Original score composed and performed by Gene Moore (organ).
Composer: Gene Moore .
Liner Note Author: John Clifford.
Editor: Mark Nathan.
Eleven years ago, you couldn't find a copy of Carnival of Souls on video or television for love or money. Now it's out on video and headed for DVD, and then the soundtrack CD shows up, which is doubly impressive for a 1962 movie that got buried in theaters and had to build its audience through television screenings over a 20-year period. Gene Moore's organ music is one of the more haunting elements of this exquisitely frightening and disturbing movie, and free-standing, it's completely undiluted in its otherworldly moods and tonal masses. There is some dialogue included on certain tracks, because large sections of this material was mastered off of acetates, but a portion appears also to have some right off the film's soundtrack. There is noise on much of it, but the extraneous sounds aren't excessively obtrusive, except those that come from the finished film track itself. This isn't too much of a problem -- the dialogue actually helps to keep one's reference points straight, although the producers should have placed markings on the chapter list to indicate those passages in which dialogue plays a dominant role. There are also some sections featuring a small jazz-type combo, principally for accompaniment to the scenes in the bar near the film's ending. Director-producer Herk Harvey appears on one track, the audio portion of an introduction that he videotaped for the film's theatrical and video re-release in 1989-1990. The CD is fleshed out with organ parts (including a transcription of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," a bizarre medley that features a most un-homelike "Home Sweet Home" and a decent jazz-blues combo complete with an electric guitar) that were recorded for but never used in the movie. ~ Bruce Eder