CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962)

 

Carnival of Souls cover

Iggy talked me into watching this odd movie and I’m glad I did.

It’s not scary, it’s artsy and peculiar. Won’t give away the plot too much, but here’s the gist: two vehicles are playing chicken on an old wooden bridge. One car goes into the river and only one passenger survives. The woman, an organist, takes a job at a church near an abandoned seaside carnival that seems to draw her to it. And a ghoulish man keeps appearing to her. What does he want? 

Sadly this film was not well received and came close to disappearing. Fortunately, it was rediscovered and redistributed in 1989, this time to more favorable criticism. It has become a cult classic. If you like artsy films, this is a must see. The lighting, music and the carnival set are sublime… dream-like. Filmed at the magical, abandoned Saltair Amusement Park utilizing its massive ballroom, one of the largest ever built. A pity this is the writer/ director’s only film. I’d say it’s comparable to the 1946 French film La Belle et La Bete (Beauty and the Beast) in terms of mood and atmosphere.  

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