10 user 17 critic

Carnival Magic (1981)

G | | Fantasy
A magician in a carnival--who actually can read minds and levitate people and objects--works with a superintelligent chimp named Alex, who can also talk. The magician and the chimp soon ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Starcrash (1978)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

An outlaw smuggler and her alien companion are recruited by the Emperor of the Galaxy to rescue his son and destroy a secret weapon by the evil Count Zarth Arn.

Director: Luigi Cozzi
Stars: Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In 1964, a group of scientists create a portal that takes them to a barren, mutant inhabited, Earth in the year 2071.

Director: Ib Melchior
Stars: Preston Foster, Philip Carey, Merry Anders
Action | Fantasy | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1.8/10 X  

Three kingdoms have been overtaken by three evil lords and only Tyor, a teenage boy with magical powers, can restore peace to the land with the help of a bumbling elder, wizard and a hero ... See full summary »

Director: Charles B. Griffith
Stars: Mel Welles, Robert Jayne, David Carradine
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.1/10 X  

BLAZING STEWARDESSES features Adamson's wife, cult scream queen Regina Carrol, and Yvonne DeCarlo, best know as TV's Lily Munster. This broad comedy, the sequel to NAUGHTY STEWARDESSES, ... See full summary »

Director: Al Adamson
Stars: Yvonne De Carlo, Robert Livingston, Don 'Red' Barry
Lost (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A little girl gets lost in the wilds of Utah.

Director: Al Adamson
Stars: Sandra Dee, Gary Kent, Jack Elam
Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A Victorian era scientist and his assistant take a test run in their Iron Mole drilling machine and end up in a strange underground labyrinth ruled by a species of giant telepathic bird and full of prehistoric monsters and cavemen.

Director: Kevin Connor
Stars: Doug McClure, Peter Cushing, Caroline Munro
Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

Earthquakes in central Korea turn out to be the work of Yongary, a prehistoric gasoline-eating reptile that soon goes on a rampage through Seoul.

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Yeong-il Oh, Jeong-im Nam, Sun-jae Lee
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2/10 X  

An evil hypnotist puts a beautiful woman under his spell.

Directors: Paul Aratow, Al Adamson
Stars: John Carradine, Don 'Red' Barry, Larry Hankin
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Set in the not-too-distant future, a Gizmonic Institute employee is lured to the dark side of the moon by third-generation mad scientist Kinga Forrester and her flunky, Max. He is sat in ... See full summary »

Stars: Felicia Day, Patton Oswalt, Jonah Ray
Certificate: GP Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.1/10 X  

A mad scientist implants an electronic device into the brain of an injured soldier, which turns him into a psychotic killer.

Director: Al Adamson
Stars: John Carradine, Kent Taylor, Tommy Kirk


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Houlton ...
Howard Segal ...
Joe Cirillo ...
Mark Weston ...
Charles Reynolds ...
Dr. Poole
Diane Kettering ...
Missy Crutchfield ...
Girl in Car (as Missy O'Shea)
Ron De Marco ...
Dr. Poole's Assistant (as Ron DeMarco)
Farzene Habib ...
Nurse Ranya
Earl Vedder ...
Gus / Clarence
Mike Allen ...
Sgt. Willis ...
Gordon Peterson Jr. ...


A magician in a carnival--who actually can read minds and levitate people and objects--works with a superintelligent chimp named Alex, who can also talk. The magician and the chimp soon become the stars of the carnival, drawing in big crowds. However, the wild-animal trainer, who has been displaced by the team as the carnival's top act, decides to kidnap Alex and sell him to a medical laboratory for experimentation, thereby getting rid of his competition. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Parents Guide:





Also Known As:

My Friend Alex  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?


Final film for Regina Carrol. See more »


Washington Post March
Music by John Philip Sousa
[Heard during the end credits.]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Day of the Escape From Plan 9's Outer Space Carnival of The Apes
24 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

The wonderful thing about living in Seattle is being able to choose among the many revival theaters that we film snobs have access to. On any given weekend we can choose between horror epics like Evil Dead, Psycho and Carrie; John Hughes' teen-angst epics like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty In Pink; or just plain obscure epics like Al Adamson's Carnival Magic.

Now, Carnival Magic comes nowhere close to resembling an epic in the Cecil B. DeMille vein, but does remind me of a particularly painful epic experience that I had at the dentist's office when I was around ten. The dentist pried, drilled, scraped and pulled for what seemed to have been ten hours and after the enamel and bone dust settled, I was a couple of pounds lighter and a much stronger human animal. If you are "fortunate" enough to witness Carnival Magic, I am willing to wager that your experience will approximate my dental adventure.

Carnival Magic is a children's film (I think) that "stars" Don Stewart as Markov the Magician (imagine a young Harvey Keitel). Markov is a magician who has the genuine ability to read minds, levitate and bend steel bars. When not performing one miraculous feat after the other, Markov meditates and hangs out with his English-speaking chimpanzee companion, Alex (yes, you read that right). On one ominous day, the carnival owner's daughter begs Markov to put Alex into his act to save her father's fledgling fair. Markov begrudgingly agrees. At first, ticket sales soar and Markov and Alex are carny heroes. Unfortunately, the jealous alcoholic tiger-tamer, who was once the main attraction, becomes tired of playing second fiddle to the damn dirty ape and decides to kidnap Alex and sell him to a vivisectionist.

As I'm sure you have surmised, Carnival Magic is sort of a simian version of Day of The Dolphin but, regrettably, Al Adamson is no Mike Nichols and Don Stewart is sure as Hell no George C. Scott.

This film contains endless scenes of North Carolinians (nothing against people from North Carolina, it's just where it was filmed) riding carnival rides, playing games and eternally sitting watching Markov perform his magic. Occasionally, the film kicks out of "She Freak" gear and grinds into never-ending inane dialogs between Markov and the other fair folk. In one infinite scene we discover how a former beauty queen is transformed, without supernatural assistance, from Miss Arkansas to Markov's assistant through a series of hard-luck choices she has made. Watching paint dry can be more fun.

I won't give away the big surprise ending, but if you make it that far you deserve the big payoff - bring plenty of Kleenex.

Critics and so-called film fans endlessly rail on about Edward D. Wood, Jr.s' Plan 9 From Outer Space, heralded as the "worst film ever made", (obviously, these people have never seen "Eight Heads in a Duffle Bag"), but you never hear anyone giving speeches about Carnival Magic. Well, that's just plain wrong. Carnival Magic is a cinematic endurance test of the highest caliber. It takes a magnanimous spirit to sit through an entire screening of Carnival Magic but once you do, you'll be altered forever.

Sitting through this film rather reminded me of my younger-self sitting in that unholy dentist chair. Sure, I had to white-knuckle it through the entire process, but it has made me a stalwartly cinema survivor. If I can sit through that, I can take anything they throw at me. If you consider yourself a true cinemaphile, (you must if you've read this far), you owe it to yourself to see Carnival Magic. Take it from me, you'll be a stronger viewer for it.

33 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017

"The IMDb Show" connects the dots between IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017 and unwraps some of the most memorable and festive animated holiday specials.

Watch now