Remixed horror film a festival treat

Live Live Cinema
Carnival of Souls
Mercury Theatre, Auckland
Next showing: March 20 at The Civic

One of the problems about festivals is that some of the shows are only on for a few days and, if they are really good, they are gone by the time word of mouth and reviews have spread the news.

In some cases, such Ihimaera, which only had three shows it doesn’t really matter as you will be able to buy the CD of the 12 songs that comprised the programme.

In fact, getting the CD will be as good as having gone to the concert, which was spoiled by an overblown commentary that accompanied the music and songs.

One great show which has been on twice so far at the old Mercury Theatre and will be on once more at the Civic is the quirky, weird and compelling Carnival of Souls.

It is a remarkable piece of theatre and music that is totally engaging and entertaining. The 1962 film by Herk Harvey was an attempt at an American-style film noir, which was full of over-overacting, overzealous editing and probably an appalling dialogue and soundtrack.

Composer/creator Leon Radojkovic and director Oliver Driver along with members of Dr Colossus present a live session where the film is given a new sound track of music, dialogue and a range of sound effects.

Actors Cameron Rhodes, Chelsea Preston Crayford, Charlie McDermott and Bronwyn Bradley take on the various roles and manage to turn a B grade suspense movie into an A grade comedy.

The film, which owes much to Hitchcock (the female lead of the film is surprisingly like Tippi Hedren, one of Hitchcock’s favourite actresses) and Fellini, provided the audience with equal measures of horror and humour.

Gareth van Niekerk as the sound effects engineer in his sealed glass booth is a brilliant actor in his own right, producing just the right (and wrong) sounds to accompany the action in the film.

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