Throwback Thursday: CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962)

Shot in black-and-white for the drive-in and grindhouse circuit, this surrealistic, low-budget, independently produced horror movie became a cult classic decades later through repeated late-night showings on television. Its director, Herk Harvey, an experienced and award-winning industrial filmmaker, came up with the basic concept for the story while driving past an abandoned lakeside pavilion in Utah — the one that figures prominently in the film — on a business trip. Imagining the danse macabre at the film’s close, he convinced co-worker John Clifford to write a screenplay based on it. The result was “Carnival of Souls” (1962), Harvey’s first and only completed narrative fiction feature. Although consigned to relative obscurity for many years, this movie is now recognized as a genre antecedent and a stylistic precursor for well-known, unconventional films like George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) and David Lynch’s “Eraserhead” (1977).