William Castle

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DarkImbecile
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William Castle

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:45 am

William Castle (1914-1977)

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"We all have a common interest: bigger and more horrible monsters - and I'm just the monster to bring them to you."

Filmography

Features
Klondike Kate (1943)
The Chance of a Lifetime (1943)
The Whistler (1944)
She's a Soldier Too (1944)
When Strangers Marry (1944)
The Mark of the Whistler (1944)
Voice of the Whistler (1945)
Crime Doctor's Warning (1945)
Just Before Dawn (1946)
Mysterious Intruder (1946)
The Return of Rusty (1946)
Crime Doctor's Man Hunt (1946)
Crime Doctor's Gamble (1947)
Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven (1948)
The Gentleman from Nowhere (1948)
Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949)
Undertow (1949)
It's a Small World (1950)
The Fat Man (1951)
Hollywood Story (1951)
Cave of Outlaws (1951)
Fort Ti [3-D] (1953)
Serpent of the Nile (1953)
Conquest of Cochise (1953)
Slaves of Babylon (1953)
Masterson of Kansas (1954)
Charge of the Lancers (1954)
The Battle of Rogue River (1954)
The Iron Glove (1954)
Jesse James vs. the Daltons [3-D] (1954)
Drums of Tahiti [3-D] (1954)
The Saracen Blade (1954)
The Law vs. Billy the Kid (1954)
The Americano (1955)
New Orleans Uncensored (1955)
The Gun That Won the West (1955)
Duel on the Mississippi (1955)
The Houston Story (1956)
Uranium Boom (1956)
Macabre (1958)
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
The Tingler (1959)
13 Ghosts (1960)
Homicidal (1961)
Mr. Sardonicus (1961)
Zotz! (1962)
13 Frightened Girls (1963)
The Old Dark House (1963)
Strait-Jacket (1964)
The Night Walker (1964)
I Saw What You Did (1965)
Let's Kill Uncle (1966)
The Busy Body (1967)
The Spirit is Willing (1967)
Project X (1968)
Shanks (1974)

Shorts
"Coney Island" [documentary] (1939)
"Black Marketing" [documentary] )1943)

Web Resources
Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story
1973 interview with Marcel Marceau and Michael Walsh, Province
"The Return of William Castle" by Paul Brunick, Slant Magazine (2010)
"The Story of Schlockmeister William Castle, the Legendary King of the B-Movie Gimmick" by Ron Gilmer, OPENLETR (2018)

Forum Resources
94-101 William Castle at Columbia Volumes 1 and 2

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Michael
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#2 Post by Michael » Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:10 am

Lino wrote:I'm still kind of new to him, having only seen a couple of his schokers but I know that he has a big following. Automat, for instance, the company that produced the bonus features for his films on DVD has apparently a documentary on him lined up for 2008.

And just why Columbia has stopped releasing more Castle on DVD is beyond me. They seemed like they were getting off to a great start but that tendency has seemingly been on pause mode for years now.

So, of his unreleased films, which ones are the gems? And which one should I go for next (I have only seen Strait-Jacket and 13 Ghosts)?
House on Haunted Hill creeped the hell out of me when I was a kid. It ruined many nights of sleep for me ... that old woman YIKES!
Last edited by Michael on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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HerrSchreck
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#3 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:48 am

I fucking LOVE the original HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL. The old woman indeed, and everything else.

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Matt
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#4 Post by Matt » Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:00 am

Homicidal is quite good, if for no other reason than the "fright break," nicely resurrected by Gaspar Noe in Seul contre tous. Bit of a riff on Psycho, but then Psycho was a bit of a riff on Castle's films. This and Mr. Sardonicus (which allegedly gave theater patrons a choice of endings, but it seems apparent now that there was really only ever one ending) are available on DVD, as are Strait-Jacket and I Saw What You Did, with Joan Crawford really hitting the skids.

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Michael
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#5 Post by Michael » Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:33 pm

Matt, thanks for bringing up Homicidal. I wasn't sure about it but I decided to rent it. Just finished watching it over breakfast ... a wonderful film to break away from the powerful spell that Satantango put me under for the past few days. All I have to say about Jean Arless: Fucking WOW!

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Lino
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#6 Post by Lino » Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:36 pm

Thanks for the recos so far. I have The Tingler on the way (House on Haunted Hill is next) so expect some lines of thought -- so to speak -- when it arrives.

But you still haven't answered my initial question: of the unreleased on DVD titles, which ones are the gems?

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Gordon
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#7 Post by Gordon » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:39 pm

Ah, Bill Castle - they don't make 'em like that any more! :D

The Tingler is out the window, a true gem of the genre. When the red blood came out of the tap in this black and white film late at night in 1989, I almost shat in my Superman pyjamas! Price is quite serious in this film, too, which is great, just as Cushing and Lee always gave it their all the Hammer horrors. The idea of having gentlemen like these in horror films today would alienate execs, but it is what elevated those 50s and 60s horror films to higher levels - it made them more believable and made them barrel along beautifully.

Castle was the producer of Rosemary's Baby, as he owned the rights to the novel and he wanted to direct it, but Paramount baulked, as he had a rep as a 'silly filmmaker', so Polanski stepped in and the rest is history.

I haven't seen Castle's, Mr Sardonius - is it good? Let's Kill Uncle needs a DVD. I want to see the shark in the swimming pool one more time!

Castle was a born chancer - he got on Broadway at 15 by claiming that he was Samuel Goldwyn's nephew! Genius. He died of a heart attack one week after Star Wars opened - the gimmick movie par excellence. The age of the gimmick movie had reached its apex: the Nile had reached Cairo.

shumpy
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#8 Post by shumpy » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:48 pm

Highly recommend (albeit out-of-print) is Castle's memoir Step Right Up! I'm Gonna Scare the Pants Off America, one of the most genuinely entertaining celeb autobios I've ever read. I have no idea how much of it is factual, and frankly, I don't care. John Waters wrote the intro to the most recent trade edition.

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Lino
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#9 Post by Lino » Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:18 am

Watched The Tingler the other day and really, really enjoyed it. Couldn't stop thinking how that must have been sitting in the theatre at the time. That featurette made it sound really great and fun!

Oh, and the bathroom scene really gave me the creeps -- I mean, really did! It actually made me feel kind of sick. But in a good way, of course! Anxious to see more of him now.

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Lino
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#10 Post by Lino » Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:01 pm

Lino wrote:Automat, the company that produced the bonus features for his films on DVD has apparently a documentary on him lined up for 2008.
YouTube has the trailer for that upcoming documentary.

While you're at it, go watch one for The Night Walker, still unreleased on DVD.

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MichaelB
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#11 Post by MichaelB » Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:30 pm

shumpy wrote:Highly recommend (albeit out-of-print) is Castle's memoir Step Right Up! I'm Gonna Scare the Pants Off America, one of the most genuinely entertaining celeb autobios I've ever read. I have no idea how much of it is factual, and frankly, I don't care. John Waters wrote the intro to the most recent trade edition.
Recommendation seconded - and I also urge you to see Joe Dante's Matinee, which was heavily inspired by Castle's career.

I saw it at one of the original UK press shows, and the general consensus afterwards was that (a) it would get rave reviews, and (b) it would go down like a lead balloon at the box office, as the distributors wouldn't have a clue how to handle it. (They were billing it as some kind of teen movie, whereas in fact it's a glorious tribute to 1950s schlock showmanship). Both predictions were entirely correct.

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Lino
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#12 Post by Lino » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:29 pm

Lino wrote:
Lino wrote:Automat, the company that produced the bonus features for his films on DVD has apparently a documentary on him lined up for 2008.
YouTube has the trailer for that upcoming documentary.
I'm quoting myself, quoting myself. Must be a first. Anyway, that documentary I was talking about up there, is having a premiere next month.

I really hope this gets Sony to release the rest of their Castle catalogue on DVD.

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Lino
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#13 Post by Lino » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:38 pm

From Home Media Magazine:
Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation has partnered with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to bring a variety of classic films to DVD. Films will be released under the “Collector’s Choice” banner and include restored and remastered transfers of previously unreleased titles from the Sony catalog. Hollywood talent will contribute commentaries and introductions in films that have inspired their own work.

(...)

Sony Pictures and The Film Foundation will continue their alliance with several upcoming DVD sets, including a Michael Powell double feature as well as Rita Hayworth, Frank Capra, William Castle and film noir collections
Very excited about the William Castle Collection. This could include:

The Tingler
13 Ghosts
Homicidal
Mr. Sardonicus
Zotz!
13 Frightened Girls
The Old Dark House
Strait-Jacket


And if they include the afore-mentioned docu, that would make just about perfect. Let's just wait for it to materialize. Funny how Sony seems to be getting their act together at the twilight of the format. Oh, well, better late than never.

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HerrSchreck
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#14 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:26 am

How absolutely awesome! Certainly one of the more charming director-retro boxes fore and aft. I have Tingler, House on Hanted Hill, 13 Ghosts, but I've been wanting to see stuff like Sardonicus and Zotz (and the rest) for the longest time.

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HypnoHelioStaticStasis
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#15 Post by HypnoHelioStaticStasis » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:47 am

HerrSchreck wrote:How absolutely awesome! Certainly one of the more charming director-retro boxes fore and aft. I have Tingler, House on Hanted Hill, 13 Ghosts, but I've been wanting to see stuff like Sardonicus and Zotz (and the rest) for the longest time.
Sardonicus is a hoot! I managed to find the OOP disc used at Kim's in NYC, and it does not disappoint. Guy Rolfe is a little too reserved as a lead villain, but Oscar Homolka (too brilliant...), Castle's sadistic touches, and the memorable makeup more than make it worth your while. It's like watching Al Adamson direct an adaptation of Castle of Otranto! It's that much fun!

And its got the best ending to any Castle film.

This future boxset will be a bit of a financial windfall for me, as I have the previously available Sony discs, but if they tack on a few more goodies about Castle and his Barnum-rivaling audacity, I'm in!

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HerrSchreck
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#16 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:20 pm

Me too on the dupe discs, but they're so inexpensive anyhow I don't mind (the discs for 13 Ghosts.. wth the ghost-viewer/tinted version & booklet included was hardly over 10 bucks).. kind of like when I accepted dupe discs of Plan 9, Bride of the Monster, and Night of the Ghouls, to get my hands on the restored Glen Glenda, Jailbait, and the Haunted World of Ed Wood Disc in the Ed Wood Box, which I finally caught a new copy of a few yrs ago, after putting it off & putting it off. Just the price of buying the three discs I didn't have individually would have come to more than the box itself.. a case I'm sure this Castle box will mimic.

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Lino
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Re: William Castle

#17 Post by Lino » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:10 am

Anyone have more info about this upcoming House On Haunted Hill 50th Anniversary Special Edition coming out in just 3 weeks time? Sounds enticing, if done the right way.

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Re: William Castle

#18 Post by zombeaner » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:40 pm

Here is all I was able to find. CLICK


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