Episode 22: William Castle - Godfather of Gimmicks


In the late 1950s to the mid 1960s, one director boldly went to great lengths to scare the crap out of theatergoers: William Castle. Castle was equal parts PT Barnum, Alfred Hitchcock and Roger Corman and his greatest schtick was gimmicks. He rigged theaters with seat buzzers, fainters, fright breaks and coffins. He even made a decent movie or two. Join us as Slate profiles the late great William Castle: Grandfather of Gimmicks.


Links to William Castle Movies

The Whistler (free on Youtube)

Macabre ($2.99 on Youtube)

House on Haunted Hill (free on Youtube)

The Tingler ($2.99 on Youtube)

13 Ghosts (free on Youtube)

Homicidal ($2.99 on Yuotube)

Zotz! (free on Dailymotion but it's a horrible movie)

Mr. Sardonicus (free on Dailymotion)

Strait Jacket ($2.99 on Youtube and worth every penny!)

I Saw What You Did (trailer)

Rosemary's Baby ($2.99 on Youtube)

Bug (trailer)



Mr. Sardonicus' fucked up face

Joan Crawford's screen tests for Strait Jacket

The Tingler "special" effects

Homicidal featurette

The "Fright Break" from Homicidal