Mary Henry appears to be dead when she's forced off a bridge during a drag race. She emerges from the water to srart a new life as a chruch organist only to be dogged by a phantom figure that lives in an old run-down pavillion.
A lost classic from 1961, Carnival of Souls crossbreeds a neo-Bergamesque feel, as the heroine's vacuum of a life unravels, with some hints of Nights of The Living Dead to come as Hilligloss is drawn to an abandoned carnival, where pasty-faced zombie dress extras dance around in eerie fashion.
What emerges is an extremely creepy thriller, lacking style, but superbly executed of is a genuinely creepy thriller, humble in scope and lacking some polish, but a standard bearer within the genre that no doubt influenced the likes of Cronenberg, Lynch and Romero.
Produced on a shoestring budget, Carnival of Souls is early proof that the size of the scare isn't always proportionate to the size of the budget. Well worth owning
Rough edges alright, but this is literally an unforgettable movie.