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Review of Carnival of Souls Criterion Collection

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Review of Carnival of Souls Criterion Collection

Old 05-16-00, 12:18 AM
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Received it today and thought I would do a quick review for anybody still undecided. It is still available today for preorder at Reel for 40% off and I recommend it for B movie horror fans. The story involves a woman named Mary Henry who mysteriously survives a car wreck. She then goes to Utah to become an organist and becomes fascinated with an abandoned carnival called the Saltair on the Great Salt Lake. Many mysteries surround this rather cold women including the strange visions she sees around her. I don’t want to give too much away, but for the modest budget the film was made on it has an interesting story and the director did a great job of creating the perfect mood. This film inspired many later horror films including Night of the Living Dead and has something about it that separates it from other B movies. I usually don’t like watching B horror movies unless Joel, Crow, and Tom Servo are in the front row making fun of it, but this was an enjoyable film to watch. Criterion has also put together an incredible package for this 2 disc special edition.

Disc one contains the 78 minute theatrical cut. Criterion did another of their amazing digital transfers that leaves the black & white film looking like it was brand new. I doubt it looked this good when originally shown in 1962. Included on disc on is “The Movie That Wouldn’t Die! The Story Behind Carnival of Souls:” from the 1989 reunion of the cast and crew, 45 minutes of rare outtakes accompanied by Gene Moore’s organ score, theatrical trailer, an illustrated history of the Saltair, a video update of the film’s locations, and English subtitles.

Disc two contains the restored 83 minute director’s cut. Included on the disc is an audio commentary by screenwriter John Clifford and the late director Herk Harvey, one hour of excerpts from films made by the Centron Corporation were Clifford and Harvey worked for over 30 years, an essay of Centron by Ken Smith, printed interviews with Harvey, Clifford, and star Candace Hilligoss, and English subtitles.
Another great disc from Criterion and something I highly recommend for fans of 50’s and 60’s horror. Well worth the $23.99 Reel.com is charging until midnight.

My DVD Collection
My Rather Small Laserdisc Collection

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