Review: ‘Rifftrax: Carnival Of Souls’: Better Shorts Than Feature

It’s time for RiffTrax. Once again Michael Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy have come out to tackle a cheesy movie in the hopes of making fun of just how bad it is for the entertainment of the audience. This time around they decided take on the legendary terrible low-budget horror movie Carnival of Souls. Additionally they also decided to bring to shorts to the party. Was it as entertaining as previous entries? Sadly not so much.

The Dirt-Witch Cleans Up

This amusing short about a witch whose sole purpose is to get people dirty is just as entertaining as it sounds. As the trio pointed out, she has unlimited power to bend reality but decides to just get people covered with mud. What an amusing waste of powers.

Grass Masks

Another entry from legendary production company ACI who actually believed their videos were helping to teach children anything. This time they point out the fun of using grass to make decorative masks. It’s hilarious to watch them mock and its fascinating this is the second video they made about grass. You’d think they couldn’t get it off their minds for some reason.


Carnival of Souls

The main feature focused on a young girl who is the sole survivor of a car accident and decides to leave her hometown to become an organist. She soon finds she is being plagued by mysterious individuals who are covered gray body paint. Unfortunately all these mysterious individuals don’t look very frightening and for a film with the word Carnival in the title it doesn’t get more festive than dancing at your grandparents 50th wedding anniversary.

This film seemed to be reminiscent of an old joke from a Mystery Science Theater episode which of course is where these comedians got their start. In the episode “Hercules vs. The Moon Men.” there is a segment which became infamous by fans because it is known as the “Deep Hurting.” In in the film itself there is a period where several cast members find themselves lost in a sandstorm on the screen. This scene goes on for far too long and became known as deep hurting because even while watching it the guys didn’t have enough material to use to create comedy from so they found themselves grasping at straws and even pointed out how much suffering came from watching a scene which went on for far too long and essentially served no purpose.

This is the case with Carnival of Souls and is the main problem which can come from watching a movie for how bad it is. Sure the humor it was on point and intense but sometimes the film itself needs to bring some level of corny acting, over the top special effects, or inane plot points for it to be truly entertaining and give the team proper material to use for their comedy.

Frankly, Carnival of Souls is just a bit too bland. Thanks mostly to the fact the film focuses on actress Candace Hilligoss as Mary. Apparently after surviving the car accident she decides to shut herself up in the world and this means having little to no personality and staring off at the screen blankly and looking like a store mannequin. There’s a very entertaining joke about her being a robot which the audience found particularly amusing.

It always hurts to be so critical about this team. RiffTrax always brings their A-game and tried their hardest to bring entertainment to the people but unfortunately sometimes, despite how much effort they put into it just doesn’t make up for the fact the movie itself is boring and can sometimes be a trial to get through. The team made the movie a bit more entertaining but just a bit more. It was nowhere near as entertaining as previous entries such as their Reunion Show. In it they took on the director of this film, Heck Harvey’s other work, Shake Hands with Danger, which was much more entertaining than this film will ever be.

Rifftrax was presented by Fathom Events. An encore presentation will be shown on October 31st.

Anthony Wendel
Anthony Wendel
Anthony is a geek through and through who still looks forward to new releases, sneak peeks, Giant Monsters, and robots of all shapes and sizes. He loves animation of all shapes and sizes. He has a distinct apprehension for trolling and clips shows. His books, The Handbook for Surviving A Giant Monster Attack and Santa Claus Conquers Manos: The Hands of Fate are available on Amazon.