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Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007)

Chronicles the last great American showman, filmmaker William Castle, a master of ballyhoo who became a brand name in movie horror with his outrageous audience participation gimmicks.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Forrest J. Ackerman ...
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Sidney D. Balkin ...
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Kathy Burns ...
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Terry Castle ...
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Storyline

Documentary on famed Hollywood director and producer - and supreme showman - William Castle. Castle made his mark in the decade from the mid-1950s to the mid 1960s with a series of low-budget but highly popular and profitable horror films. The list includes Macabre (1958), House on Haunted Hill (1959), Homicidal (1961) and many others. Castle always had to have a gimmick to go with his movies. These included having nurses on duty in the lobby should anyone need medical assistance or giving everyone a $1000 insurance policy should anyone die of fright. Castle's greatest success came as he producer of Rosemary's Baby (1968). All in all he is fondly remembered by those who knew and worked with him. Written by garykmcd

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He was just another movie director...until he found himself a gimmick.


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20 October 2009 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Great documentary
19 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movies chronicles the life and times of William Castle. He made a series of low budget horror films in the 1950s-1960s that he sold with gimmicks. In "13 Ghosts" you need viewers to see the ghosts (they were in color, the film was in b&w). "The Tingler" had theatre seats equipped with a buzzer that jolted the audience when a monster escapes into a movie theatre. "Marabre" issued a life insurance policy to all members in case they were frightened to death! The movies themselves were pretty bad but the gimmicks had people rushing to see them. In this doc there are interviews with directors inspired by Castle, actors in his movies and his daughter. It also gets into his home life and the kind of man he was (by all accounts he was a great guy). The documentary is affectionate, very funny and absolutely riveting. It's very short (under 90 minutes) and there's never a dull moment. A must see for Castle fans and horror movie fans. My one complaint--there were very few sequences shown from his pictures. That aside this is just great.


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