William Castle Films At The Film Forum!
Starting this weekend at The Film Forum (209 W. Houston Street) from August 27 to September 6, is a glorious tribute to master showman/director William Castle, whose crackpot gimmicks helped the box office to his wildly entertaining scare films in the 1960s. Programer Bruce Goldstein has lovingly brought back these cheesy effects -- seat buzzers for The Tingler (shown above) starring Vincent Price as a scientist who discovers a living creature formed from fear attached to people's spines. Price even injects LSD in one scene -- perhaps one of the first film references to the drug. There's the skeleton flying over the audience during House On Haunted Hill (again starring Vincent Price). "Ghost viewers" are handed out for 13 Ghosts (I have the original ones I got as a child in a frame on my wall). There's the fright clock count down before the final sequence in Homicidal (Castle's answer to Hitchcock's Psycho- and terrific to boot). Then there's Joan Crawford as an ax murderess released from an asylum in Strait-Jacket (where the gimmick was Joan Crawford). Actually I heard some lucky viewers got small cardboard axes when it premiered. Go and be astounded and delighted with the shlockmeister's greatest hits.