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December 14, 2017, 01:47:03 AM
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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Carnival of souls (1962) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Carnival of souls (1962)  (Read 748 times)
kakihara
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« on: September 17, 2017, 09:50:59 AM »

Ive sat on this movie for a few years and finally got around to watching it. I never really had an interest after reading the synopsis. Starring the beautiful Candace Hilligoss, who has very striking eyes and this weird 1000 mile stare that is used to great effect thoughout the movie. In fact, a lot of the movie is closeups of her staring and being confused or freaked out. It works though. Shes the lone surviver of  a car accident and tries to get on with her life. She is haunted by visions of "the man" and begins to question her own sanity.

 I think most people would consider it boring. Its creepy in way, mostly because of the organ score which is my favorite part of this film. I love me some organs! The whole score is dissonant and eerie, perfect for Halloween viewing. Theres a scene where the main character goes into a trance while practicing the organ in church and begins to play very odd and dissonantly. I found it strangely erotic and will watch the movie again just to see that scene..

It comes off almost like a student project film, which I think it may be. Never the less, its weird, long, unconventional and doesnt make sense in some ways.  my kind of film. Ill check out the color version later.
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2017, 11:23:27 AM »

CARNIVAL OF SOULS is not a student film, but was shot on a shoestring budget by HERK HARVEY who made industrial films.  I own the soundtrack on CD.  I think of CARNIVAL OF SOULS as the greatest bad movie ever made.
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2017, 12:33:55 PM »

Not a bad movie at all. It even earned a Criterion Collection release. It is an amateurish movie, though, with rough edges that add to its charm.

I would hate to see it ruined with colorization, yuck!

I also own the pretty amazing soundtrack. Great Halloween listening.
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2017, 01:20:34 PM »

I wouldn't call it a bad movie at all.  It's a very good movie, very atmospheric and creepy and like no other movie I can remember seeing. 

The fact that it is so different is probably what gives so many people a bad opinion of it.  It doesn't follow any of the rules set out  by other movies.   
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2017, 04:58:07 PM »

I will never convince the black and white crowd... 

A movie can be BAD for multiple reasons.  BAD for you, or BADLY made, I think CARNIVAL OF SOULS is a GREAT movie that also happens to be BAD. 
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javakoala
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2017, 05:07:05 PM »

This is a great movie, and one that deserves to be called "scary".

You are given a character who is emotionally distant, but one you can still relate to. You see her world slowly dissolve into madness as things beyond her control begin altering her life. The scenes where she is running through the streets in total silence are distressing.

The terror is slow mounting, using sound, camera angles, and menacing images to show you how unreal the main character's perception of the world has become.

Yes, it is low budget, but I honestly believe that forced Herk Harvey to work harder to create what was in his head.

And parts of the film were shot in Lawrence, KS. The organ factory building is still standing, and it wasn't very far from the building that Centron Films worked out of. Harvey worked for Centron for years while they cranked out educational and industrial films. When we drive through that part of Lawrence, I like to point these locations out. Sadly, no one seems to know the movie or about Centron Films anymore.  Bluesad
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2017, 05:11:49 PM »

An enjoyably disturbing film with a soundtrack that crawls into your head and also it features the funniest lusty nerd in movie history.
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RCMerchant
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 04:05:27 PM »

I remember seeing this late at night in 1971 on Double Creature Feature. I feel asleep during the first movie (1968's BEAST OF MOROCCO) and woke up about a third into this bizzare and scary film. It was not until 1976 that I find out what it was!
Some trivia-
.the 'Man" was played by directer Harvey! This was the only full length motion picture he ever did.
.Candice Hilligoss,besides a few brief TV parts,only starred in one other film-the CURSE OF THE LIVING CORPSE (1964)
. the 'End of the World' film the DAY AFTER (1983) was also filmed in Lawrence.




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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 08:13:35 PM »

java, we live in wichita and went up to lawrence for the 50th anniversary party! we got to see the organ factory, the garage and the rooming house, it was AWESOME!
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2017, 12:04:29 AM »

java, we live in wichita and went up to lawrence for the 50th anniversary party! we got to see the organ factory, the garage and the rooming house, it was AWESOME!
That is so creepy COOL.  

I first saw CARNIVAL OF SOULS on a Sunday (maybe Saturday) showing out of one of the New York TV affiliates (?) of networks like CBS, NBC, ABC... likely CBS (believe it or not)  in probably 1969 or 1970 or 1968... I don't know... It made a strong impression I can remember nearly 50 years later.  Now, I think it's GREAT, but I also think it is BAD... bad in so many ways.  Some great works of art can hurt, leave a wound, which becomes rot.  Spiritual, psychological, or physical, rot is not good for you.  That is only one way this film is BAD for you.  Bweheheheheheheheheheheheh HAH!!!  
CARNIVAL OF SOULS one of my top 5. 
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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2017, 11:59:26 AM »

it looks and feels a whole lot like a giallo to me. in the extras of the Criterion dvd the directors noted there was a scene that got lost because it was accidentally destroyed by the printers. It showed the people coming out of the water into the carnival. sounded really freaky shame what happened to it
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claws
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2017, 12:46:44 PM »

Never seen Carnival of Souls on any favorite or worst bad movie lists. Matter of fact, it is always listed among the best horror has to offer, so I guess different strokes for different folks.

It's a creepy fave I love watching around Halloween. The Criterion release is amazing and the movie never looked better. Highly recommended.

*edit to add*

I didn't even know there was a colorized version. Sounds awful to me.
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2017, 02:25:35 PM »

Never seen Carnival of Souls on any favorite or worst bad movie lists. Matter of fact, it is always listed among the best horror has to offer, so I guess different strokes for different folks.

It's a creepy fave I love watching around Halloween. The Criterion release is amazing and the movie never looked better. Highly recommended.

*edit to add*

I didn't even know there was a colorized version. Sounds awful to me.
Colorized defeats one of the great charms of this movie, the wonderful black and white cinematography.  It is gorgeous. 
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kakihara
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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2017, 03:47:49 PM »

I think its shot beautifully as well.  The very minimal elements are used to great effect.  Until i had googled it, i thought it was a 1987 film, based on the version that i own. The picture is always clear without any snow or grain. Im going to own this sountrack!
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316zombie
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2017, 10:08:43 PM »

allhallowsday, it was totally amazing! i got autographs from all the folks who were there, the creepy guy is actually a school teacher and was HILARIOUS! he has a glass eye so he couldn't actually SEE anything through the doorjamb, he was SO funny!
   everyone there was just so cool, they couldn't believe how popular the movie had become. candace was so gracious to the kids who were kinda scared of her( she WAS kinda creepy in the movie,lol!) ... their love for herk was obvious, i wish we could have met him too...
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