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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.


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1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
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16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
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19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
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22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
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The Best Superhero Movies of All-Time, Revisited

We are just a few days away from the North American release of Avengers:Infinity War. While I am dutifully going to see it opening night, it's not a film I'm looking forward to. It is (spoiler) part one of two, which means we can expect plenty of plot threads left dangling when the credits roll. In other words, part two will probably be better, and provide some actual resolution. Also, Thanos looks like a CGI yawn-fest. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.
Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to rank (again) the major superhero movies (Marvel and otherwise) that we've had so far. As you know, I love making a list, and this one is going to be a definitive one! If you don't see a film on here, it's because I haven't seen it (the first two Thors, Iron Man 2, some of the X-Men features, etc.).   Alright, here we go.

Walk and Chew Gum

Yesterday marked a touchstone moment in the U.S., as students across the country participated in "walkouts." This was an occasion for students to express an array of thoughts and emotions, ranging from a desire for stricter gun control, to simply sorrow over the loss of so many of their peers to school shootings. They were peaceful protests, but protests nonetheless. Where you're at on the spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing with what they did may vary, though not wanting to get shot in your school seems pretty reasonable to me.
Some folks have taken to sharing a meme on social media platforms this week -- in direct anticipation and response to the walkouts -- that encourages students to "walk up, not out." Following are suggestions provided for the walk ups:

Walk UP to the kid who sits ALONE and ask him to join your groupWalk UP to the kid who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hersWalk UP to your teachers and thank them!Walk UP to someone and JUST …