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Cast: Chris Staviski, Dave Markham, Doug Jones, Lynn Ayala, Denise Gossett, Bill Schulz, Tony Simmons, Ford Austin, Reggie Bannister, Mighty Mike Murga, Ace Diamond, Lee Perkins
Carnies follows a traveling sideshow in 1936, when the workers set up their oddities and illusions in another town hit by the Dust Bowl. However, this town is different, as a sinister force begins to kill off the carnies one-by-one. Detective Ellison (Reggie Bannister of ‘Phantasm’) is put on the case and looks at several of the carnies, including the mysterious carnival owner, Helen (Denise Gosset); the strong man, Virgil (Chris Staviski of ‘Zombie Hunter’); and Ratty, the snake handler (Doug Jones of ‘Hellboy’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’).
If you're a fan of Independent cinema then you most likely already heard about this new film from Director, Brian Corder since it has had numerous online and magazine articles about it's upcoming release but if not you soon will be. The film is getting a limited theatrical run at the "Week of Terror" festival at the Bluelight Cinemas in Cupertino, California and will follow this with an official release throughout San Francisco with tentative dates being planned for the Los Angeles area by distributor R Squared Films. The DVD is set to debut on October 12th.
Carnies opens with some black and white footage and a narrative telling us about the depression and how so many people found themselves without work and that many of them joined up with traveling sideshows just to make a living. The film then shifts to color and it is 1936 in Bakersfield, California, we are following a group of Carnies as they are about to get their shows underway for those willing to come and be entertained by a variety of men and women each with different acts to perform. People always find movies about these traveling sideshows intriguing, what Carnies does is it takes that old formula and adds horror and thriller elements to it which takes the genre up to a whole new level. I loved the look, the cinematography is fantastic and the cast are all amazing plus it doesn't hurt having two legends of the genre, Reggie Bannister and Doug Jones in your movie either. The story is simple enough but with a a few nice twists and turns along the way to keep you guessing and interested. The killings in the film are not overly gory but they are effective. The film to me is more a thriller with some horror elements to it but call it what you want I will just call it amazing, the film really grabbed by attention from it's opening scenes and it kept me on edge till the shocking climax. Let me mention before I forget that the film's soundtrack which is fantastic as well and it really helps set the mood and atmosphere needed, you feel like you are at the sideshow yourself. The story is one not to spoil for those waiting to see the film so I am not going to go into great detail on what happens but I really liked the way the film-makers blended the horror elements into the thriller setting, it is not only clever but highly effective as well and it adds to the over-all creepiness of the story. Brian Corder is no stranger to cinema, he has worked in it for a number of years but Carnies is his debut as both a Writer and Director and he gets high marks from his Critic, the film made me an instant fan of his and I look forward to seeing what else Brian has up his sleeves.
Carnies is fun, creepy, a bit scary and totally entertaining. I highly recommend checking it out if the screenings of the film are in your area, I would love to see this on the big screen with lots of people, I can only imagine the fun time that will be for all those attending. Independent cinema doesn't get any better than Carnies, I loved everything about it, the film is left open for a possible sequel and I hope that it gets made at some point. Until then take a trip back to 1936 and walk along side the men and women for all the fun and mayhem. If you can get out there and support this fantastic effort by everyone involved. There are several web sites you can follow to keep tabs on Carnies progress, you can visit it's official site HERE. Plus you can visit Carnies fan page on Facebook HERE and also make sure you keep an visit R Squared Films web site to Pre-order the DVD when the time comes plus there are many more great films available there, you can find it HERE.
Released by R Squared Films
**** Out Of *****