Herk Harvey's macabre masterpiece gained a cult following through late night television and has been bootlegged for years. Made by industrial filmmakers on a modest budget, Carnival of Souls was intended to have the "look of a Bergman" and "feel of a Cocteau," and succeeds with its strikingly used locations and spooky organ score. Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) survives a drag race in a rural Kansas town, then takes a job as a church organist in Salt Lake City. En route, she becomes haunted by a bizarre apparition that compels her to an abandoned lakeside pavilion. Criterion is proud to present the ultimate special edition of his eerily effective B-movie classic that continues to inspire filmmakers today.
This Double-Disc Set Includes:
The Original Theatrical Version & The Extended Director's Cut!
Original Version: The Movie That Wouldn't Die! The Story of Carnival of Souls: a documentary on the 1989 reunion of the cast and crew / 45 min. of rare outtakes accompanied by Gene Moore's organ score / Theatrical Trailer / Illustrated History of the Saltair resort in Salt Lake City / The Carnival Tour: a video update on the film's locations
Extended Director's Cut: Selected Audio Commentary by screenwriter John Clifford and late director Herk Harvey / One hour excerpts from films made by the Centron Corp. / Essay on the history of Centron from Ken Smith's Mental Hygiene / Printed Interviews with Harvey, Clifford, and star Candace Hilligoss, illustrated with vintage photos and memorabilia
Latest Product Reviews See All Reviews (Total 1 Reviews)
Carnival of Souls Criterion Edition - true 5* horror package
Posted by Play.com Reviewer, 15/03/2008 22:33:55
I first came by Herk Harvey's "Carnival of Souls" as a freebie with a DVD magazine in 2002, which stated that it was "for the first time presented in Super psychorama stereophonic".
This basically meant green inserts in the black and white film when the spooky guy (Harvey himself) appeared (which was actually quite effective), as there was no sign of true stereophonic sound. The player nevertheless did indicate DD 2 channel and the 3D option on the flat panel TV speakers made a difference (which it doesn't with monaural sound).
If I even try to tell you about the basic storyline it will spoil the film so I won't. Suffice to say it's an above average but nevertheless typical low-budget early 60s spooky black and white B-movie horror, with ghostly organ music adding to the atmosphere, and it's now something of a cult film. Candace Hilligoss gives a good performance as the main character, lonely woman Mary Henry. Creepy locations and effects abound amongst the apparent normality of this lonely woman's life.
The film was supposedly a big influence on future horror specialist George Romero.
Anyway, I liked it so much I bought this rather luxurious US Criterion 2-disc edition (as the single disc English issue was at that time selling for the ridiculous full-price of 20GBP).
The sound is OK for its time but the picture, though good, contains some sparklies and an odd diabolical blemish.
If you buy it I recommend this Criterion Edition, as it includes the Theatrical and extended Director's cuts, an informative booklet and a plethora of extras, though the green inserts when the spooky guy appears and the DD 2 channel sound are not there. The Criterion version gets 5*, as opposed to the 4* of others, because of the aforementioned inclusion of the Director's cut and because it's such a superb overall package.
Note: This Review was made by Play.com customer: OldEnglandsEyes69 on Rakuten’s Play.com on the date shown.
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