21 October 2014

Carnival of Souls (1962)
83 min.
Directed by Herk Harvey.
With Candace Hilligoss, Sidney Berger, Frances Feist, Stanley Leavitt, Art Ellison, Herk Harvey.
Classic low budget chiller. Young Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) survives a car crash, and then tries to pick up the pieces of her life by getting a job as a church organist in a small town.

But something isn't right. She discovers no one is willing to speak with her. Everyone she meets seems to behave like spaced out zombies. And her life has taken on a surreal quality.

This influential B-movie is a chilling work of the macabre. It built up a cult following over the years - and deservedly so - and clearly served as some inspiration for George Romero's first dead entry Night of the Living Dead (1968).

But more than that, what's most remarkable about Carnival of Souls is how much can be achieved with so little. Made for just under $34,000, and utilizing a cast of unknown actors, it's a revelation in mood, style and atmosphere.

A definite must see.

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