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Carnival of Souls

Wade Williams interview by Gary Johnson

The ghouls rise from the water in Carnival of Souls.

Images recently had the privilege of talking to Wade Williams of Englewood Entertainment about the new video release of Carnival of Souls. Mr. Williams owns the domestic rights to several vintage science-fiction films, such as Kronos and Rocketship X-M, and he is now making these films available for home video through Englewood Entertainment.

What can you tell me about the print of Carnival of Souls used for the new video release? It looks incredibly sharp.

It's made from the original 35mm fine-grain print master. And that's different from a print. When the film was sold to England, they took the camera negative and made what you call a fine-grain print master, with picture and sound, and that was sent over to England. They made their negative from that to make the print. So basically, this was made one-generation from the camera negative, which is even sharper than any of the release prints because they don't make release prints from a camera negative: they make them from a dupe negative, which would have been made from this fine grain. Fine grain is one generation sharper than the actual one released in the theater. So that's why it's exquisite.

Was it discovered in a vault in England?

I bought it from someone who had bought one of the foreign territory rights. It had been in England since it was released there.

The video box touts "Super-Psychorama." What is "Super-Psychorama"?

In the foreign release of Carnival of Souls, when we found the fine-grain, and also the separate music tracks, there were notes on "Super-Psychorama," on what they were planning to release in the UK, which basically is some step-printing of some of the zombie scenes. They had footage markers on what should be step-printed and what should be tinted and where the tint should come in. Everytime, apparently, with the presence of the zombies, they started just barely tinting. Today that stuff is much easier to do on video than it is to make negatives and step print, and you can make the effects a little more effective by doing your generations on video. So we developed what we hoped they were trying to do when they originally put the picture out. I have never seen any prints of it in foreign territories, so I have no knowledge that anybody put it out in "Super-Psychorama"--but we decided to do it. It helps the film somewhat--not that it needs any help. We're doing the same thing they would've done to make it more appealing. The notes didn't have the tint color. It didn't have the number of blue or the number of green. We looked at it both ways. And we felt that, like Alien, to give it a more dire, bleak look that green worked best.

Did the words "Super-Psychorama" appear anywhere in the movie credits?

It appeared on the ads. This picture was sold outright worldwide--state rights for perpetuity. They sold rights for the life of the print. Anybody that bought them could change the title, they could do about anything they wanted to exploit them.

Was "Super-Psychorama" part of the American ads also?

No, it was never in the American ads. I don't know if it was ever released in "Super-Psychorama" in England. Somebody had gone through it in those days and indicated the footage numbers, where it should be tinted. And whether it was done, I rather greatly doubt it because the film was not highly thought of back then. It was really just on a double bill with Devil's Partner. I don't think they would have spent the money to have pulled out the sections and dyed them.


Return to the video review of Carnival of Souls.


Carnival of Souls is available from Englewood Entertainment. Suggested retail price: $19.95. Englewood Entertainment distributes only motion pictures legally licensed from the copyright owners. Transfers are from the original 35mm film masters. Their video library includes Kronos, Plan 9 From Outer Space, Detour, and over 300 additional movies. For more information, we suggest you check out the Englewood Entertainment Web site:


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