Bill Condon is in talks to bring the Bride of Frankenstein to life. 🙂 Deadline Edgar Wright may be facing amazing colossal insects in Grasshopper Jungle./FILM
The director of Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe dances into a new Labyrinth. 🙂 The Guardian Robert Englund’s Scarecrow spreads fear in this new Injustice 2 trailer! 🙂 Flickering Myth
William Castle’s daughter scares us with never-before-seen pictures from the set of Strait-Jacket! 🙂 Dread Central And in truly heartbreaking news, fellow horror blogger James Harris A.K.A. Doc Terror has passed away. I didn’t know him personally, but I loved his blog. A few years ago, I won one of his giveaways and he sent me a sweet-ass Dario Argento mirror for answering a question about the Friday the 13th series. I love it, and will cherish it even more now. <3
(Let’s file this one under #SexxxySaturday… 😉 Thanks so much for this, Dr. Phibes! 🙂 xoxo)
“William Castle was my idol. His films made me want to make films…William Castle was God.”
– John Waters
How do you do, my horror-hungry friends? You are here because you are interested in the morbid, the mysterious, the monstrous, and… the macabre. That is why you are here and that is why we must once again pay homage to Mr. William Castle, a man who embodies all of those qualities.
Dear Mr. Castle is the undisputed king of Hollywood Ballyhoo, a warrior against mundane film-viewing, and the High Priest of Horror Marketing. There is just no way to undersell just how much this man means to me and millions of other frightseekers. We all love his films, delight in his gimmicks, and admire his carnival talker attitiude. Mr. Castle wanted to be as admired as Hitchcock, but he’ll always be my Hitchcock. I’ve talked about the man and I’m sure this won’t be the last, but I’d like to share with you this absolute gem that proves that William Castle doesn’t need visuals to knock ’em dead…
In 1966, Master Castle joined Hanna-Barbera’s record label for a rather intense and very Castle reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, a story suited for a sinister showman of Castle’s magnitude. Bringing to mind radio’s Lights Out, Castle urges the audience to listen to his tale in utter darkness. With the histrionic madness of a Dwight Frye, Castle really devours the material, snarling and screaming his way through Poe’s tale in the most deliciously hammy way possible. This recording is like having a Castle film dance through your eardrums. It is pure magic.
(contributed by Mr. Anton Phibes, who is no stranger to Ballyhoo himself… ;))
A very happy Birthday to the undisputed master of ballyhoo, William Castle! As most of you probably know, Master Castle was known for his outrageous gimmicks and his inimitable gift for showmanship. His most famous gag may be House on Haunted Hill’s Emergo, in which a glowing skeleton floats above the heads of audience members during the scene in which a skeleton emerges from a vat of acid in the film.
Another notable gimmick is Percepto from The Tingler. Percepto administered small electrical jolts to certain audience members in a scene where the film’s titular monster gets loose in a movie theater and Vincent Price shuts off the lights. In the documentary Spine Tingler!, director John Waters describes how he would get to the theater early and specifically search for a seat with the “Tingler” device.
Without his imprint, the fright classic Rosemary’s Baby would have never been made. The story goes that William mortgaged his home and obtained the movie rights to the before it was published, hoping to finally direct a prestigious “A” picture himself. Bill desperately wanted to helm the film, but Paramount would only make the film if Roman Polanski directed. Eventually, the studios won and Mr. Castle merely acted as the producer. While disappointed initially by losing the position of director, Castle was more than pleased with the film’s financial and critical success.
Castle’s career was a constant struggle between the campy horror films he was so brilliant at crafting/promoting and his desire to become a true “A” director. Mr. Castle always wanted to be respected as a director. I can’t say for sure, but I believe Castle would’ve enjoyed being remembered for his camp classics. Joe Dante, John Waters, John Landis, and many others have confessed to being inspired by and admiring Castle. Dante’s film Matinee is a grand-scale tribute the master’s greatness. Ol’ William has achieved the acclaim and respect he always wanted. He’ll always be an “A” director in my book.