A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.
Yella is estranged from her possessive and violent husband; but he can't quite bring himself to give her up. When their fraught interaction finally comes to dramatic conclusion, Yella's life takes an odd shift.
Mary Henry is enjoying the day by riding around in a car with two friends. When challenged to a drag, the women accept, but are forced off of a bridge. It appears that all are drowned, until Mary, quite some time later, amazingly emerges from the river. After recovering, Mary accepts a job in a new town as a church organist, only to be dogged by a mysterious phantom figure that seems to reside in an old run-down pavilion. It is here that Mary must confront the personal demons of her spiritual insouciance.Written by
Rick Gregory <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When director Harvey finished the film, he went back to his original work of making industrial and training films, travelling to South America. Upon returning he asked the film's distributor Herts-Lion for his royalty check. The check bounced and the distribution company folded in 1964. See more »
The service station garage, supposedly in Utah, has a poster on its wall advertising a sports show on TV station WIBW in Topeka, Kansas. (Whilst it's generally true that broadcast stations west of the Mississippi River have call letters beginning with "K" instead of "W," WIBW is an actual station which still carries the same call letters today.) See more »
[pours whiskey in his morning coffee]
What do you think, I'm an alcoholic? I just like to start the day off in a good mood.
You must be hilarious by noon.
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The films opening credits fade in and out, scattered across the footage of the flowing river. See more »
Available in a computer-colorized edition. See more »
After viewing this legendary flick for the first time, I have to say that the quality they achieved on a shoestring is still impressive today. Every penny spent on this little film makes its way before the viewer, which is something that can't be said of most major budget films then or now. Corman used "getting the money up on the screen" as his yardstick for his own success as low budget producer and director. But while I like the Corman cheapies, like Bucket of Blood and Little Shop of Horrors, and acknowledge that they possess a relatively high level of workman-like resourcefulness, it's hard to deny that Carnival makes many of Corman's films look slapped-out and unimaginative in comparison. Corman usually steered clear of anything poetic, dabbling with it most pointedly in the dream sequences in his first Poe adaptations. In contrast, this films makers are quoted to the effect that they were inspired by Bergman and Cocteau. Now, with such heroic ambition, Carnival could have turned out a laughable mess. But the films dark waking dream atmosphere is well realized. They had some really great locations the pavilion, the wooden bridge, the organ factory and the church with the "casting out demons" stained glass. The actress playing the heroine is lucky (or skillful) casting, too; she doesn't look or act quite like the average person, which is perfect for the story. If I picked one thing to complain about, it would be the interlude with the guy from across the hall in the rooming house, about the writing of that section and especially about the actor who played him. But I won't. There's just too much good to be said about this small masterpiece of independent film making.
Ten stars. See it.
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