Carnival Of Souls (1962) & A Bucket Of Blood (1959) Reviews

Here are two more very short “reviews” of a couple of old horror classics that I watched this year.

Carnival Of Souls (1962)

Directed by Herk Harvey

Starring: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Carnival of Souls is a 1962 American independent horror film written, produced, and directed by Herk Harvey, and starring Candace Hilligoss. Its plot follows Mary Henry, a young woman whose life is disturbed after a car accident. She relocates to a new city, where she finds herself unable to assimilate with the locals, and becomes drawn to the pavilion of an abandoned carnival.

My Brief Opinion:

I’ve wanted to see this for years (FYI – it’s on Amazon Prime UK). Mainly because of the title: CARNIVAL OF SOULS!!! Seriously – that’s an awesome title. The movie itself? Low budget and extremely slow-paced. I love the idea of the story, though, and can see that this probably influenced many later horror films such as Romero’s brilliant Night Of The Living Dead. There’s some great stuff going on in this movie, including creepy & atmospheric organ music and zombielike people who seem to be after the main character’s soul following her car accident. I want to give this a higher rating. It deserves higher. I may up my rating at some point… I do think it’s worthy of its cult status and that all film lovers, especially horror film lovers, should see it. But it IS very slow. The story is dragged out for too long but, to be fair, the ending won’t have been blatantly obvious in 1962. This film was probably a bit of a shock back then! But it could’ve made for a kick ass half-hour episode of The Twilight Zone instead.

My Rating: 6.5/10

A Bucket Of Blood (1959)

Directed by Roger Corman

Starring: Dick Miller, Barboura Morris, Antony Carbone, Julian Burton, Ed Nelson, John Brinkley

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film is a dark comic satire about a dimwitted, impressionable young busboy at a Bohemian café who is acclaimed as a brilliant sculptor when he accidentally kills his landlady’s cat and covers its body in clay to hide the evidence. When he is pressured to create similar work, he becomes murderous.

My Brief Opinion:

Amazon Prime seems to have a lot of cult classic horrors at the moment so, like Carnival Of Souls, I was happy to finally check out this Roger Corman horror comedy starring Dick Miller. I can’t say it’s a “good” film but it’s memorable and I loved the 50’s beatnik setting. Not enough movies focus on that sort of culture – it made it feel more unique. Here’s the IMDb synopsis if you’ve not heard of it: “A dim-witted busboy finds acclaim as an artist for a plaster-covered dead cat that is mistaken as a skillful statuette. The desire for more praise soon leads to an increasingly deadly series of works.” I enjoyed it plus it’s only just over an hour long so I appreciated that (I rarely have enough time to watch an entire movie in one sitting).

My Rating: 6.5/10

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Night Of The Creeps (1986) Review

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Night Of The Creeps (1986)

Directed by Fred Dekker

Starring:
Jason Lively
Steve Marshall
Jill Whitlow
Tom Atkins
Allan Kayser
Wally Taylor
Dick Miller
Suzanne Snyder

Running time: 88 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Alien brain parasites, entering humans through the mouth, turn their host into a killing zombie. Some teenagers start to fight against them.

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My Opinion:

I was convinced to watch this by Eric of The IPC (his review is HERE). Okay – he recommends movies to me a lot but I never know what to think as we have pretty different tastes. 😉 However, Night Of The Creeps definitely appealed to me as it looked very much like my type of thing plus it was made in my precious 1980s! (I’m not sure why I missed out on it at the time?). Also, the last time I listened to Eric was when I watched The Warriors and it turned out that it was FANTASTIC! (You can read my Warriors review HERE). AND… Brian at Hard Ticket To Home Video seems pretty obsessed with this movie as well. So I figured “what the hell” and watched it.

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I liked it. Yeah. I didn’t LOVE it like I did The Warriors. I don’t think it has aged as well as The Warriors has, thanks to the underlying theme in The Warriors being quite timeless despite its very late 70’s/early 80’s look. I adore all the movies I grew up with from the 70s & 80s, even the ones I know are rubbish. No, I’m not saying Night Of The Creeps is rubbish. Not at all. I’m just saying that it’s one I missed out on at the time & didn’t grow up loving. If I HAD seen it at the time, I’d probably like it almost as much as Eric & Brian do and can totally see why it’s achieved a bit of a cult status & why those two like it so much. But it’s one that really does lose something if you didn’t grow up with it & I can’t see the “younger generation” going for this one unless they happen to love this sort of genre. I can at least appreciate it in all its 80’s glory but most people under 30 would probably hate me if I recommended it to them (except maybe you movie blogger types. We’re a different breed of person). 😉

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I’m not sure where to go with this review. I’m so far behind on my reviews & struggling to write them lately so, for once, I’ll keep it short & wrap this up now…

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Summary:

I enjoyed Night Of The Creeps just fine. I have to admit that I love the movie Slither and can now see that it was not only inspired by Society (another cult classic & one I’m quite fond of) but also by Night Of The Creeps. There’s also a bit of From Beyond going on here (one seriously fucked-up 80’s movie that I reviewed HERE). Then of course there’s some 50’s B movie alien invasion stuff going on, which is another bonus. And zombies! Another one of my favorite genres! (I reviewed 2004’s Dawn Of The Dead recently HERE for Mike at Screenkicker). Honestly, this has so many elements that are totally my type of thing. I think that’s why, perhaps, I was a little disappointed overall. But my only disappointment was in not LOVING it, when I was expecting to possibly feel that way. But don’t get me wrong – it’s a fun movie and I did enjoy it. I’d probably watch it again in a few years and I can see it growing on me if I do. Not too bad, Eric & Brian. I still may listen to you. Sometimes. 🙂

My Rating: 7.5/10

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***This movie tied for second place when I asked all of you which film I should review next in this poll HERE. Thanks for all the replies & I’ll try to do these in order (with reviews of current films I see in the cinema in between). However, I do have to wait on reviewing the winner (winning by a landslide!) for two reasons. 1) I was honestly paying no attention when I saw it so will have to watch it again and 2) I think some Googlers under 13 descended on my blog & voted it into 1st place – no way have my regulars voted for it! Lol! So I’ll do my best to do these somewhat in this order but be patient as I’m very slow lately (you can still vote in the poll if you want any moved up – I do still check it but it’s usually only Moshi Monsters getting more votes). 🙂

1. Moshi Monsters: The Movie
2. TIE: Night Of The Creeps & Muppets Most Wanted
3. Non-Stop
4. Bernie
5. TIE: Yellow Submarine, Exam, an IMDB Top 250 film (which will probably be Full Metal Jacket, FYI, if that makes anyone more interested)
6. TIE: Rio 2, ATM, Primer, a CPD Classic

(I’ve also seen 21 Jump Street, Attack The Block & Magic Mike since I made that poll. I’m in no hurry on Magic Mike. Pile o’ Shit!)