Plan 9 from outer space? Now that would be enjoyable as well as satisfying the obvious requirement that horror movies must be shown just because of the holiday. Please, to the powers that be at T.C.M., don't do this to us again! T.C.M. is just about the only T.V. I watch, because the movies are so unbelievably great, and it is almost painful, after a long hard day at work to see such horrid movies. I am turning off the telly or at least the sound, and am going to open a book instead.
Carnival Of Souls
- marcia ventimiglia
A film that haunts. From the vintage cars and clothing, (not at the time of filming) to the fuzzy production quality-it mezmerizes the watcher. The sounds, the make-up of the undead, all work together to create a creepy journey into 60's horror film. Candace Hilligoss goes from aloof uncertainy to stark raving terror and then to wooden acceptance with the greatest of ease. The random deafness is a fantastic touch of the macabre-no blood & guts needed here!
Carnival of Souls (1962)
- James Higgins
Over the years, this film has grown in popularity. When it was released it was generally dismissed. It is ultra low budget, but the film has an undeniable eeriness to it, and did does have a unique approach and style. The acting isn't too bad, but it;s certainly not great. The editing is a bit rough. But, considering the budget, they did a remarkable job.
Loved this film
I loved the haunting and haunted quality of this film. Some of the images stay with you for years.
A Dreamy Horror Classic
Or should that be nightmar-ish? This is a beautifully atmospheric horror film with a story that puts me in mind of the ancient legend about the man to whom Death reportedly appeared one night, spurring the man to leap on his horse and ride frantically to a town many miles from his home, only to find Death there, mocking him with the words, "I have been waiting for you." Particularly noteworthy is the the macabre ballroom scene . . . I definitely recommend this one highly for all horro and mystery fans. And no ugly violence (a big plus for my money)!
Perfect Fodder For TCM Underground!
Great ultra-low budget creep fest. Very interesting. Scenes will stay with you for days. Not because of poor quality film, but excellent writing. This is NOT a high tech film. After all, it IS 45 years old, but it is well worth the watch.
Cheaply and crudely done (the makeup alone would cause laughter now), the direction and acting is at times wooden and decidedly sloooow; while at other times patently theatrical and cheesy. For some unfathomable reason these combinations come together (along with that repetitive organ music) to make a disturbing horror classic...just luck, I guess. This film will stay with you. Who knew?