Skip to main content

31 Days of Horror Movies: Carnival of Souls

I had a conversation t'other night with a friend who seemed to make a distinction between horror movies and ghost stories. I tend to lump them together (although one could argue that 1981's classic Ghost Story isn't really a horror film). At any rate, today's pick could definitely fall into the ghost story realm for some, but I still consider it to be horror. With that said, let's take a look at....

Carnival of Souls

This cheaply-made movie has a lot going for it. Director Herk Harvey (who also plays the creepy man following our heroine) manages to create the plausible world of a woman, Mary Henry (played to good, doe-eyed effect by Candace Hilligoss), who appears to be the lone survivor of an accident that sees a car filled with her and some friends tumble-off a bridge and into the river below.

Mary eventually ends up in a small town where she attempts to start a new life for herself, taking-up the job of organist at the local church. Unfortunately, it is not to be a happy time period for Mary, as she begins to hear organ music in the most unusual places, a desolate-looking pavilion on the edge of a lake seems to beckon to her, she keeps having moments when the sound changes and then no one can see or hear her and, as if all that wasn't bad enough, a ghoulish man keeps appearing to torment her.

I won't go into how Carnival of Souls resolves itself. It's good, although it does raise a few "Yes, but..." questions. It's an odd film, a quirky film. It (unfairly in my opinion) has ended up on Michael Nelson's rather unfunny RiffTrax series, wherein he uses a running audio commentary to poke fun at films (not unlike what he did on MST3K). Yes, the movie has some stiff acting and low-budget issues, but I think it's one of those occasions where that sort of stuff serves to enhance the unsettling vibe.


Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.