Sunday, October 26, 2014


With October, consideration should be given to the scary films from the Cineverse for the topic of "Little Big Screen" (Toobworld Goes To Hollywood.)  And one of the more off-beat films in the horror genre has only a hypothetical link to Toobworld in that its main character could have had an entirely different life in the TV Universe than she did in the Cineverse.

I'm talking about "Carnival Of Souls"......

From Wikipedia:
"Carnival of Souls" is a 1962 independent horror film starring Candace Hilligoss. Produced and directed by Herk Harvey for an estimated $33,000, the film did not gain widespread attention when originally released, as a B-movie; today, however, it is a cult classic. Set to an organ score by Gene Moore, "Carnival of Souls" relies more on atmosphere than on special effects to create a mood of unease and foreboding. The film has a large cult following and is occasionally screened at film and Halloween festivals. It has been cited as an important influence on the films of both David Lynch and George A. Romero.

The main character is Mary Henry, seemingly the only survivor of a car crash in which her vehicle flew off a bridge and into a river.  She makes it into town where she has a job lined up as a church organist, but she is haunted by strange ghoulish figures who can only be seen by her.  Ultimately the secret is revealed about what's happening.  (I won't give it away, but if you've seen the 'Twilight Zone' episode "The Hitch-Hiker", you can guess how it turns out......)

Movie characters from all dimensions of the Cineverse are likely existing in other fictional universes as well, especially in the TV Universe aka the Toobworld Dynamic.  But only occasionally are they seen on our TV screens (usually in TV series remakes of the original movies.)  However, sometimes they show up in Toobworld without us even realizing that they have counterpart in the Cineverse.  That's because their lives can be radically different in the other medium, to the point where even their names are not the same as in the movie.  But for the most part, they would still both be played by the same actor.

And Mary Henry is my example for this Halloween season.

In Earth Prime-Time, she was born Mary Henry but in her two appearances on our TV screen she was known by different names.  As was the case in "Carnival Of Souls", the televersion Mary Henry had an artistic nature - but whereas Movie Mary channeled her talents into playing the organ, TV Mary became an actress.  

The TV Mary soon had reason to change her last name, around the same time as the events of "Carnival Of Souls" played out.  She married a noted writer, Kip Harris, who was known not only for the books he authored but also for his magazine articles.  One that brought him to the attention of the police during a murder investigation was about a poet named Duncan Kleist.

Mary Harris also decided to change her name for professional reasons and chose Kimberly Harris as her stage name.  When she and her husband were out on the town, gossip columnists branded them as "Kip & Kim" and everybody knew who was being referenced.

(I have a feeling that - outside the box - Kip Harris was supposed to be modeled after Norman Mailer.  Of course there is a televersion of Mailer as well.  Maybe it's only my imagination that has me seeing the resemblance, but both writers certainly liked having their arm candy....)

"Kimberly Harris" has only one known movie credit - she played the lead role of Victoria Sawyer in a film based on a "real life" murder case in which Mrs. Sawyer was alleged to have shot her husband as he slept.  She served six years for the crime before the technical director on the film, an L.A. medical examiner, realized that the original trial had been bungled with regards to the blood splatter evidence. (The eventual exoneration of Victoria Sawyer would become a classic example of a "text-book case" - it's likely that Dexter Morgan read all he could about the case in his college studies.)

As for "Carnival Of Souls", the only TV show that actually makes references to the cult movie is 'Mystery Science Theater 3000':

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Teenagers from Outer Space (1992) (TV Episode)
Crow: "Suddenly, it's 'Carnival of Souls.'"

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Painted Hills (1993) (TV Episode)
Tom: "'Carnival of Souls' here"

Mystery Science Theater 3000: I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1997) (TV Episode)
The Carnival of Souls Boyfriend!

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Horror of Party Beach (1997) (TV Episode)
Crow: "Carnival of Co-eds"

As you can see, none of those quotes actually gives away the plot of the movie, so the Toobworld version doesn't necessarily have to be about the life of Mary Henry.

Since this is the fifteenth anniversary of the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame, I've been inducting new members based on my mantra of "What I Say, Goes".  These are all TV characters, many of whom actually have their roots in the Cineverse, who would never have been admitted under normal circumstances based on the rules of membership.  And so with Halloween approaching and with such a powerful cult classic to her credit, I'm going to declare that Mary Henry aka Kimberly Harris to be the latest member of the TVXOHOF.

Glad to have you aboard!


  • "Carnival Of Souls"
  • 'Naked City' - "Hold For Gloria Christmas"
  • 'Quincy, M.E.' - "Stain Of Guilt"
  • 'Dexter'
  • 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'

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