‘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.
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- 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
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- PLUS: An essay by writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse
New cover by Edward Kinsella