After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.
Most Resourceful Modest Budget Horror
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.
Ten stars. See it.
- Nov 28, 2004
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