Carnival of Souls


1h 20m 1962
Carnival of Souls

Brief Synopsis

After surviving a car crash, a church organist is haunted by the undead.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Horror
Mystery
Release Date
Sep 1962
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Harcourt Productions
Distribution Company
Herts--Lion International Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m

Synopsis

Mary Henry and two other young women are apparently drowned when their car is forced off the road during a drag race and plunges over a bridge. While searchers look for the car, Mary emerges alive from the water and, after being treated for injuries, leaves the area to pursue her career as an organist in a nearby state. As she drives to her new position, Mary passes a deserted carnival pavilion and sees a sinister figure looming in her path. Mary is haunted by the phantom figure, but she takes these apparitions as signs of shock from which she will soon recover. Although Mary tries to start a new life, the phantom periodically reappears, and she is strangely drawn to the carnival grounds. One day when Mary is shopping, the apparition overtakes her. A passing doctor sees that Mary is a victim of hysteria; he takes her to his office and listens to her strange story. One night while she is practicing on the church organ, the phantom again overtakes her. The minister hears the strange music Mary feels compelled to play, and he dismisses her. John Linden, a fellow boarder whom she had earlier scorned, makes advances to her in her room; she sees the phantom again, and her screams frighten Linden away. The next day Mary is drawn to the carnival grounds. There a "carnival of dancing souls" reaches out for her, and she sees herself dancing with the phantom. Later, at the site of the accident, the submerged car is found with the bodies of all three women, including Mary's, in it.

Videos

Movie Clip

Carnival Of Souls (1962) - Open, Want To Drag? On location in Lawrence, Kansas, industrial film-maker Herk Harvey opens his one-off arty horror feature with locals, emphasis on blonde Mary (Candace Hilligoss) on the passenger side, in a drag race over a long-since replaced bridge on the Kaw River, in Carnival Of Souls, 1962.
Carnival Of Souls (1962) - Salt Water Bathing Now certain that something’s going on, especially with a strange man (played by the director, Herk Harvey) who keeps appearing only to her, church organist and car-crash survivor Mary (Candace Hilligoss) visits an abandoned amusement park near her new Utah home, in Carnival Of Souls, 1962.
Carnival Of Souls (1962) - I'm Never Coming Back The day after she strangely survived a crash in which two of her friends drowned, Mary (Candace Hilligoss) returns to the Kansas bridge where it happened, then some exposition with the manager (Tom McGinnis) of the organ factory where she evidently studied, in Carnival Of Souls, 1962.
Carnival Of Souls (1962) - What's The Matter With Everyone? Getting comfortable despite some strange events, church organist Mary (Candace Hilligoss), who survived an apparently fatal car crash days before, shops for a dress in a Utah department store, in the widely admired indy-horror feature by industrial film director Herk Harvey, Carnival Of Souls, 1962.
Carnival Of Souls (1962) - Welcome To Utah We’ve learned that Mary (Candace Hilligoss), who mysteriously survived a car crash in which her friends drowned, is leaving Kansas for a new job as a church organist in Utah, experiencing her first weird events before meeting the gas station man (Dan Palmquist), in Carnival Of Souls, 1962.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Horror
Mystery
Release Date
Sep 1962
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Harcourt Productions
Distribution Company
Herts--Lion International Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m

Articles

Insider Info (Carnival of Souls) - BEHIND THE SCENES


Herk Harvey's inspiration for Carnival of Souls came from a late night drive past Salt Lake City's abandoned Saltair amusement park.

Harvey's Carnival crew consisted of only five people besides himself.

While interiors were filmed in Lawrence, Kansas, exteriors were shot on the run on the streets of Salt Lake City.

The organ factory seen in the film is the Reuter Organ Company of Lawrence, Kansas. Because screenwriter John Clifford thought this was an effective location, he made the character of Mary Henry a church organist.

Only one set was built for the film – the doctor's office, constructed at the office of Centron. Car scenes were also filmed at Centron, using projected backgrounds.

When Herk Harvey first saw lead actress Candace Hilligoss, he thought she was too dowdy and considered recasting.

Harvey and his crew were allowed by local authorities to shoot the opening bridge sequence provided they pay for any damages incurred. Harvey later received a bill for $12.

Actor Sidney Berger is blind in the eye Harvey had him use to peek through Candace Hilligoss's room keyhole .

Herk Harvey paid a stranger $25 to drive his van through an alley after a fleeing Candace Hilligoss.

The Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce charged Herk Harvey $50 to shoot for one week inside the ruined Saltair Pavilion.

The ghouls seen waltzing in the Saltair ballroom were hired from a Utah University dance class.

When Carnival of Souls was bought by film distributor Herts-Lion, cuts were made to shorten its length so that it could be double-billed with The Devil's Messenger (1961), starring Lon Chaney.

One of the ghouls seen arising out of Salt Lake at the end of the film is the grandson of Viennese playwright Arthur Schnitzler. When Candace Hilligoss' agent saw Carnival of Souls, he refused to represent her any further.

Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

SOURCES:
Herk Harvey interview, Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes by Tom Weaver
John Clifford interview, It Came from Weaver Five by Tom Weaver
Candace Hilligoss interview, Attack of the Monster Movie Makers: Interviews with 20 Genre Giants by Tom Weaver
Carnival of Souls liner notes by John Clifford
Carnival of Souls liner notes by Bruce Kawin
Insider Info (Carnival Of Souls) - Behind The Scenes

Insider Info (Carnival of Souls) - BEHIND THE SCENES

Herk Harvey's inspiration for Carnival of Souls came from a late night drive past Salt Lake City's abandoned Saltair amusement park. Harvey's Carnival crew consisted of only five people besides himself. While interiors were filmed in Lawrence, Kansas, exteriors were shot on the run on the streets of Salt Lake City. The organ factory seen in the film is the Reuter Organ Company of Lawrence, Kansas. Because screenwriter John Clifford thought this was an effective location, he made the character of Mary Henry a church organist. Only one set was built for the film – the doctor's office, constructed at the office of Centron. Car scenes were also filmed at Centron, using projected backgrounds. When Herk Harvey first saw lead actress Candace Hilligoss, he thought she was too dowdy and considered recasting. Harvey and his crew were allowed by local authorities to shoot the opening bridge sequence provided they pay for any damages incurred. Harvey later received a bill for $12. Actor Sidney Berger is blind in the eye Harvey had him use to peek through Candace Hilligoss's room keyhole . Herk Harvey paid a stranger $25 to drive his van through an alley after a fleeing Candace Hilligoss. The Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce charged Herk Harvey $50 to shoot for one week inside the ruined Saltair Pavilion. The ghouls seen waltzing in the Saltair ballroom were hired from a Utah University dance class. When Carnival of Souls was bought by film distributor Herts-Lion, cuts were made to shorten its length so that it could be double-billed with The Devil's Messenger (1961), starring Lon Chaney. One of the ghouls seen arising out of Salt Lake at the end of the film is the grandson of Viennese playwright Arthur Schnitzler. When Candace Hilligoss' agent saw Carnival of Souls, he refused to represent her any further. Compiled by Richard Harland Smith SOURCES: Herk Harvey interview, Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes by Tom Weaver John Clifford interview, It Came from Weaver Five by Tom Weaver Candace Hilligoss interview, Attack of the Monster Movie Makers: Interviews with 20 Genre Giants by Tom Weaver Carnival of Souls liner notes by John Clifford Carnival of Souls liner notes by Bruce Kawin

In the Know (Carnival of Souls) - TRIVIA


Herk Harvey was born Harold Arnold Harvey in Fort Collins, Colorado, on June 3, 1924.

At the time of shooting Carnival of Souls, Harvey was a busy producer of industrial promotions and educational films for the Kansas-based Centron Corporation.

As a fledgling writer, Carnival of Souls scripter John Clifford sold jokes to radio comedian Ken Murray.

Prior to writing Carnival, Clifford penned the western novel The Shooting of Storey James, published by Ace Books in 1962.

Candace Hilligoss was born in 1935 in Huron, South Dakota.

A student of Lee Strasberg at The Actor's Studio in New York, Hilligoss was also a dancer at the famed Copacabana nightclub.

Hilligoss chose the lead in Carnival of Souls over a role in Del Tenney's Psychomania (1963).

When he accepted the role of Mary Henry's loutish neighbor, Sidney Berger was a graduate student at the University of Kansas at Lawrence.

Tehran-born assistant director Reza Badiyi worked with Robert Altman before Altman's move to Hollywood and later followed the filmmaker there. Badiyi later directed the eerie telefilm The Eyes of Charles Sand (1972) and episodes of such popular series as The Incredible Hulk, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Although Herk Harvey claimed in interviews that Frances Feist, Mary's landlady in the film, had played the lead in the original Broadway production of Harvey, Feist was in reality a Broadway costume designer.

Herk Harvey's first post-Carnival of Souls project was the promotional film Pork: The Meal with a Squeal (1963).

Harvey contributed an unbilled bit as a farmer in the made-for-television movie The Day After (1983), which was shot in Lawrence, Kansas.

Herk Harvey died from the effects of pancreatic cancer in 1996.

The Saltair Pavilion as seen in Carnival of Souls was destroyed by fire in 1970. Rebuilt in 1981, the park was used as a film location once more for the science fiction film Neon City (1992).

Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

SOURCES:
Herk Harvey interview, Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes by Tom Weaver
John Clifford interview, It Came from Weaver Five by Tom Weaver
Candace Hilligoss interview, Attack of the Monster Movie Makers: Interviews with 20 Genre Giants by Tom Weaver
Internet Broadway Database
Internet Movie Database
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

In the Know (Carnival of Souls) - TRIVIA

Herk Harvey was born Harold Arnold Harvey in Fort Collins, Colorado, on June 3, 1924. At the time of shooting Carnival of Souls, Harvey was a busy producer of industrial promotions and educational films for the Kansas-based Centron Corporation. As a fledgling writer, Carnival of Souls scripter John Clifford sold jokes to radio comedian Ken Murray. Prior to writing Carnival, Clifford penned the western novel The Shooting of Storey James, published by Ace Books in 1962. Candace Hilligoss was born in 1935 in Huron, South Dakota. A student of Lee Strasberg at The Actor's Studio in New York, Hilligoss was also a dancer at the famed Copacabana nightclub. Hilligoss chose the lead in Carnival of Souls over a role in Del Tenney's Psychomania (1963). When he accepted the role of Mary Henry's loutish neighbor, Sidney Berger was a graduate student at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. Tehran-born assistant director Reza Badiyi worked with Robert Altman before Altman's move to Hollywood and later followed the filmmaker there. Badiyi later directed the eerie telefilm The Eyes of Charles Sand (1972) and episodes of such popular series as The Incredible Hulk, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although Herk Harvey claimed in interviews that Frances Feist, Mary's landlady in the film, had played the lead in the original Broadway production of Harvey, Feist was in reality a Broadway costume designer. Herk Harvey's first post-Carnival of Souls project was the promotional film Pork: The Meal with a Squeal (1963). Harvey contributed an unbilled bit as a farmer in the made-for-television movie The Day After (1983), which was shot in Lawrence, Kansas. Herk Harvey died from the effects of pancreatic cancer in 1996. The Saltair Pavilion as seen in Carnival of Souls was destroyed by fire in 1970. Rebuilt in 1981, the park was used as a film location once more for the science fiction film Neon City (1992). Compiled by Richard Harland Smith SOURCES: Herk Harvey interview, Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes by Tom Weaver John Clifford interview, It Came from Weaver Five by Tom Weaver Candace Hilligoss interview, Attack of the Monster Movie Makers: Interviews with 20 Genre Giants by Tom Weaver Internet Broadway Database Internet Movie Database Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

Yea or Nay (Carnival of Souls) - CRITIC REVIEWS OF "CARNIVAL OF SOULS"


"Required viewing."
The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film by Charles Beesley

"Carnival of Souls is a creditable can of film considering it was put together for less than $100,000... It isn't enough story to prevail, but there is a fair share of suspense and some moments of good comedy... and Hilligoss with a sort of misty quality about her does creditably as the lovely soul without a heart."
Variety

"A chilling ghost story with artistic pretensions."
TV Guide

"Low-budgeted thriller filmed in nightmarish black and white atmosphere and weirdly ambiguous style... Deserves more recognition."
Horrors: From Screen to Scream by Ed Naha

"... it's possible that it plays better today than when it was released. It ventures to the edge of camp, but never strays across the line, taking itself with an eerie seriousness."
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

"A genuinely chilling ghost story... There is an oppressive sense of unease and dread throughout, which is actually enhanced by the employment of amateur actors, whose natural awkwardness before the camera merely adds to the disquieting mood."
The Horror Film edited by James J. Mulay

"First of all, it's a zombie movie. It's not about 'existential angst,' 'a bizarre concoction of Cold War idealism and paranoia,' or 'a symbolic parable.' It's a zombie movie. In fact, the star of the movie, Candace Hilligoss, is the most beautiful zombie ever to appear in a zombie movie. The fun of the movie is that you're never really sure when she's being a zombie and when she's just being a ditzy stuffed-shirt church organist. (Think about it. Doesn't your church organist look like a zombie?)... In the Drive-In Hall of Fame. Four stars."
Joe Bob Briggs

"... an excellent independent creepy..."
Kim Newman, Nightmare Movies

"... a real oddity with some genuinely unnerving moments."
Stephen Graham Jones, The Essential Monster Movie Guide

"Candace Hilligoss is excellent in the part. Perhaps one of the great crimes of the age is that Hilligoss never went on to become a major Hollywood star... she certainly had the strong looks for star potential. Both in her attempt to cope with the inexplicable and her strong-minded and coolly aloof independence, Hilligoss is highly convincing – this is one of the genre's few mature women characterizations of the 1960s."
Richard Scheib, The Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Film Review

"One of your more insane B-grade horror movies... Carnival ... is unsettling in the way that only bad movies can be: At a certain pitch, amateurishness verges on dislocation, and the film's feverish intensity hits you like a blunt stick."
Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper

"Don't be fooled by the almost nonexistent budget and a cast of no-names; this is actually a nice little work of quiet horror, an effective, genuinely creepy little film that may leave one feeling slightly uncomfortable afterwards."
Steven Puchalski, Slimetime

"... Harvey's direction has a weird flair, sometimes suggesting a throwback to the silent days and drawing a kind of awkward honesty out of the amateurish cast. The film is a real curiosity with strikingly used locations, in particular the derelict amusement park isolated among the mudflats, its machinery rusting and its vast ballroom still hung with dusty streamers."
The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

"Even after the distance of forty years, Carnival of Souls remains an impressive and assured bit of filmmaking... directed by Harvey with a sense of style that never swamps the modesty or personality of his pet project. His fondness for form-cutting adds an invigorating zest to his simple, money-saving setups, but also hints at a world where one thing leads inevitably to another."
Video Watchdog

"Carries an eerie chill..."
Stephen Holden, New York Times

"In its own quietly lurid way, Carnival of Souls is a sophisticated piece of character psychology..."
Peter Rainer, Los Angeles Times

"Carnival of Souls is one of the finest low-budget horror movies of the 1960s"
Gary Johnson, Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture

Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

Yea or Nay (Carnival of Souls) - CRITIC REVIEWS OF "CARNIVAL OF SOULS"

"Required viewing." The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film by Charles Beesley "Carnival of Souls is a creditable can of film considering it was put together for less than $100,000... It isn't enough story to prevail, but there is a fair share of suspense and some moments of good comedy... and Hilligoss with a sort of misty quality about her does creditably as the lovely soul without a heart." Variety "A chilling ghost story with artistic pretensions." TV Guide "Low-budgeted thriller filmed in nightmarish black and white atmosphere and weirdly ambiguous style... Deserves more recognition." Horrors: From Screen to Scream by Ed Naha "... it's possible that it plays better today than when it was released. It ventures to the edge of camp, but never strays across the line, taking itself with an eerie seriousness." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times "A genuinely chilling ghost story... There is an oppressive sense of unease and dread throughout, which is actually enhanced by the employment of amateur actors, whose natural awkwardness before the camera merely adds to the disquieting mood." The Horror Film edited by James J. Mulay "First of all, it's a zombie movie. It's not about 'existential angst,' 'a bizarre concoction of Cold War idealism and paranoia,' or 'a symbolic parable.' It's a zombie movie. In fact, the star of the movie, Candace Hilligoss, is the most beautiful zombie ever to appear in a zombie movie. The fun of the movie is that you're never really sure when she's being a zombie and when she's just being a ditzy stuffed-shirt church organist. (Think about it. Doesn't your church organist look like a zombie?)... In the Drive-In Hall of Fame. Four stars." Joe Bob Briggs "... an excellent independent creepy..." Kim Newman, Nightmare Movies "... a real oddity with some genuinely unnerving moments." Stephen Graham Jones, The Essential Monster Movie Guide "Candace Hilligoss is excellent in the part. Perhaps one of the great crimes of the age is that Hilligoss never went on to become a major Hollywood star... she certainly had the strong looks for star potential. Both in her attempt to cope with the inexplicable and her strong-minded and coolly aloof independence, Hilligoss is highly convincing – this is one of the genre's few mature women characterizations of the 1960s." Richard Scheib, The Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Film Review "One of your more insane B-grade horror movies... Carnival ... is unsettling in the way that only bad movies can be: At a certain pitch, amateurishness verges on dislocation, and the film's feverish intensity hits you like a blunt stick." Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper "Don't be fooled by the almost nonexistent budget and a cast of no-names; this is actually a nice little work of quiet horror, an effective, genuinely creepy little film that may leave one feeling slightly uncomfortable afterwards." Steven Puchalski, Slimetime "... Harvey's direction has a weird flair, sometimes suggesting a throwback to the silent days and drawing a kind of awkward honesty out of the amateurish cast. The film is a real curiosity with strikingly used locations, in particular the derelict amusement park isolated among the mudflats, its machinery rusting and its vast ballroom still hung with dusty streamers." The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror "Even after the distance of forty years, Carnival of Souls remains an impressive and assured bit of filmmaking... directed by Harvey with a sense of style that never swamps the modesty or personality of his pet project. His fondness for form-cutting adds an invigorating zest to his simple, money-saving setups, but also hints at a world where one thing leads inevitably to another." Video Watchdog "Carries an eerie chill..." Stephen Holden, New York Times "In its own quietly lurid way, Carnival of Souls is a sophisticated piece of character psychology..." Peter Rainer, Los Angeles Times "Carnival of Souls is one of the finest low-budget horror movies of the 1960s" Gary Johnson, Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

Carnival of Souls


Though fondly remembered by many horror fans, Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls (1962) was close to being a lost film for thirty years. Seminal studies of the horror genre from the late 60s through to the late 80s lacked reference to the film, their indices skipping from The Car (1977) to Carrie (1976) without so much as a by-your-leave. Thanks in great part to the efforts of Texas-based film historian and restorer Gordon K. Smith, Carnival was reborn in 1989 amid renewed interest and appreciation, not all of it backhanded. A subsequent re-release on the midnight show circuit allowed cult film fans to appreciate Carnival's singular charms on the big screen. In 1990, the feature debuted on video cassette, a milestone heralded on the cover of the first issue of Video Watchdog magazine. The next year, Herk Harvey licensed Michael H. Price and Todd Camp to adapt his "weird show" as a graphic novel, illustrated in the monochrome starkness of a Jack Chick comic. In 2000, Carnival of Souls was included in the prestigious Criterion Collection, keeping company with the expressive masterworks of Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman, Carl Dreyer, Jean Cocteau, Georges Franju and Henrí-Georges Clouzot.

Following the example of Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), Carnival of Souls chooses as its protagonist a modern, free-thinking, intelligent young woman whose independence is thwarted by a society clinging to gender roles and frowning on women taking the initiative. As Janet Leigh's Marion in Psycho (her name was Mary in Robert Bloch's source novel) has to break the law in order to break out on her own, Carnival's Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) has to defy if not defeat death. When we catch up with both women on the other side of their respective transgressions, they are engaged in long car trips through (to quote cinema scholar Bruce Kawin) "the cheap, raw, ordinary landscape of America." Along for the ride with both women are their pet fears and insecurities, which haunt Marion in the form of an endlessly looping inner dialogue and Mary as a succession of shock intrusions by "The Man" (director Herk Harvey), a whey-faced nebbish in a conservative three-button suit who seems to be acting as a sort of assistant general manager of the dead, rudely invading Mary's personal space with the persistence of a process server.

While Harvey's character name was likely meant by scenarist John Clifford as a blandly mysterious descriptor, the phrase "the Man" would soon enter the parlance of the American counter culture as a synonym for all things restrictive and repressive about the American Dream. Yet what's interesting is that Mary Henry (like Marion Crane before her) isn't un-interested in the Dream, she just wants it on her own terms - which is to say Mary prefers that she be allowed to enjoy it alone. The character was written by John Clifford as something of an enigma, a woman whose aloofness is key to her undying dilemma. Yet as played by Candace Hilligoss (who had to fight her director to make the character more human), Mary does engender sympathy and stands as something of a poster child for anyone who ever wanted, for whatever reason, to be left the hell alone. As nature abhors a vacuum, so society abhors a woman alone. A square peg in a round hole world, college-educated Mary can't resign herself to sharing a life with the pious eunuchs and tactless horn dogs she encounters. She uses words and expresses curiosities men don't understand and women don't share and her passions and proclivities determines her status in society. Like The Bride of Frankenstein's Undying Monster, Mary comes to embrace her fate which mitigates the life she chose for herself. In the end, Mary isn't outclassed, just outnumbered.

Producer: Herk Harvey
Director: Hark Harvey
Screenplay: Jack Clifford, Herk Harvey
Cinematography: Maurice Prather
Film Editing: Bell de Jarnette, Dan Palmquist
Music: Gene Moore
Cast: Candace Hilligoss (Mary Henry), Frances Feist (Mrs. Thomas), Sidney Berger (John Linden), Art Ellison (Minister), Stan Levitt (Dr. Samuels), Tom McGinnis (Organ Factory Boss).
BW-84m.

by Richard Harland Smith

Carnival of Souls

Though fondly remembered by many horror fans, Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls (1962) was close to being a lost film for thirty years. Seminal studies of the horror genre from the late 60s through to the late 80s lacked reference to the film, their indices skipping from The Car (1977) to Carrie (1976) without so much as a by-your-leave. Thanks in great part to the efforts of Texas-based film historian and restorer Gordon K. Smith, Carnival was reborn in 1989 amid renewed interest and appreciation, not all of it backhanded. A subsequent re-release on the midnight show circuit allowed cult film fans to appreciate Carnival's singular charms on the big screen. In 1990, the feature debuted on video cassette, a milestone heralded on the cover of the first issue of Video Watchdog magazine. The next year, Herk Harvey licensed Michael H. Price and Todd Camp to adapt his "weird show" as a graphic novel, illustrated in the monochrome starkness of a Jack Chick comic. In 2000, Carnival of Souls was included in the prestigious Criterion Collection, keeping company with the expressive masterworks of Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman, Carl Dreyer, Jean Cocteau, Georges Franju and Henrí-Georges Clouzot. Following the example of Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), Carnival of Souls chooses as its protagonist a modern, free-thinking, intelligent young woman whose independence is thwarted by a society clinging to gender roles and frowning on women taking the initiative. As Janet Leigh's Marion in Psycho (her name was Mary in Robert Bloch's source novel) has to break the law in order to break out on her own, Carnival's Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) has to defy if not defeat death. When we catch up with both women on the other side of their respective transgressions, they are engaged in long car trips through (to quote cinema scholar Bruce Kawin) "the cheap, raw, ordinary landscape of America." Along for the ride with both women are their pet fears and insecurities, which haunt Marion in the form of an endlessly looping inner dialogue and Mary as a succession of shock intrusions by "The Man" (director Herk Harvey), a whey-faced nebbish in a conservative three-button suit who seems to be acting as a sort of assistant general manager of the dead, rudely invading Mary's personal space with the persistence of a process server. While Harvey's character name was likely meant by scenarist John Clifford as a blandly mysterious descriptor, the phrase "the Man" would soon enter the parlance of the American counter culture as a synonym for all things restrictive and repressive about the American Dream. Yet what's interesting is that Mary Henry (like Marion Crane before her) isn't un-interested in the Dream, she just wants it on her own terms - which is to say Mary prefers that she be allowed to enjoy it alone. The character was written by John Clifford as something of an enigma, a woman whose aloofness is key to her undying dilemma. Yet as played by Candace Hilligoss (who had to fight her director to make the character more human), Mary does engender sympathy and stands as something of a poster child for anyone who ever wanted, for whatever reason, to be left the hell alone. As nature abhors a vacuum, so society abhors a woman alone. A square peg in a round hole world, college-educated Mary can't resign herself to sharing a life with the pious eunuchs and tactless horn dogs she encounters. She uses words and expresses curiosities men don't understand and women don't share and her passions and proclivities determines her status in society. Like The Bride of Frankenstein's Undying Monster, Mary comes to embrace her fate which mitigates the life she chose for herself. In the end, Mary isn't outclassed, just outnumbered. Producer: Herk Harvey Director: Hark Harvey Screenplay: Jack Clifford, Herk Harvey Cinematography: Maurice Prather Film Editing: Bell de Jarnette, Dan Palmquist Music: Gene Moore Cast: Candace Hilligoss (Mary Henry), Frances Feist (Mrs. Thomas), Sidney Berger (John Linden), Art Ellison (Minister), Stan Levitt (Dr. Samuels), Tom McGinnis (Organ Factory Boss). BW-84m. by Richard Harland Smith

Quote It (Carnival of Souls) - QUOTES FROM "CARNIVAL OF SOULS"


MAN AT BRIDGE (Ed Down): What about the other girls?
MARY HENRY (Candace Hilligoss): I don't remember.

ORGAN FACTORY BOSS (Tom McGinnis): Good luck, Mary. Stop by and see us the next time you're in.
MARY: Thank you... but I'm never coming back.

ORGAN FACTORY BOSS: Day before yesterday she was the only one of three girls to survive an accident. You'd think she'd feel a little something...like humbleness or gratitude.
ORGAN FACTORY WORKER (Forbes Caldwell): Never know what she thinks. She's always kept pretty much to herself.
ORGAN FACTORY BOSS: Yeah, maybe in her place I'd do the same thing. Just pick up life again.
ORGAN FACTORY WORKER: Well, she's so quiet-like she fools you. But she's a tough-minded little thing.
ORGAN FACTORY BOSS: I guess that's what it takes to survive. I still say she's behaving strangely.
ORGAN FACTORY WORKER: Well, if she's got a problem, it'll go right along with her.
ORGAN FACTORY BOSS: Yep.

MRS. THOMAS (Frances Feist): You can take all the baths you want. I'm not one to fuss about things like that.
MINISTER (Art Ellison): This used to be quite a place. It's been deserted for a long time now.
MARY: Will you take me in?
MINISTER: Goodness no. It isn't safe out there anymore. That's why they put up this barrier.
MARY: It'd be very easy to step around it.
MINISTER: What attraction could there be for you... out there?
MARY: I'm not sure. I'm a reasonable person – I don't know. Maybe I want to satisfy myself that the place isn't any more than it appears to be. Would you take me out there?
MINISTER: No. The law has placed it off-limits. It wouldn't be very seemly for a minister to break the law, would it?
MARY: No. Maybe I can come back some other time.

MARY: I went for a long drive in the country with my new boss... an elderly minister.
MRS. THOMAS: Oh hoo... that must've been a kick in the head.

MARY: I'll be taking one of those baths you're so generous with.
MRS. THOMAS: Well, take as many as you want. I ain't one to make a fuss about a thing like that.

MARY: Who's the man in the hall?
MRS. THOMAS: Oh, you must mean Mr. Linden. He has the room across the hall.
MARY: No, I mean the other one.
MRS. THOMAS: There is no other. Me and you and Mr. Linden... us there is all there is in this house.
MARY: But you must have passed him out there.
MRS. THOMAS: You're needing this food. Going without eating makes you jumpy sometimes. Maybe you heard the boards pop or something. These old houses creak worse than my knees.
MARY: I didn't hear him, Mrs. Thomas – I saw him.
MRS. THOMAS: Now don't talk that way. I don't sleep so good as it is. It's these old houses. They, they're big enough so that you could hide a man in every corner. You just gotta not let your imagination run away with you.

JOHN LINDEN (Sidney Berger): Hey, look, I got a couple shots left over from last night, you want a little bit in yours?
MARY: No thanks. It's not the recommended breakfast for a church organist.
JOHN: Oh, is that what you do? Hey, you mean they, they pay somebody to play the organ in church?
MARY: Some churches do.
JOHN: Hey, I hope you don't mind about this, I just didn't know you were a church woman.
MARY: To me a church is just a place of business.
JOHN: That's a funny way to look at it.
MARY: Why? People seem shocked because I took a job in a church and I regard it simply as a job. I'm a professional organist and I play for pay, that's all. JOHN: Talking like that, don't that get you nightmares?

MARY: The world is so different in the daylight. But in the dark, your fantasies get so out of hand. In the daylight, everything falls back into place again. Let's have no more nights.

MARY: Thank you for the coffee. It was unsanitary but delicious.

MAN IN PARK: I didn't mean any harm. I just stopped to get a drink.

MARY: I'm a competent person. If anything, I'm a realist. I'm not given to imagining anything.
DR. SAMUELS (Stan Levitt): Hogwash. All of us imagine things. Have you never heard two men talking behind your back and imagined they were talking about you? Have you never imagined you saw someone you knew and walked up to them and found they were a perfect stranger.
MARY: I don't see what this has to do with it.
DR. SAMUELS: The point is this. Our imaginations play tricks on us. They often misinterpret what we see and hear.

MINISTER: Profane! Sacrilege! What are you playing in this church? Have you no respect? Do you feel no reverence? Then I feel sorry for you... and your lack of soul.

CHIP (Steve Boozer): Hey, Johnny... who's the doll?
JOHN: Nobody you know, Chip.
CHIP: Oh, come on now, you been holding out on me. That's not the kind of pig you usually drag around.

JOHN: That's just what I need, get mixed up with a girl who's off her rocker.
MARY: I DON'T WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE!

MARY: I don't belong in the world-that's what it is. Something separates me from other people.

MARY: They're everywhere, they're everywhere. They're not going to let me go. Everywhere I turn, there's something blocking my escape. It's trying to prevent me from living. He's trying to take me back somewhere. I can't fight anymore... I, I don't know what's real anymore.

Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

Quote It (Carnival of Souls) - QUOTES FROM "CARNIVAL OF SOULS"

MAN AT BRIDGE (Ed Down): What about the other girls? MARY HENRY (Candace Hilligoss): I don't remember. ORGAN FACTORY BOSS (Tom McGinnis): Good luck, Mary. Stop by and see us the next time you're in. MARY: Thank you... but I'm never coming back. ORGAN FACTORY BOSS: Day before yesterday she was the only one of three girls to survive an accident. You'd think she'd feel a little something...like humbleness or gratitude. ORGAN FACTORY WORKER (Forbes Caldwell): Never know what she thinks. She's always kept pretty much to herself. ORGAN FACTORY BOSS: Yeah, maybe in her place I'd do the same thing. Just pick up life again. ORGAN FACTORY WORKER: Well, she's so quiet-like she fools you. But she's a tough-minded little thing. ORGAN FACTORY BOSS: I guess that's what it takes to survive. I still say she's behaving strangely. ORGAN FACTORY WORKER: Well, if she's got a problem, it'll go right along with her. ORGAN FACTORY BOSS: Yep. MRS. THOMAS (Frances Feist): You can take all the baths you want. I'm not one to fuss about things like that. MINISTER (Art Ellison): This used to be quite a place. It's been deserted for a long time now. MARY: Will you take me in? MINISTER: Goodness no. It isn't safe out there anymore. That's why they put up this barrier. MARY: It'd be very easy to step around it. MINISTER: What attraction could there be for you... out there? MARY: I'm not sure. I'm a reasonable person – I don't know. Maybe I want to satisfy myself that the place isn't any more than it appears to be. Would you take me out there? MINISTER: No. The law has placed it off-limits. It wouldn't be very seemly for a minister to break the law, would it? MARY: No. Maybe I can come back some other time. MARY: I went for a long drive in the country with my new boss... an elderly minister. MRS. THOMAS: Oh hoo... that must've been a kick in the head. MARY: I'll be taking one of those baths you're so generous with. MRS. THOMAS: Well, take as many as you want. I ain't one to make a fuss about a thing like that. MARY: Who's the man in the hall? MRS. THOMAS: Oh, you must mean Mr. Linden. He has the room across the hall. MARY: No, I mean the other one. MRS. THOMAS: There is no other. Me and you and Mr. Linden... us there is all there is in this house. MARY: But you must have passed him out there. MRS. THOMAS: You're needing this food. Going without eating makes you jumpy sometimes. Maybe you heard the boards pop or something. These old houses creak worse than my knees. MARY: I didn't hear him, Mrs. Thomas – I saw him. MRS. THOMAS: Now don't talk that way. I don't sleep so good as it is. It's these old houses. They, they're big enough so that you could hide a man in every corner. You just gotta not let your imagination run away with you. JOHN LINDEN (Sidney Berger): Hey, look, I got a couple shots left over from last night, you want a little bit in yours? MARY: No thanks. It's not the recommended breakfast for a church organist. JOHN: Oh, is that what you do? Hey, you mean they, they pay somebody to play the organ in church? MARY: Some churches do. JOHN: Hey, I hope you don't mind about this, I just didn't know you were a church woman. MARY: To me a church is just a place of business. JOHN: That's a funny way to look at it. MARY: Why? People seem shocked because I took a job in a church and I regard it simply as a job. I'm a professional organist and I play for pay, that's all. JOHN: Talking like that, don't that get you nightmares? MARY: The world is so different in the daylight. But in the dark, your fantasies get so out of hand. In the daylight, everything falls back into place again. Let's have no more nights. MARY: Thank you for the coffee. It was unsanitary but delicious. MAN IN PARK: I didn't mean any harm. I just stopped to get a drink. MARY: I'm a competent person. If anything, I'm a realist. I'm not given to imagining anything. DR. SAMUELS (Stan Levitt): Hogwash. All of us imagine things. Have you never heard two men talking behind your back and imagined they were talking about you? Have you never imagined you saw someone you knew and walked up to them and found they were a perfect stranger. MARY: I don't see what this has to do with it. DR. SAMUELS: The point is this. Our imaginations play tricks on us. They often misinterpret what we see and hear. MINISTER: Profane! Sacrilege! What are you playing in this church? Have you no respect? Do you feel no reverence? Then I feel sorry for you... and your lack of soul. CHIP (Steve Boozer): Hey, Johnny... who's the doll? JOHN: Nobody you know, Chip. CHIP: Oh, come on now, you been holding out on me. That's not the kind of pig you usually drag around. JOHN: That's just what I need, get mixed up with a girl who's off her rocker. MARY: I DON'T WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE! MARY: I don't belong in the world-that's what it is. Something separates me from other people. MARY: They're everywhere, they're everywhere. They're not going to let me go. Everywhere I turn, there's something blocking my escape. It's trying to prevent me from living. He's trying to take me back somewhere. I can't fight anymore... I, I don't know what's real anymore. Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Filmed in Lawrence, Kansas.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1990

Released in United States 1991

Released in United States April 20, 1990

Released in United States August 11, 1989

Released in United States Fall October 1962

Released in United States July 1989

Released in United States March 3, 1990

Released in United States October 26, 1989

Released in United States on Video May 1990

Released in United States September 11, 1989

Shown at Film Forum Summer Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction in New York City July 19-21, 1989.

Shown at Greater Fort Lauderdale Film Festival October 26, 1989.

Shown at Munich Film Festival June 23-July 1, 1990.

Shown at Orlando International Film Festival April 26 - May 5, 1991.

Shown at Santa Barbara International Film Festival March 3, 1990.

Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals September 11, 1989.

Remake of the cult horror classic "Carnival of Souls" (USA/1962), directed by Herk Harvey and starring Candace Hilligoss.

Video released as "Wes Craven Presents: Carnival of Souls."

Formerly distributed by Herts-Lion Entertainment Corporation.

Released in United States 1990 (Shown at Munich Film Festival June 23-July 1, 1990.)

Released in United States 1991 (Shown at Orlando International Film Festival April 26 - May 5, 1991.)

Released in United States March 3, 1990 (Shown at Santa Barbara International Film Festival March 3, 1990.)

Released in United States April 20, 1990 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States on Video May 1990

Released in United States August 11, 1989 (New York City)

Released in United States September 11, 1989 (Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals September 11, 1989.)

Straight-to-video release.

Began shooting summer 1997.

Completed shooting September 12, 1997.

Released in United States July 1989 (Shown at Film Forum Summer Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction in New York City July 19-21, 1989.)

Released in United States Fall October 1962

Released in United States October 26, 1989 (Shown at Greater Fort Lauderdale Film Festival October 26, 1989.)