Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007), Jeffrey Schwarz

This review is critically analysing a documentary about famous b-movie director and producer William Castle. He was a very charismatic and memorable person. This review is based on Felix Vasquez Jr.'s,Scott Weinberg's and Stacie Ponder's reviews.

Figure 1

 This man allways had to find a different way to interest people and probably because of his lack of self confidence he always used to make sure that they would come to his movies not just to watch them, but also be entertained by something totally unusual. Felix Vasquez Jr. says that: "For any horror buffs looking to recall a time where horror was innocent, fun, and much more based around theatrics instead of taking our money, "Spine Tingler!" will remind audiences that the genre can be fun first and important second." (Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema-crazed, 2007). Obviously the biggest fans of this entertainment were kids, because it is just like attractions in a theme park, even the idea of a skeleton flying all around the theatre is straight out from a horror house concept. Scott Weinberg said: "That sort of thing would never dazzle today's audiences, but back in the early 1960's William Castle was one of the horror fan's most admired flick-makers." (Scott Weinberg, FEARnet, 2007). He was a great business man and in Stacie Ponder's words: "he brought to life several gimmicks with names like "Percept-O" and "Emerg-O", the latter of which included a skeleton "emerging" from the screen and flying over the audience during "House on Haunted Hill". A carnival-like atmosphere surrounded the theatre when a Castle flick came to town, and the dollars piled up." (Stacie Ponder, Final Girl, June 23, 2011). The most interesting part in this documentary was his connection with Roman Polanski. Apparently even though he always wanted to direct A-movies, he couldn't be anything else then a good producer. He wanted to direct "Rosemary's Baby", but at the same he could not deny a fact of how talented this new director at the time Roman Polanski was, so he had to choose producing part. Later on lack of self confidence, accident with Manson's henchmen killing Polanski's wife with unborn child and great disaster with the movie called "Project X" just finished his career.

Figure 2

All in all this is another interesting story about a person who greatly affected the cinema and invented new ways of entertainment. Genius, but yet unconfined personality William Castle is someone who deserves respect. He can definitely be called as Hitchcock of the B-movies, but he probably wouldn't like it.

Figure 1 William castle horror expression

Figure 2 Ghost seeing filters

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