Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another review of Carnival of Souls

CARNIVAL OF SOULS — Directed in 1962 by independent filmmaker Herk Harvey. Utahns will be pleased to know that a large part of this film was directed in Utah, including the old Saltair fairgrounds at the Great Salt Lake and various locations in downtown Salt Lake City, such as a scene in front of Temple Square.

A carload of drag-racing teenage girls plunges into a river. Soon after, the car is towed out of the river, and one girl survives. ... To forget the tragedy, the girl (Candace Hilligos) moves to a small town here in Utah to become a church organist. She begins to have paranoid hallucinations of being watched and chased by zombie-like phantoms.

Her only escape is to trespass on the grounds of the old Saltair fairgrounds to confront the zombies who haunt her mind. There, we discover she meets her second death to the zombies because she actually died in the car crash at the beginning of the film.

This film is said to be the inspiration for George A. Romero's horror masterpiece "Night of the Living Dead." A true cult classic.
(This review was originally published in the Standard-Examiner newspaper)

-- Steve D. Stones

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