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Carnival of Souls (1962) Haunts the Criterion Collection

Carnival of Souls (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

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The Criterion Collection released Carnival of Souls to Blu-ray on July 12, 2016. Herk Harvey directed the film starring Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, and Sidney Berger.

‘Carnival of Souls’ Criterion Synopsis

A young woman in a small Kansas town survives a drag race accident, then agrees to take a job as a church organist in Salt Lake City. En route, she is haunted by a bizarre apparition that compels her toward an abandoned lakeside pavilion. Made by industrial filmmakers on a small budget, the eerily effective B-movie classic Carnival of Souls was intended to have “the look of a Bergman and the feel of a Cocteau”—and, with its strikingly used locations and spooky organ score, it succeeds. Herk Harvey’s macabre masterpiece gained a cult following on late-night television and continues to inspire filmmakers today.

Read the full summary.

Special Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Selected-scene audio commentary featuring director Herk Harvey and screenwriter John Clifford
  • New interview with comedian and writer Dana Gould
  • New video essay by film critic David Cairns
  • The Movie That Wouldn’t Die!, a documentary on the 1989 reunion of the film’s cast and crew
  • The Carnival Tour, a 2000 update on the film’s locations
  • Excerpts from movies made by the Centron Corporation, an industrial film company based in Lawrence, Kansas, that once employed Harvey and Clifford
  • Deleted scenes
  • Outtakes, accompanied by Gene Moore’s organ score
  • History of the Saltair Resort in Salt Lake City, where key scenes in the film were shot
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse

New cover by Edward Kinsella

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Herts-Lion International Corp. released Carnival of Souls on September 26, 1962. Herk Harvey directed the film starring Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, and Sidney Berger.

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