27 March 2010 | bkoganbing
Getting The Gargoyle
In Carny Lou Diamond Phillips is cast as the police chief of Reliance, New York a small town in the most rural part of upstate New York where the big event of the year is about to take place, a carnival has come to town. Not just any carnival, but one specializing in some of the rejects from the Creator/Deity work table. In this film's makers must have been inspired by Todd Browning's classic film, Freaks.
Would that this film was anywhere close to being as good as Freaks, but it sadly isn't. The biggest attraction in the show is some kind of gargoyle like creature billed as the New Jersey Devil. When it gets loose and starts terrorizing the area, Lou as the sheriff takes it upon himself to organize a hunting party.
This is where it really gets ridiculous. When he was a smalltown Texas sheriff in Bats at least he called in some help. Why he didn't in Carny is totally beyond me.
The film was shot in and around Ottawa to simulate the rural atmosphere of upstate New York which is not as rural as when Jimmy Stewart made upstate New York's fictional Bedford Falls famous. The rest of the cast is made up of Canadian players.
Of course getting this gargoyle proves to be a rough go for Lou and his posse of hunters who are used to more docile creatures like deer. I tell you this, George Bailey would have known when he was overmatched and would have sent for help should the gargoyle ever be threatening Bedford Falls. There's also a side story about a crazy preacher wanting to see the carnival destroyed before he even knew about the gargoyle.
Carny is one big mess of a film. Hopefully Lou Diamond Phillips got to get in some rural pursuits while making this feast for his next Thanksgiving table.