It's finally here on DVD: The William Castle Film Collection. Any kid that grew up in the 1960s thought producer/director William Castle was God. The P. T. Barnum-like showman was the king of the “gimmick” filmmakers. When they showed The House On Haunted Hill with Vincent Price a skeleton was rigged to fly over the audience at a key moment. The seats were rigged to buzz your ass when you saw The Tingler (about a centipede-like creature inside your body). For 13 Ghosts you were given a Ghost Viewer so that if you were too scared you could look through one lens and not see the spooks. There was a “thumbs up”, “thumbs down” punishment poll for the audience to decide the fate of the evil Mr. Sardonicus, and director Castle appeared on screen to tally the votes. At movie premieres Castle arrived in a hearse and jumped out of coffins to startle patrons. There was no one like him and his movies still thrill and chill. This collection includes eight of his classics, including The Tingler, Mr. Sardonicus, Strait-Jacket (where the gimmick was an ax-wielding Joan Crawford), Homicidal (a fabulous homage to Psycho), The Old Dark House (a black comedy with Tom Poston, which played American theaters in black and white but is shown here finally how it was shot -- in color), 13 Ghosts, Zotz! (a bizarre comedy about a magic coin) and the rare 13 Frightened Girls, with a bevy of international young starlets. The disc includes a host of other great extras -- episodes of the Castle-produced TV series Ghost Story starring Barbara Parkins, and also a fabulous featurette: “How To Plan A Movie Murder” with director Castle, Joan Crawford and Psycho author Robert Bloch plotting the murders in Strait-Jacket. This may be the cult DVD event of the year!
Subscribe to Get More
You May Also Like