EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|CARNIVAL MAGIC (director: Al Adamson; screenwriters: Bob Levine/Mark Weston/story by Elvin Feltner; cinematographer: Darrell Cathcart; editor: Jim Abels; music: Martin St. Lawrence; cast: Don Stewart (Markow), Jennifer Houlton (Ellen), Howard Segal (David), Mark Weston (Stoney Martin), Joe Cirillo (Kirk Wylder), Regina Carrol (Markov's assistant), Charles Reynolds (Dr. Poole), Diane Kettering (Kim, Kirk's assistant), Mike Allen (Sheriff); Runtime: 100; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Elvin Feltner; TCM; 1981)|
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Al Adamson ("Nurse Sherri"/"Five Bloody Graves"/"Girls
Rent") directs this mildly interesting low-rent melodrama.
It's based on the story by Elvin
Feltner and is written by
Bob Levine and Mark Weston. The
pic is noted for its detailed observations of carnival life, and how it
blends together being a kiddie pic and an adult melodrama. What makes
the film bad is how clumsily it's executed and how leaden is the
acting. Trudi the chimp might give the best performance.
the Magnificent (Don Stewart) is a mind-reading magician in a
small town traveling carnival (filmed in North Carolina). Since his
beloved wife died in an
accident, the grief-stricken Markov's best friend has been Alex, a chimp,
who can talk and drive a car. The intelligent chimp is a secret that
from the carnival people until the carnival boss, Stoney Martin (Mark Weston), fires Markov to appease his rival, the
depraved lion-tamer, Kirk Wylder (Joe Cirillo). But the boss' tomboy daughter, Ellen (Jennifer Houlton), talks dad into keeping Markov if he
puts the talking chimp into the act. Markov agrees and the popular act
struggling carnival and takes the place of the lion-tamer's act as the
main attraction. Upset that he lost his carnival status, the
drunken venal lion-tamer, with the help of his girlfriend assistant,
Kim (Diane Kettering),
snatches the chimp and turns him over for cash to an
unethical animal research group headed by the diabolical Dr. Poole (Charles
puts Markov in a funk. But things turn for the better when the
lion-tamer's bimbo assistant Kim realizes she made a mistake and phones
Stoney to tell him where he might find the chimp. The carnival people
swarm the animal research center, but find the chimp took poison to
commit suicide rather than submit to being dissected while alive.
Miraculously, through the power of Markov's prayers, Alexander the
brought back to life and all is right again in the fair grounds.
REVIEWED ON 11/2/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ