Welcome to The William Castle Blogathon: Day One!

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Bill and Skeleton

IT’S DAY ONE OF THE WILLIAM CASTLE BLOGATHON– I FEEL SOMETHING EERIE AND YET PLEASANT CRAWLING UP MY SPINE!  I THINK IT’S EXCITEMENT SO SCREAM, SCREAM FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!! HAPPY 54TH ANNIVERSARY TO THE TINGLER

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Here at The Last Drive In -We’re kicking off the celebration with some very spine tingling, toe tapping tales in celebration of the great William Castle.

Aurora over at Once upon a screen… is hiding under the sheets as she talks about The Night Walker (1964) starring Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor and Lloyd Bochner.

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Rich, over at Wide Screen World, offers us his Top 5 William Castle Gimmicks!

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(Le) at Critica Retro discusses charming romp Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven (1948)

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MacGill, Ryan, Bates and Hamilton- Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven

And my wonderful partner in crime, Terri at Goregirl’s Dungeon, will be setting the Wow Meter off into the red with her Fun with GIFS: The William Castle Edition!

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So don’t be afraid my fearless friends- head over to the dungeon and see Terri’s cheeky tribute to the July 29, 1959 54th anniversary nod to our little pal… The Tingler plus…her fun with gifs!-you won’t be able to take your eyes off ’em

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Terri at Goregirl’s Dungeon will be hosting folks at her lair with bars on the windows and vats of boiling acid; so go there and be thrilled to your bones!

Furious Cinema, Lindsey at The Motion Pictures, Forgotten Films, Barry at Cinematic Catharsis

And me at The Last Drive Inshowing some love to my favorite Castle fun house fright ride- House on Haunted Hill (1959)Good old Mrs Slydes still scares the hell out of my cat… okay maybe me…. when she glides through the dark wine cellar.

The Spine-Tinglers Are!

Monday, July 29th:

Aurora at Once upon a screen…: The Night Walker (’64)

Rich at Wide Screen World: Top 5 William Castle Gimmicks

Le at Critica Retro: Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven (’48) ‘Live Dreaming’

Furious Cinemas: William Castle: Mad as Hell Movie Showman

Lindsey at The Motion Pictures: Favorite Things About… House on Haunted Hill

Forgotten Films: Macabre (’58)

Barry at Cinematic Catharsis: 13 Ghosts (’60)

Joey at The Last Drive In: House on Haunted Hill (’59) ‘Only the ghosts in this house are glad we’re here’

Goregirl’s Dungeon: Fun with GIFS: The William Castle Edition

Tuesday, July 30th:

Heather Drain at Mondo Heather: 13 Frightened Girls! (1963) & Hullabaloo & Horror: A Tribute to William Castle

Lindsey at The Motion Pictures: The film Matinee (1993) and how it was inspired by Castle

Karen at Shadows and Satin: Mysterious Intruder (1946)

Kristina at Speakeasy:  The Houston Story (1956)

Ray at Weird Flix: Slaves of Babylon (1953)

The Metzinger Sisters at Silver Scenes: Busy Bodies: Promoting Castle’s Camp” & The Films of William Castle!

Ivan G. Shreve at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear: The Chance of a Lifetime (1943) {Boston Blackie}

Goregirl’s Dungeon: The Women of Castle

Wednesday, July 31st:

Brian Schuck at Films From Beyond The Time Barrier: Strait-Jacket (1964)

Joey at The Last Drive In: Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949)

Rob Silvera at The Midnight Monster Show: Double feature Homicidal (1961) & House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Lindsey at The Motion Pictures: Macabre (1958)

David Arrate My Kind of Story-ImagesIt’s a Small World (1950)

Goregirl’s Dungeon: Goregirl’s Dungeon on YouTube: Alex North & Vic Mizzy

Thursday, August 1st:

Steve Habrat at Anti Film School: Mr Sardonicus (1961)

Classic Movie Hub: The Busy Body (1967)

John LarRue at The Droid You’re Looking For: William Castle Gimmick Infographic

Paul Lambertson at Lasso the Movies: The Tingler (1959)

Goregirl’s Dungeon: Favourite Five Series: William Castle

Lindsey at The Motion Pictures: Tribute

Scenes From The Morgue: Showcase of newspaper ads for William Castle films

Stacia at She Blogged By NightLet’s Kill Uncle (1966)

Ruth- R.A Kerr at Silver Screenings: The Old Dark House (1963)

Ivan G. Shreve at Thrilling Days of YesteryearI Saw What You Did (1965)

Ray at Weird FlixThe Saracen Blade (1954)

Friday, August 2nd:

Toby Roan at 50 Westerns: The Law vs Billy the Kid (1954)

Misty Layne at Cinema Schminema: Project X (1968)

Jenna Berry at Classic Movie Night: Ghost Story/Circle of Fear

Kristen at Journeys in Classic Film: Spine-Tingler: The William Castle Story

Joey at The Last Drive In: Back Story: What Ever Happened to William Castle’s Baby? (Rosemary’s Baby)

Jeff Kuykendall at Midnight Only: Bug (1975)

Gwen Kramer at Movies Silently: After the Silents: Chills! Thrills! William Castle Special!

David Arrate at My Kind of Story-Images: Shanks (1974) Masterson of Kansas (1954)

The Nitrate Diva: When Strangers Marry (1944)

Dorian Tenore Bartilucci at Tales of the Easily DistractedThe Spirit is Willing (1967)

Vinnie Bartilucci at Tales of the Easily Distracted: Zotz! (1962)

Sam at Wonders in the DarkChristopher Komeda’s Score, Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

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Step Right Up! We’re Gonna Scare the Pants Off America: The William Castle Blogathon is on it’s way to a theater near you! July 29th- August 2nd, 2013

THE WILLIAM CASTLE BLOGATHON

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“I think he was a wonderful director. He followed his dreams, and after all he was right.”Marcel Marceau

On July 29th 1959 American Producer/Director & Screenwriter William Castle premiered (click on link to read my past post) The Tingler in the US to theater goers. The audience had the underside of their seats rigged with electric buzzers which were activated at the moment Vincent Price cautions them “Ladies and gentlemen, please do not panic. But scream! Scream for your lives! The stunt was named ‘Percepto’ and once the projectionist got his cue to let the current rip, people in the audience got a mild jolt to their tuchus and their money’s worth of chills and thrills!

The urbane Vincent Price plays Dr. Warren Chapin a man driven by a curiosity to find out the source of the mysteriously evil force that creates the SENSATION of fear. He discovers an organism called… The Tingler which manifests itself at the base of the spine when one is experiencing abject fear. The Tingler can only be subdued by the act of screaming.

In his memoirs Step Right Up! I’m Gonna Scare the Pants Off America he talks about the people who got their gluteus maximus’ buzzed with a small electric shock. Castle went as far as to hire fake “screamers and fainters” that he planted in the audience who would then be carted away on a gurney by “nurses” who were situated out in the lobby ready to put them in an ambulance parked outside the theater. This gimmick definitely outshines the last publicity scheme for his first chiller film touted with fanfare in which he offered a certificate for a $1,000 life insurance policy from Lloyd’s of London in case they should die of fright during his picture Macabre (1958) a film he felt inspired to make after seeing the success of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Diabolique (1955) 

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Growing up in the 60s and 70s my childhood was filled with the sort of wonderful attractiveness William Castle’s shenanigans fostered in my yearning imagination. His films wouldn’t really be considered frightening by anyone’s standards today, but if you were a kid watching television on a rainy Saturday afternoon way back when, and suddenly you were thrust into a world where wearing whacky goggles would allow you to see wild ghosts wreaking havoc in an old eerie mansion in 13 Ghosts, or a disembodied hand rising up from a bath of brilliant red blood in an otherwise black and white landscape in The Tingler, or that moment when Nora Manning sees Mrs.Slydes the blind housekeeper who glides past her, a crone like harbinger of death, or those jaunty little party favors in the shape of coffins containing guns for the guests in House on Haunted Hill, with the added sensational musical scores and atmospherics you’d know the thrill and nostalgic glow that washes over you because William Castle made himself a presence quite like Hitchcock who was invested in bringing us into their world of fear and getting us excited about it!

Judith Eveylin The Tingler Blood Bath

13 Ghosts

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Mrs Slydes House on Haunted HIll

Castle’s films have left an indelible mark on so many of us, not to mention the incredible movie stars and character actors who inhabited his memorable films, like Vincent Price, Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Shelley Winters, Sid Caesar, Ann Baxter, Robert Ryan, Richard Conte, Julie Adams, Rock Hudson, Rhonda Fleming Robert Taylor, Guy Rolfe, Janette Scott, William Prince, Judith Evelyn, Audrey Dalton, Margaret Hamilton, Tom Poston and Elisha Cook Jr. and so many more…

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Joan Crawford and William Castle

Keep in mind, he produced my favorite film of all time, which I’ve been planning to do a major feature on down the road. The transcendent mind blowing tribute to paranoia and motherhood, Rosemary’s Baby 1968, thank god he decided to let Polanski direct, but still he was the man behind the masterpiece.

Bill with Mia and John on the set of Rosemary's Baby

And Castle didn’t just do scary campy joyrides, if you look at his filmography you’ll see an array of film noir & mysteries like Hollywood Story (1951),The Fat Man (1951) Undertow (1949) series’ like The Crime Doctor & The Whistler, adventures like Serpent of the Nile (1953), with Rhonda Fleming. Westerns, television series and screwball comedies too like The Busy Body (1967) starring Sid Caesar, Robert Ryan and Ann Baxter , so if you’re a scaredy cat no worries there’s plenty to cover for everybody!

William Castle is one of THE most recognizable showman of film camp, purveyor of cheap chills, the maestro of gimmickry! In a time when the censors were becoming more lax and psycho-sexual themes were infiltrating the cinematic frontier, the trumpets were hailing Castle to step right up and create his own uniquely tacky ballyhoo! Sometimes kitschy, at times quite jolting and paralyzing, so many of us were marvelously effected by the collective tawdry Schadenfreude.

And so I got to thinking– geez it’ll be the 54th anniversary of that Spine-Tingling fun house ride of B-Movie schlockery and what better way to tribute the P.T. Barnum of Classic B-Movie fanfare than to co-host a blogathon with the witty and well versed Terri McSorley of Goregirl’s Dungeon. 

Castle opens up The Tingler with this fabulous warning to the audience:

I was going to wait and announce the blogathon officially on May 31st which will be the anniversary of Castle’s death in 1977, but we all seem so excited about this, I thought I better get on it and post the details and start the Tingler climbing up our proverbial collective spines! And what a great bunch contributing too!

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In honor of The Tingler’s 54th anniversary

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The William Castle Blogathon runs from July 29th through August 2nd, 2013 and is Co-hosted by Joey (MonsterGirl) of The Last Drive In and Terri of Goregirl’s Dungeon.

The list of films and contributors are below: We’ll narrow down the dates each person will publish their post a little further down the road. I don’t want to be too restrictive about films being covered twice as everyone has their own unique perspective. There’s still a bunch of films not chosen yet so please consider widening the scope of our celebration by tackling a lesser known film of Bills! All are welcome, if you’re interesting in joining the ride, please contact me!

Please grab any banners for the blogathon and use them on your site if you’d like!

There’s also no constraints on how long your piece should be. As you know I tend to be really long winded myself. If you have any questions at all, like if you’d prefer your name displayed differently please always feel free to drop me a line at ephemera.jo@gmail.com or leave a comment here:

The Spine-Tinglers Are!

(Lindsey)-The Motion Pictures Tribute &

(Gwen) Movies SilentlyThe Crime Doctor & The Whistler

(Dorian) Tales of the Easily DistractedThe Spirit is Willing (1967)

(Vinnie) Tales of the Easily DistractedZotz! (1962)

(Stacia) She Blogged By NightLet’s Kill Uncle (1966)

(David Arrate)- My Kind of Story-Images Shanks (1974) & Masterson of Kansas (1954) and It’s a Small World (1950)

(Brian Schuck) Films From Beyond The Time BarrierStrait-Jacket (1964)

(Joey-MonsterGirl!) The Last Drive InHouse on Haunted Hill (1959) & Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949) & Back Story: What Ever Happened to William Castle’s Baby? (Rosemary’s Baby)

Furious Cinema

(Kristina)-SpeakeasyThe Houston Story (1956)

(Paul)-Lasso the Movies The Tingler (1959)

Goregirl’s Dungeon ‘The Women of Castle”, tribute to musical scores &

(Steve Habrat) Anti Film SchoolMr Sardonicus (1961)

(Ruth) –Silver ScreeningsThe Old Dark House (1963)

(Rob Silvera) The Midnight Monster Show Homicidal (1961) & House on Haunted Hill (1959)

(Aurora) Once Upon a Screen… The Night Walker (1964)

Classic Movie Hub The Busy Body (1967)

(Karen) Shadows and SatinMysterious Intruder (1946)

The Nitrate Diva When Strangers Marry (1944)

(Jenna Berry) Classic Movie Night Ghost Story/Circle of Fear

Forgotten Films-Macabre (1958)

(Kristen) Journeys in Classic Film  Spine-Tingler: The William Castle Story

(Heather Drain) Mondo Heather13 Frightened Girls!(1963) & Bio

(Barry) Cinematic Catharsis 13 Ghosts (1960)

(Misty Layne) Cinema SchminemaProject X (1968)

(Ivan) Thrilling Days of Yesteryear–  The Chance of a Lifetime (1943){Boston Blackie} & I Saw What You Did (1965) 

(Rich) Wide Screen World“Top 5 William Castle gimmicks”

(John LarRue) The Droid You’re Looking For- “Visual Feature-(various films)”

(Sam) Wonders in the Dark- Rosemary’s Baby (’68)

(Jeff Kuykendall) Midnight Only Bug (1975)

(Le) Critica RetroTexas, Brooklyn and Heaven (1948)

(Toby Roan)- 50 Westerns The Law vs Billy the Kid (1954)

(The Metzinger Sisters) Silver Scenes  “Busy Bodies: Promoting Castle’s Camp” & The Films of William Castle!

(Ray) Weird Flix -Slaves of Babylon (1953) & The Saracen Blade (1954)

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And a special thanks to David Arrate at My Kind of Story for these banners!

William Castle banner It's a Small World

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MonsterGirl’s 150 Days of Classic Horror: #1 “13 Ghosts” (1960)

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This post is part of Monstergirl’s 150 Days of Classic Horror “One photo, one paragraph challenge for long winded me!”

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13 GHOSTS (1960)

Director/Showman extraodinaire William Castle brings us writer Robb White’s story centered around a quirky dilapidated mansion once owned by eccentric scientist/occultist Dr. Plato Zorba who collected ghosts from around the world, and invented goggles that enable you to see them. When Dr. Zorba dies he wills the strange house and it’s ‘contents’ to his nephew Cyrus Zorba (Donald Woods) and family, wife Hilda (Rosemary De Camp), son Buck (Charles Herbert) and daughter Medea (Jo Morrow). The Zorba family is broke, the bank has even reclaimed the last bit of furnishings. While blowing out the candles on his birthday, Buck wishes for a house with furniture that can’t be taken away. So the fortuitous inheritance comes just in time. Not long after moving in they discover that the house is haunted. Cyrus finds uncle Plato’s notes and learns about the 12 ghosts that inhabit the house, including Dr. Zorba himself who also leaves his housekeeper Elaine Zacharides (Margaret Hamilton) whom Buck constantly refers to as a witch, not a subtle homage to her role in The Wizard of Oz. Hamilton adds a nice bit of nostalgic camp to the creepy environment; floating objects, hidden panels, a bed canopy that closes up like a vice grip to crush the person sleeping in it, and lurking cob webby fiends who lunge from the shadows. Trapped within the walls of the house are the 12 manifested ghosties:  the crying lady, a feisty skeleton, a meat cleaving Italian chef who murdered his wife and her lover in the kitchen, a roaring lion along side its headless tamer, and Dr. Zorba himself. They need a 13th ghost to set them free. The family is in danger because of the fortune hidden in the house. Martin Milner plays Benjamen Rush, the lawyer who handles the estate for the Zorbas. Is there a flesh and blood killer among them looking for the hidden fortune. Well, you’ll just have to find out for yourself… A true William Castle fun house ride.

1 down 149 days to go… MonsterGirl

Happy Halloween: Trailers to Scream About!

THE TINGLER (1959)

THE BLOB (1958)

13 GHOSTS (1960)

DEMENTIA 13 (1963)

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)

House of Frankenstein (1944)

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON 1954

IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953)

THE DEVIL BAT (1940)

HORROR HOTEL (1960) aka City of The Dead

CURSE OF THE DEMON (1957)

THE BIRDS (1963)

THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961)

Trick or Treat!  It’s….MonsterGirl !!!!!!!!!