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?
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.
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