Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
thistledown

~Favorite William Castle Film~

Recommended Posts

> {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

> Heck *I* haven't even seen The Tingler in 35mm, only on TV. I'm hoping the Capitol will continue with their stellar October horror programs. Last year I saw double feature Cat People & Curse of the Cat People there.

>

 

Best of luck with that, too. I think I once got to see The Tingler in a theater, although of course they didn't have the means to install things in the seats, like they did way back when the movie was originally released.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just reading the review for the new William Castle DVD boxset. Unfortunately, it looks like all those movies that were previously available don't look any better in the boxset than they did before, even though they were supposedly "remastered". However, it probably won't matter much to all the Castle fans looking forward to the 3 new movies that had never been released on DVD before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trying to decide which of the several Castle threads to post this in....seems like the only thread that isn't CK's press releases and actually has forum members responses.

 

Saturday night we attended House On Haunted Hill at the gorgeous Capitol Theater in Rome NY. It was a class act and pretty well attended. The theater was decorated with cobwebs and dripping blood on the entrance doors. They first showed 20 minutes of "coming attractions" of really silly horror films that warmed up the audience while relieving kids worried about being too scared (like mine)

Next they had a really excellent magician who did a 30 minute routine involving kids from the audience (ALL the boys were named Alex) He ended with an extremly deft straight jacket escape which brought a standing ovation!

 

Then the movie! A GORGEOUS clean, crisp 35mm print (rated British "X" haha) We sat in front (of course) and I knew from the wires we had a good position. I was AMAZED how many people pointed to the wires wondering what they were. Obviously, no one reads the program. My 12 y/o was pretty scared at many of the scenes, but hearing the audience behind us laughing definitely helped. Then, when the skeleton came out, the entire room erupted in laughter. Yeah, the small rubber skeleton was kind of anti climatic, but I am SO GLAD they did it. It was a fun evening that none of us will ever forget.

Hooray for the Capitol!

 

emergo.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tiki,

That sounds like it must have been so much fun! :D

I would love to attend a theatrical showing of a Castle movie like that one, with all the bells and whistles, if I ever had an opportunity. I'm glad to hear you two and all the other folks there had a good time, and thank you so much for sharing the photo!

 

By the way, I was just reading in Leonard Maltin's website a little something he had to say about the new William Castle DVD boxset (he actually got to see many of these films as a kid, when they were brand new):

http://leonardmaltin.com/Journal.htm#CastleCollection

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw pretty much all the Castle films from 1959 onward, during their original release. House on Haunted Hill sent me under my theater seat, during the sequence with the skeleton. It wasn't a cheap rubber one (well, it may have been rubber), but it was very large. Larger than a full-grown man. At least that's how it seemed to me, at 9 or 10 years old.

 

Another fun one (and the creepiest), was *Homicidal*. I remember one lone guy going back to the "coward's corner", which was bathed in a yellow spot light. Everyone laughed. He was doing it to be funny.

 

I suppose my favorite was *The Tingler*. When people started screaming from the "tingling seats", it set off a chain-reaction. Some people seemed truly scared, but I remember us laughing ourselves silly. It's hard for me to now separate the original movie-going experience, when I see the films, to determine which one I actually think is the best. The three I've mentioned here remain my favorites. I'm looking forward to seeing *13 Frightened Girls* and *Zotz*, again. I chose not to watch when they showed it on TCM, so I would enjoy the DVD more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who could ever forget: ?Emergo Process! ? More startling than 3-D!? Well, old Bill Castle ought to be given some credit for at least making his movies a bit fun during the late decade of the 1950s. When ?House on Haunted Hill? was released, Castle did his usual out of the ordinary stuff, by installing in various theaters throughout the country (and there were actually very few that did) that crazy, luminous skeleton! Of course, anybody who?s seen the movie knows why the theater might consider suspending a dangling boney figurine that would on cue be dragged along a wire from one end of the theater to the next! The silly thing about this Castle gimmick was that many theaters couldn't conceal the skeleton so easily. When movie goers entered the theater, there was ?boney? hanging from one corner of the curtain, waiting for his big scary moment. Well, there would never be nothing so scary, but comical with floods of reports from across the country of how audiences (mostly kids) reacted, usually throwing their empty popcorn boxes and soda cups at poor ?boney? as he made his grand entrance floating across the heads of the audience.

 

This typical Castle gimmick was only done in the big metropolitan cities, while smaller theaters, especially drive-ins had to settle on just the movie. Still, I believe that ?House on Haunted Hill? is an underrated horror film, way above the average B-Movie material released during the 1950s. The movie has some pretty good, intriguing moments with offerings to scare one right out of their seats. Also, the script as written by longtime Castle associate, Robb White was not so bad, making one think it did have some logic that might be a little crazy, but the events could really have happened. Perhaps the best non-scary moment of the film was when Vincent Price hands out guns to his guests in miniature coffins! This adds a rather macabre, cute touch to the movie. Of all the performers in the film, it ends up with Elisha Cook Jr. stealing just about every scene he was in. This classic movie by William Castle is strongly connected to launching Vincent Price towards his legendary career of what I would consider ?high-class? horror films. While I would give the big classy nod to Hammer Films being the best in the horror movie department of the era, Castle and Roger Corman tried hard and a few times both of them came close to matching the mighty, elegant Hammer.

 

Edited by: MovieProfessor on Nov 3, 2009 7:07 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of 6 homes away from home, when I was growing up. The Kent Theater, where I saw *House on Haunted Hill* (and many, many other films). We had 6 theaters we could walk to in our neighborhood. We took these palaces for granted. This was just a neighborhood house, not the first-run houses, which were even more palatial. So sad that they are pretty much all gone.

 

Photobucket

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=johnm_001 wrote:}{quote} This was just a neighborhood house, not the first-run houses, which were even more palatial.

 

That's pretty impressive for a neighborhood house. You're right, we did take them for granted then, but who would have guessed that they wouldn't always be there. I'll take one of those over going to a multiplex anytime. Thanks for sharing the photo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And check out the balcony seating, which started at the floor. And kids today think stadium seating in a movie theater is something new! By the way, that theater opened in 1890! I wish I could find interior photos from all those neighborhood theaters I went to as a kid. They were all different, yet beautiful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just saw HOMICIDAL for the first time. What a blast! Love the Fright Watch. Not a great movie. Few, if any,of Castle's films were. But that's the fun. Hoaky, Overstated. Some awkward acting. But, boy, when the thrills come, they come big. And, believe it or not, I was surprised by the ending. That eliminates any question as to whether or not I liked the movie. I did!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick heads-up - The William Castle Collection DVD boxset is now marked down to $35.99 at amazon - it's still over $50 everywhere else. So this is a good chance to get the boxset at a pretty good price. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Castle fans, rejoice!!

 

TCM is bringing us a William Castle double feature with the TCM Underground this Friday night / Saturday morning!

 

*Shanks* (1974) 2:30pm ET

A mute puppeteer discovers how to manipulate dead bodies.

Cast: Marcel Marceau, Tsilla Chelton, Philippe Clay, Cindy Eilbacher Dir: William Castle C-93 mins

 

*Mr. Sardonicus* (1961) 4:15am ET

A man whose face is frozen in a horrible smile forces a doctor to treat him.

Cast: Ronald Lewis, Audrey Dalton, Guy Rolfe, Oscar Homolka Dir: William Castle BW-90 mins, TV-PG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

13 FRIGHTENED GIRLS? This is not one I've heard much about. I watched it last night. It's one of the director's weaker efforts. Replace young Kathy Dunn with Hayley Mills and you've got a Disney film. It's not very scary; the redundant story just doesn't want to end. But the great thing about William Castle is it's always fun. Even while not liking this one, I had a good time watching it. The characters are cuddly and adorable, laughably overplayed by otherwise good actors. In fact, the actors appear to be having so much fun, the audience has no choice but to go along. Did I like this movie? No. Have I seen much, much worse? You better believe it! It's the work of a master entertainer, if nothing else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite is 13 Ghosts. I've not seen it in a while but would love to again. As I remember it is sweet and funny as well as just a bit scary. The family is a bit daffy but lovable and protective of each other. The ghosts aren't nasty either just trying to find some peace. The really bad guy is someone you'd never expect. I understand the remake has none of the charm and is best avoided-what else is new?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...