Carnival Magic

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

Carnival Magic (1981, USA) is a Science Fiction-Comedy film directed by Al Adamson.


Main Details

  • Released in 1981 | Color
  • Distribution Co: Krypton Films (1982) (USA)
  • Directed by Al Adamson
  • Written by Bob Levine, Mark Weston
  • Starring Don Stewart, Regina Carrol, Jennifer Houlton, Howard Segal, Mark Weston
  • Produced by Elvin Feltner
  • Cinematography by Darrell Cathcart


Carnival Magic was originally intended as a family-oriented children’s film, it has since gained a cult following in underground and B movie film circles due to its surreal plot and incongruously-adult themes. Markov the Magnificent is a talented magician and mind-reader whose career is fading. When he partners with a super-intelligent talking chimp named Alexander the Great, the duo suddenly become a big draw—and the potential savior for their struggling, small-time traveling circus. But they must fend off a jealous, alcoholic lion-tamer and an evil doctor intent on stealing the chimp.


Producer Elvin Feltner and director Al Adamson intended the film as family fare but the prevalence of adult themes (alcoholism, sex, abuse, violence) left many viewers confused. For two decades, the film was missing in action, amid rumors that no prints even remained, but in 2009 a 35mm print was discovered in a warehouse, sparking the film’s revival among cult aficionados. This was the last-ever acting role for Regina Carrol, who was married to director Adamson and featured in several of his films. Not coincidentally, it was also one of Adamson’s last two films before retiring from the film industry and pursuing a successful career in real estate. Philip Morris, a real-life ringmaster, magician, and costume maker, appears as a carnival barker at the film's outset. (Wikipedia)

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