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Criterion Collection: Carnival of Souls [DVD] [1962] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Candace Hilligoss , Frances Feist , Herk Harvey    DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Price: £19.18
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.



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Criterion Collection: Carnival of Souls [DVD] [1962] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Freaks [1932] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison, Stan Levitt
  • Directors: Herk Harvey
  • Writers: Herk Harvey, John Clifford
  • Producers: Herk Harvey
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD-Video, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 16 May 2000
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1559409002
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,640 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

About the Director

Having survived a car accident that should have claimed her life, Mary begins a new job as a church organist. Plagued by evil visions of a ghoulish figure, she is drawn to an abandoned amusement park.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Classic 27 Dec 2006
By Shawyer
Format:DVD
I saw this years ago when BBC 2 ran a late night art house movie strand on Sundays and it has stayed with me ever since. The plot concerns a young woman who has survived a car accident taking up her new job in a small Midwestern town. It is genuinely chilling, creates an otherworldy, unsettling mood with the use of silence, the spiky organ score, a supporting cast of predatory grotesques and bleached black and white cinematography. It also bears comparison with Polanski's 'Repulsion' as a study in isolation and a vulnerable innocent's fast slipping grip on reality; or what she thinks is reality. The climax in the abandoned fairground is deeply spooky, sad and satisfying in equal measure. And on top of all this it has a classic 'jump out of your seat' shock as the heroine drives through a rainy night and looks twice at her reflection in the car's windscreen...
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The film that inspired NOTLD 26 Nov 2001
Format:DVD
This film was rediscovered in the 80's and featured on the BBC series "Videodrome". Without wanting to spoil the plot I'll just say that it's a genuinely creepy story that directly inspired George Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead. The plot focuses on Candace Hillgoss as a beautiful but cold church organist (Who is actually non-religious and just plays for money).In the opening scenes we see that she is the only girl to survive when a car filled with her and some friends careers off a bridge. She makes it to shore. From then on she is disturbed by stange nightmares and visions centering on a long abandoned funfair and it's pale inhabitants. That's all the plot I'm going to give away. If you love strange films then I cannot urge you enough to buy this one. As in the original Night of the Living Dead (and for that matter Psycho) the black and white photography only adds to the surrealism and detracts nothing from the plot or the genuine sense of unease that unfolds as the film plays.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:VHS Tape
"Carnival of Souls," the only theatrical film every directed by Herk Harvey, is a cult classic with a most deserved reputation that puts it on a par with dead George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" in terms of shoestring productions. Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) accepts a car ride from a group of other young girls, only to end up in a drag race that sees the car go over a bridge with only Mary surviving. Having taken a job as a church organist in Salt Lake City, Mary heads for her new home, passing a deserted pavilion on the outskirts of town. Mary is drawn to the ruined bathing center/carnival, but has bigger problems since she keeps seeing a leering, corpse-like man (played by Harvey) watching her. Again and again Mary has the eerie of experience of suddenly finding herself in a silent world where no one seems to notice her. Eventually she returns to the pavilions to understand her final fate.
"Carnvial of Souls" came about because Herk Harvey drove by Saltair, the deserted 1940s tourist resort outside Salt Lake City, and decided it would make a powerful location for a horror film. Harvey recruited John Clifford to come up with a screenplay that would involve Harvey's image of dead bodies rising from the lake to pursue their victim. The finished product certainly evokes a nightmarish quality that makes you ignore the technical problems with overdubbing, campy performances by the supporting cast, and such. Hilligloss, trained in the Method by Strassberg but denied any hint of her character's motivation by the director, only made one other film, "Curse of the Living Corpse" (1964), but this film is enough to secure her reputation in the field. Sidney Berger (the all too friendly guy down the hall at her boarding house) does a cameo as a cop in the 1998 "Wes Craven Presents Carnival of Souls" debacle, which does not compare on any level to this evocative horror classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Color at last! 24 Mar 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
First saw this on tv in b/w when a small boy-never forgot it.While not especially scary,it's one of those films you never forget.Would have loved to visit the original Saltair pavilion,but the present one is a mile from the first one.You can clearly see this is a colorised version,but it gives the film a fresher look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A haunting and unique black & white 1960's ghostly tale that entertains many genre specifics. A precursor to modern horror traditions. It's darkly creepy, beyond standard fair. The stories main protagonist goes on an adventure she was perhaps originally destined not to make. A second chance after a fatal accident which leaves all but her dead. This close call allows a renewed Mary Henry played by Candace Hilligoss to brake the shackles of small town acceptance. Half road movie, half trip into probable paranoia and a ghostly guide that hints at other matters beyond Mary's slow but growing concern for her state of being and her spiral into perceived madness perhaps? A stunning little independent movie that offers an ending so uniquely spell-bounding with characters that hint at a time and influence that spirited one George A. Romero to create his later 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead. A superior gem on every supernatural level. Yes slightly dated but putting that aside, what a uncompromising stunner. Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls (1962) defines and offers great riches. A true genre classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We open with a car crash... 7 Jan 2014
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Mary and her two friends leave the road and fly off a bridge during a friendly dragster race. She is the only survivor and after her recovery she takes up a job as the church organist in a new town, but she is constantly blighted by a ghostly like visitor and periods of time when nobody seems to know she exists.

A hinted spoiler follows.

Carnival Of Souls has thankfully found a whole new audience in the new millennium, the advent of cheap triple pack DVDs and a lush Criterion release have brought it firmly to the attention of Horror/Ghost fans who were not aware that the film even existed. That said, there is no doubting that many big name directors were fully aware of it, tho, for Carnival Of Souls has influenced such luminary genre masters from Romero to Carpenter, and from Hooper to Shyamalan, be it the low budget DIY ethic, or its now genre staple twist ending, it's a film (along with it's director Herk Harvey) that is referenced as much as it is copied.

The tag often used for the film is that it's an elongated Twilight Zone episode, and sure enough I think that is a perfect fit. Its whole structure feels like a part of that wonderful and amazing Rod Serling show, and for sure this story owes a doff of the cap to An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge (an Ambrose Bierce short that was reworked and used on Serling's show), but to merely suggest a retread of a previously used idea would be very unfair. Carnival Of Souls is full of eerie sequences that are dream like in quality yet goose pimply in effect. Scored at frequent intervals by a jangling organ shrill, the ghostly phantoms that plague poor Mary actually bring a shiver to the spine; while a surrealistic dance of the carnival is a stunning eerie highlight.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Underwater classic
Weird and wonderful, artfully shot, low budget classic. The sound may be a little muffled (mine's the Stax Entertainment copy) if so this only adds to the air of unreality... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ed.
5.0 out of 5 stars carnival of souls
An old time horror delving into the past good suspence
worth a watch great twist in the tale
horror fans of 60s film
Published 8 months ago by Henry Northey
1.0 out of 5 stars American script writing at it's very best!
This has got to be the winner of the WORST film ever made! Seriously! Shocking script and even worse acting.
Published 8 months ago by S. WOOD
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing B Movie - worth a viewing
I first saw this about 20 years ago and finally bought it to find out if it was as creepy and eerily atmospheric as I remembered it being. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Charlotte Sometimes
1.0 out of 5 stars Abysmal Quality!!
A weird film and an abysmal transfer! Do yourself a favour and spend you hard earned cash on something else
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. R
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful tosh
How this movie ever achieved 'cult' status I'll never know. It's rubbish from start to finish. Like Ed Wood without the laughs.
Published 15 months ago by Simon Treves
5.0 out of 5 stars i love carnival of souls
i love CARNIVAL OF SOULS its a classic b horror movie and theres not another movie to beat it. Thanks to HAROLD HERK HARVEY who created it and played the MAN the main ghost in... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Cj Flowerday
3.0 out of 5 stars Arrived promptly & as described
The film was as described. I didnt like it as it scared me too much. This is no reflection on the quality of the film.
Published 17 months ago by Dot
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor sound quality
I could not watch this film as sound was extremely muffled. Pity because picture was good but was completely unwatchable.
Published 18 months ago by DS1
2.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, eerie drive-in amateur art, released badly
The film itself is a haunting nightmareish world, which is like a faint marriage of Twilight Zone with an amateur performing troupe. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Zaroff
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