Archive for July, 2013

The William Castle Blogathon :: His Face Could Stop a Heart. You, the Audience, Decide His Fate! (January, 1962)

Posted in 1960-1969, Movie Ads with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2013 by WB Kelso

 

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Despite assurances that the audience could decide the fate of our dastardly protagonist, no matter what rumor you’ve heard that out there, somewhere, an audience let Mr. Sardonicus off the hook, there is no evidence of an alternate, happy ending ever being shot let alone shown — except for that dramatic re-enactment on Wiseguy in what was perhaps the strangest TV season of episodic TV ever. Does anyone else remember that?
 

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Also, somewhat coincidentally, as far as Mr. Sardonicus’ excellent co-feature is concerned, Jimmy Sangster might have been shooting for the same fearful beats as Alfred Hitchcock and Henri-Georges Clouzot, but, Scream of Fear (and Nightmare, and The Snorkel, and Maniac), I think, hews a helluva lot closer to the five-car contrivance twist-pile-ups of William Castle. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you. Just giving credit where credit is due.
 
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This post is part of Goregirl’s Dungeon and The Last Drive-In’s The William Castle Blogathan, a week long tribute to the King of Schlock. Follow the linkage, Boils & Ghouls. It’s gonna be a great week. And stick around, as we’ll be showcasing Castle’s film career from its fairly normal beginnings through it psychotronic glory days. Stay tuned!

Mr. Sardonicus (1961) William Castle Productions :: Columbia Pictures / P: William Castle / AP: Dona Holloway / D: William Castle / W: Ray Russell / C: Burnett Guffey / E: Edwin H. Bryant / M: Von Dexter / S: Ronald Lewis, Audrey Dalton, Guy Rolfe, Oskar Homolka, Erika Peters, Lorna Hanson

Scream of Fear (1961) Hammer Film Productions :: Columbia Pictures / EP: Michael Carreras / P: Jimmy Sangster / D: Seth Holt / W: Jimmy Sangster / E: Eric Boyd-Perkins / M: Clifton Parker / S: Susan Strasberg, Ronald Lewis, Ann Todd, Christopher Lee, John Serret

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The William Castle Blogathon :: 13 Times the Thrills! 13 Times the Screams! 13 Times the Ectoplasmic Fun! (February, 1961)

Posted in 1960-1969, Movie Ads with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2013 by WB Kelso

 

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How about we just let the man speak for himself this round:

Video courtesy of videojaxx.

 

As Rowdy Roddy Piper once said, “Just put on the damned glasses!”

 

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“I see dead people. AAAAAAUUUGGGGHHHH!”

 
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This post is part of Goregirl’s Dungeon and The Last Drive-In’s The William Castle Blogathan, a week long tribute to the King of Schlock. Follow the linkage, Boils & Ghouls. It’s gonna be a great week. And stick around, as we’ll be showcasing Castle’s film career from its fairly normal beginnings through it psychotronic glory days. Stay tuned!

13 Ghosts (1960) William Castle Productions :: Columbia Pictures / P: William Castle / D: William Castle / W: Robb White / C: Joseph F. Biroc / E: Edwin H. Bryant / M: Von Dexter / S: Donald Woods, Charles Herbert, Jo Morrow, Martin Milner, Rosemary DeCamp, Margaret Hamilton

Stop! Look! And Laugh! (1960) Harry Romm Productions :: Columbia Pictures / P: Harry A. Romm, Martha Vera Romm / D: Don Appell / W: Saul Ward, Monte Collins / C: William O. Steiner / E: Jerome Thoms / M: Mischa Bakaleinikoff / S: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, Paul Winchell,

The William Castle Blogathon :: When the Screen Screams You’ll Scream Too — If You Value Your Life! (September, 1960)

Posted in 1960-1969, Movie Ads with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2013 by WB Kelso

 

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Not since the four repeaters for King Kong vs. Godzilla have I been more disappointed in an unearthed ad campaign than what I found for The Tingler, perhaps William Castle’s most gonzoidal film of all time, relegated to second feature status to an also-ran Yul Brynner romantic comedy. However, unlike Emergo, looks like the Grand Theater took the plunge on Percepto and wired up a few seats.
 

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And that, my friends, is awesome covered in awesome sauce.

 
blogathontingler
 
This post is part of Goregirl’s Dungeon and The Last Drive-In’s The William Castle Blogathan, a week long tribute to the King of Schlock. Follow the linkage, Boils & Ghouls. It’s gonna be a great week. And stick around, as we’ll be showcasing Castle’s film career from its fairly normal beginnings through it psychotronic glory days. Stay tuned!

Once More, With Feeling! (1960) Stanley Donen Films :: Columbia Pictures / P: Stanley Donen / D: Stanley Donen / W: Harry Kurnitz / C: Georges Périnal / E: Jack Harris / S: Yul Brynner, Kay Kendall, Geoffrey Toone, Maxwell Shaw, Shirley Anne Field

The Tingler (1959) William Castle Productions :: Columbia Pictures / P: William Castle / D: William Castle / W: Robb White / C: Wilfred M. Cline / E: Chester W. Schaeffer / M: Von Dexter / S: Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman, Patricia Cutts, Pamela Lincoln, Philip Coolidge

The William Castle Blogathon :: The 13 Greatest Shocks of All Time! See It with Someone with Warm Hands! (April, 1959)

Posted in 1950-1959, Movie Ads with tags on July 31, 2013 by WB Kelso

 

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When Bill Schloss got into showbiz, he decided a name change was in order to give the old nom-de-plume a little more punch to get noticed; and thus, William Castle was born. And after cutting his teeth on a ton of B-features in the 1940s and ’50s, the director was intrigued by the huge success of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s imported thriller, Diabolique — especially it’s twist ending, and the promotional efforts that not only teased the frightful climax but at the same stroke worked very hard to keep that final shock / reveal a secret. But most important of all, Castle was keenly interested in the massive lines forming around the block wherever it played! With that as an inspiration the director decided to try his hand at producing his own fright flick and an industry legend was born — ready, willing and able to cash in on the bally-ho and the bullshit in a string of gimmick-driven pictures for over a decade, including this fantastic feature from the spring of 1959, House on Haunted Hill; an awesome Vincent Price-fueled spook-show teamed up with a standard police procedural, where a couple of hard-nosed cops try to track down a firebug before he strikes again. And with this latest feature, Castle also unleashed a new process called Emergo:

Video courtesy of brutallodotcom.

 
Seems an inflatable skeleton was trolled out over the audience during the film’s climax, but, alas, I fear the Capitol Theater might have opted out of using it since there is no mention of Emergo in the ads, meaning their patrons had to settle for just watching it with someone with warm hands — whatever the heck that means?!
 

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With or without the gimmicks, the King of Schlock — or the Poor Man’s Hitchcock, call him what you will — the one thing you can say about any of Castle’s films was they were seldom — if ever — boring, and always a wonky good time.

Other Points of Interest:

Poster campaign for House on Haunted Hill at the Archive.

 
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This post is part of Goregirl’s Dungeon and The Last Drive-In’s The William Castle Blogathan, a week long tribute to the King of Schlock. Follow the linkage, Boils & Ghouls. It’s gonna be a great week. And stick around, as we’ll be showcasing Castle’s film career from its fairly normal beginnings through it psychotronic glory days. Stay tuned!

House on Haunted Hill (1959) William Castle Productions :: Allied Artists / P: William Castle / AP: Robb White / D: William Castle / W: Robb White / C: Carl E. Guthrie / E: Roy Livingston / M: Von Dexter / S: Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Alan Marshal, Carolyn Craig, Elisha Cook Jr.

Arson for Hire (1959) Broidy Pictures Corporation :: Allied Artists / P: William F. Broidy / AP: Erwin Yessin / D: Thor Brook / W: Tom Hubbard / C: William Margulies / E: Herbert R. Hoffman / S: Steve Brodie, Lyn Thomas, Tom Hubbard, Wendy Wilde

The William Castle Blogathon :: Not Valid for People with Known Heart or Nervous Conditions! (May, 1958)

Posted in 1950-1959, Movie Ads with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2013 by WB Kelso

 

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Sometimes the gutter giveth…

 

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… and sometimes the gutter taketh away. Pfeh.

 

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Other Points of Interest:

The poster campaign for Macabre at the Archive.

 
And now, finally, we get to the meat. The ballyhoo. The bullshit. The Castle raison d’etre. By no means great, but, when considering it’s lackluster reputation, even among William Castle’s fans, Macabre wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d anticipated. In fact, I found it to be pretty good. (Who knew Jim Backus had that kind of a heavy in him?) A bit clumsy, structurally, sure (–there might have been a flashback inside a flashback), and though this tale of kidnapping and buried secrets threatens to derail itself, the ending twist works and those closing credits are simply ADOREABLE! You’ll never get to cash in your Fright Insurance policy, but definitely worth a spin.
 

An official Beneficiary Agreement for Macabre:

And as a public service announcement for the IMDB, who list Macabre’s release as October, 1958, for the sake of accuracy, it played in the Island in May, 1958:

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blogathon3
 
This post is part of Goregirl’s Dungeon and The Last Drive-In’s The William Castle Blogathan, a week long tribute to the King of Schlock. Follow the linkage, Boils & Ghouls. It’s gonna be a great week. And stick around, as we’ll be showcasing Castle’s film career from its fairly normal beginnings through it psychotronic glory days. Stay tuned!

Macabre (1958) William Castle Productions :: Allied Artists / P: William Castle, Howard W. Koch, Aubrey Schenck / D: William Castle / W: Robb White, Anthony Boucher (novel) / C: Carl E. Guthrie / E: John F. Schreyer / M: Les Baxter / S: William Prince, Jim Backus, Christine White, Jacqueline Scott, Susan Morrow, Ellen Corby

Hell’s Five Hours (1958) Muriel Corporation :: Allied Artists / P: Jack L. Copeland / AP: Walter Hannemann / D: Jack L. Copeland / W: Jack L. Copeland / C: Ernest Haller / E: Walter Hannemann / M: Nicholas Carras / S: Stephen McNally, Coleen Gray, Vic Morrow, Maurice Manson, Robert Foulk

The William Castle Blogathon :: Savage! Sinful! A Panorama of Passions and Violence! (June, 1954)

Posted in 1950-1959, Movie Ads with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2013 by WB Kelso

 

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And here we have Cecil B. Demille on a Sam Katzman budget. E’yup, Slaves of Babylon is William Castle’s one and only biblical epic (– unless you count Rosemary’s Baby, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves just a bit), with his take on the tale of Daniel in the lion’s den mixed in with a plot to overthrow king Nebuchadnezzar as told in the book of No Not Really: Chapter 2: Verses 1-5.
 
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This post is part of Goregirl’s Dungeon and The Last Drive-In’s The William Castle Blogathan, a week long tribute to the King of Schlock. Follow the linkage, Boils & Ghouls. It’s gonna be a great week. And stick around, as we’ll be showcasing Castle’s film career from its fairly normal beginnings through it psychotronic glory days. Stay tuned!

Slaves of Babylon (1953) Columbia Pictures / P: Sam Katzman / D: William Castle / W: DeVallon Scott / C: Henry Freulich / E: William A. Lyon / M: Henry Vars / S: Richard Conte, Linda Christian, Maurice Schwartz, Michael Ansara, Terry Kilburn

Paris Model (1953) American Pictures Company :: Columbia Pictures / P: Albert Zugsmith / D: Alfred E. Green / W: Robert Smith / C: William Bradford / E: W. Donn Hayes / M: Albert Glasser / S: Marilyn Maxwell, Paulette Goddard, Eva Gabor, Barbara Lawrence, Cecil Kellaway

The William Castle Blogathon :: Killing Comes Easy, But Death Comes Hard! (April, 1954)

Posted in 1950-1959, Movie Ads with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2013 by WB Kelso

 

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With this being The William Castle Blogathon and all, while looking at these ads, at first glance, you’re probably thinking “I didn’t know Castle directed Phantom from Space?” Well, you’d be wrong. Completely understandable assumption, but wrong. No, Phantom from Space belongs to Lee Wilder, brother to Billy Wilder, who got the short-end of the cinematic gene-stick judging from the likes of this, Killers from Space and The Snow Creature. Anyways, Jesse James vs. the Daltons was Castle’s second 3-D western that, apparently, was shown flat in these parts. And the title is a bit misleading in that we’re dealing with the illegitimate son of Jesse James (maybe) who’s trying to establish his heritage by joining up with his alleged father’s old gang. (Wait. Shouldn’t that be the Younger brothers? Eh, lets just roll with it…) Not nearly as interesting as all that sounds, alas. Also of note, scriptwriters Robert Kent and Sam Newman would go on to carve out their own niche in creature feature infamy , penning or producing the likes of IT! The Terror from Beyond Space, Diary of a Madman (Kent), The Invisible Invaders and The Giant Claw (Newman).
 
blogathontingler
 
This post is part of Goregirl’s Dungeon and The Last Drive-In’s The William Castle Blogathan, a week long tribute to the King of Schlock. Follow the linkage, Boils & Ghouls. It’s gonna be a great week. And stick around, as we’ll be showcasing Castle’s film career from its fairly normal beginnings through it psychotronic glory days. Stay tuned!

Jesse James vs. the Daltons (1954) Esskay Pictures Corporation :: Columbia Pictures / P: Sam Katzman / D: William Castle / W: Robert E. Kent, Samuel Newman, Edwin V. Westrate / C: Lester White / E: Viola Lawrence / M: Mischa Bakaleinikoff / S: Brett King, Barbara Lawrence, James Griffith, William Phipps, John Cliff

Phantom from Space (1953) Planet Filmplays :: United Artists / P: W. Lee Wilder / D: W. Lee Wilder / W: William Raynor, Myles Wilder / C: William H. Clothier / E: George Gale / M: William Lava / S: Ted Cooper, Lela Nelson, Tom Daly, Steve Acton, Burt Wenland

The William Castle Blogathon :: Treachery Sends Apache Hordes on Vengeance Warpath! (February, 1954)

Posted in 1950-1959, Movie Ads with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2013 by WB Kelso

 

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Back out west we go for some more over-saturated Technicolor misadventures in Castle’s The Conquest of Cochise. 3D was already out and Cinemascope was in. (See it in all its Vast Vision Glory!) However, from the reviews I’ve read about this tale of land swindles and broken treaties the only thing that stuck was the torture scenes in the last reel, meaning Castle was already well on his way toward the next phase of his cinematic career.
 
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This post is part of Goregirl’s Dungeon and The Last Drive-In’s The William Castle Blogathan, a week long tribute to the King of Schlock. Follow the linkage, Boils & Ghouls. It’s gonna be a great week. And stick around, as we’ll be showcasing Castle’s film career from its fairly normal beginnings through it psychotronic glory days. Stay tuned!

The Conquest of Cochise (1953) Columbia Pictures / P: Sam Katzman / AP: Herbert B. Leonard / D: William Castle / W: Arthur Lewis, DeVallon Scott / C: Henry Freulich / E: Al Clark / M: Mischa Bakaleinikoff / S: John Hodiak, Robert Stack, Joy Page, Rico Alaniz, Edward Colmans

The Tall Lie a/k/a For Men Only (1953) H-N Productions :: Lippert Pictures / P: Paul Henreid, Edward Nassour / D: Paul Henreid / W: Herbert H. Margolis, Lou Morheim / C: Paul Ivano / E: Sherman A. Rose / M: Hoyt Curtin / S: Paul Henreid, Kathleen Hughes, Vera Miles, Margaret Field, Robert Sherman, Russell Johnson

The William Castle Blogathon :: Deceitful! Desirable! Deadly! See Her Conquer the Man Who Conquered the World! (November, 1953)

Posted in 1950-1959, Movie Ads with tags on July 30, 2013 by WB Kelso

 

 

 

 

 
And here we have Serpent of the Nile, Castle and Katzman’s z-budget take on the tale of Anthony and Cleopatra, with Raymond Burr and Rhonda Fleming subbing in for Richard Burton and Liz Taylor. Shot on the still standing sets of Salome, with dubious matte shots galore, as the rumor goes. “2 Years in the Talking. 12 Days in the Shooting.” Would love to see it based on what few YouTube clips I’ve found.
 
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This re-post is part of Goregirl’s Dungeon and The Last Drive-In’s The William Castle Blogathan, a week long tribute to the King of Schlock. Follow the linkage, Boils & Ghouls. It’s gonna be a great week. And stick around, as we’ll be showcasing Castle’s film career from its fairly normal beginnings through it psychotronic glory days. Stay tuned!

The Nebraskan (1953) Columbia Pictures / P: Wallace MacDonald / D: Fred F. Sears / W: David Lang, Martin Berkeley / C: Henry Freulich / E: Al Clark, James Sweeney / M: Ross DiMaggio / S: Philip Carey, Roberta Haynes, Wallace Ford, Richard Webb, Lee Van Cleef, Jay Silverheels

Serpent of the Nile (1953) Columbia Pictures / P: Sam Katzman / D: William Castle / W: Robert E. Kent / C: Henry Freulich / E: Gene Havlick / M: Mischa Bakaleinikoff / S: Rhonda Fleming, William Lundigan, Raymond Burr, Jean Byron, Michael Ansara

The William Castle Blogathon :: Feel Every Thrill of the Blazing Battle and Savage Siege! (August, 1953)

Posted in 1950-1959, Movie Ads with tags on July 30, 2013 by WB Kelso

 

 

 

 

 

 
After taking a brief hiatus from Columbia for a string of film noir pot-boilers at Universal International (– films that, alas, I have no ads for yet … stress on the yet), William Castle migrated back and started a five year (and nearly a dozen picture) odyssey under the tutelage of producer and notorious industry cheapskate, Sam Katzman, beginning right here with Fort Ti. E’yup. A few years before he started insuring audiences, wiring up seats, and floated skeletons over audiences, this marked Castle’s first official foray into gimmick film-making. Though technically a western, I suppose, Castle’s little adventure into the Third Dimension actually takes place during the French and Indian War, where Roger’s Rangers come to the aid of the British outpost at Fort Ticonderoga, currently on the verge of being overrun by said hostile parties. And just like with his later product, Castle doesn’t cheat the audience, exploiting the stereoscopic process for all it was worth.
 
blogathontingler
 
This re-post is part of Goregirl’s Dungeon and The Last Drive-In’s The William Castle Blogathan, a week long tribute to the King of Schlock. Follow the linkage, Boils & Ghouls. It’s gonna be a great week. And stick around, as we’ll be showcasing Castle’s film career from its fairly normal beginnings through it psychotronic glory days. Stay tuned!

Fort Ti (1953) Esskay Pictures Corporation :: Columbia Pictures / P: Sam Katzman / D: William Castle / W: Robert E. Kent / C: Lester White, Lothrop B. Worth / E: William A. Lyon / M: Ross DiMaggio / S: George Montgomery, Joan Vohs, Irving Bacon, James Seay, Phyllis Fowler

Pardon My Backfire (1953) Columbia Pictures / P: Jules White / D: Jules White / W: Felix Adler / C: Henry Freulich / E: Edwin H. Bryant / S: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Benny Rubin, Frank Sully