William Castle Film Collection

William Castle Film Collection

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz Cast: William Castle, Charles Herbert, Glenn Corbett

DVD (Wide Screen)


Homicidal represents producer/director William Castle's slant on Hitchcock's Psycho. The film concerns a young woman named Miriam Webster (Patricia Breslin) who seemingly has everything a girl could want - including a successful flower shop business, and a handsome beau, Karl (Glenn Corbett), who works as a pharmacist. Events take a turn for the worse, however, when Miriam's half-brother, Warren, returns from Europe - with a rather unpleasant friend in-tow: a blonde named Emily (Jean Arless). Emily promptly sets about destroying Miriam's life: the newcomer attempts to wheedle Karl away from Miriam, then rips the flower shop to pieces, then ultimately reveals a little taste for knife-wielding that directly threatens Miriam's safety. Like The Tingler and other Castle outings, this one originally featured a gimmick, preserved in the video release: a "fright-break" just prior to the climax, which allowed terrified audience members approximately 45 seconds to get out of their seats and leave the theater - to avoid the prospect of being "frightened to death." One look at Jean Arless's credit in the cast listing betrays the final twist in this one, directly (and unapologetically) lifted by Castle from Psycho.Set in the title manse, this chilling comedy chronicles the spooky exploits of a Yankee car salesman working in London who sets out to deliver a car to a remote and very creepy Welsh estate. Unfortunately he discovers the owner dead. While attempting to leave a fierce storm erupts and he has a wreck. He returns to the mansion to seek shelter from the disparate sisters therein. Once warm and dry, he meets the rest of their strange family, including twins, a looney who is building an ark, and the matriarch of the household. The storm rages on and as the grim night slowly passes, family members are bumped off at appallingly regular intervals leaving the American to solve the crimes..In this chilling blood-tale in "Psycho" style, Robert Bloch modernizes the Lizzy Borden story. A wife (Joan Crawford) literally axes her cheating husband and his lover, witnessed by her three-year-old daughter. Mom is packed off to the insane asylum for 20 years before reuniting with the daughter (Diane Baker). From this point, the axe murders continue along a contrived plot intended to lead the audience astray until the mystery is solved. Crawford's strong performance and the excellently constructed suspense are the best elements of the film -- and the chopping saves the show when the plot tends to slow.An international bevy of beautiful teenage girls represent their countries as the daughters of diplomats. The teenage temptresses use their feminine wiles to steal some top-secret files vital to the survival of freedom-loving nations everywhere. Produced and directed by William Castle, the drawbridge of the film's plot falls between suspense and comedy and ends up mired in a moat of demeaning international caricatures.Gimmick-loving producer William Castle strikes again with this fun haunted-house thriller which invited audiences to find the hidden ghosts roaming about a haunted house through a special process called "Illusion-O" by which patrons could employ a special pair of red-and-blue-colored glasses to detect ghosts on the screen during the film's color-tinted sequences. The story is set in the mansion of the deceased occult scientist Dr. Zorba, whose nephew Cyrus and his family occupy the creepy estate and discover that they are not the only tenants. It seems the Doctor has been harboring 12 elusive specters on the premises, the appearance of which can only be detected through his final invention: a special pair of ghost-viewing goggles. To further complicate matters, it is learned that Zorba has stashed a small fortune somewhere in the house, and someone -- or something -- is determined to stop Cyrus and family from finding it. This film's original release featured an introduction from Castle, describing the "Illusion-O" process and demonstrating the proper use of the tinted glasses; he also appears in an epilogue stating that the glasses can be used to detect ghosts outside the theater!TV actor Tom Poston stars as Prof. Jonathan Jones in this early feature-film appearance, a standard comedy-fantasy oriented to the youngsters. The good professor has come into possession of "zotz," a coin that has three magical properties. It can either cause intense pain if its bearer points an accusing finger at an intended victim or it can make things move in slow-motion, with the right command. If the accusatory finger and the command are used simultaneously, the victim dies. Naturally, just about everyone wants this coin. The hapless professor is soon involved in problems at school, at the Pentagon, and worse yet, with a group of commie agents who have their own designs on the coin.In this 1961 William Castle film based on Ray Russell's novel Sardonicus, Guy Rolfe stars as the wicked Sardonicus, a wealthy count who wears a mask because his face is frozen in a horrifying death grimace. Ronald Lewis stars as Sir Robert Cargrave, a brilliant doctor who is at the top of his field in the early 20th century. A curious letter from his former love, Maude (Audrey Dalton), draws him to Europe where she lives in a remote castle with her brooding husband, his badly scarred, but dedicated man-servant, Krull (Oscar Homolka), and a frightened housekeeper whom Sir Robert finds tied up and covered with leeches. The good doctor soon discovers the truth behind the leeches...and the true nature of his visit when Sardonicus reveals his terrible story: He dug up his father's grave in search of a winning lottery ticket, and upon seeing the corpse, his face muscles froze leaving him looking like a living skull. Dangling Maude as his ransom, Sardonicus forces Sir Robert into attempting a radical treatment to make his face normal again, but even when it is a success, the evil Sardonicus can find no cure from the curse of his father's desecrated corpse. Castle appears in the climax to offer viewers an opportunity to afford additional punishment on Sardonicus which leads to a satisfying conclusion. ~ Patrick LegareAs famous for the gimmick with which the film was shown as for its genuinely spine-tingling story, The Tingler follows a pathologist (Vincent Price) as he searches for the cause of a series of deaths and discovers that the victims have a large insect-like creature growing on their spinal chords. The creature attacks when the people are frightened and is only killed when the host emits a blood-curdling primal scream. This is coupled with a subplot to scare the deaf-mute owner of a silent movie house to death. Along the way, a couple of characters are injected with LSD and begin hallucinating like mad. When one of the nasty monsters "escaped" into a movie theater, the film's gimmick would begin. In order to further frighten audiences, director William Castle had certain theater seats rigged with small Army surplus devices that would deliver a mild electric shock to the spine in hopes of inducing terrified screams. Castle also planted audience members who would scream and faint. The house lights would go up, the film would stop and ushers would carry the unconscious person out of the theater.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/20/2009
UPC: 0043396272552
Source: Sony Pictures
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time: 11:32:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; 13 Frightened Girls: Original theatrical trailer; Original "British" trailer introduction; Original Candy web trailer; Original Candy web theatrical opening and closing message from William Castle; Four international alternate openings; 13 Ghosts: The magic of Illusion-O; Original theatrical trailer; Homicidal: Pschette: William Castle and Homicideal; Homicidal Youngstown, Ohio premiere; Original theatrical trailer; Strait-Jacket: Battle-Axe: The making of Strait-Jacket; Jean Crawford wardrobe tests; Axe test; Strait-Jacket TV spots; How to plan a movie murder-vintage featurette; Original theatrical trailer; The Old Dark House: Original theatrical trailer; Mr. Sardonicus: Taking the Punishment Poll; "Ghost Story": Pilot (The New House); Original theatrical trailer; The Tingler: "Scream For Your Lives: William Castle and the Tingler" Alternate dirve-in sequence; Original "Scream" sequence; "Circle of Fear": Graveyard Shift; Original theatrical trailer; Zotz!: Original theatrical trailer; Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story; Commentary with producer/director Jeffrey Schwarz and Terry Castle

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charles Herbert Buck Zorba
Glenn Corbett Karl
Guy Rolfe Sardonicus
Joan Crawford Lucy Harbin
John Waters Participant
Kathy Dunn Candace "Candy" Hull
Tom Poston Tom Penderel,Prof. Jonathan Jones
Vincent Price Dr. William Chapin
Audrey Dalton Maude Sardonicus
Diane Baker Carol Harbin
Jo Morrow Medea Zorba
Judith Evelyn Mrs. Higgins
Murray Hamilton Wally Sanders
Patricia Breslin Miriam Webster
Robert Morley Roderick Femm
Terry Castle Participant
Darryl Hickman David Morris
Janette Scott Cecily
Jean Arless Emily/Warren
John Landis Participant
Joyce Taylor Soldier
Julia Meade Prof. Virginia Fenster
Leif Erickson Bill Cutler
Martin Milner Ben Rush
Oscar Homolka Krull
Eugenie Leontovich Helga
Howard St. John Raymond Fields
Hugh Marlowe John Hull
Jim Backus Horatio Kellgore
Joyce Grenfell Agatha Femm
Philip Coolidge Ollie Higgins
Roger Corman Participant
Ronald Lewis Sir Robert Cargrave
Rosemary de Camp Hilda Zorba
Alan Bunce Dr. Jones
Donald Woods Cyrus Zorba
Fred Clark Gen. Bulliver
Joe Dante Participant
John Anthony Hayes Michael Fields
Khigh Dhiegh Kang
Patricia Cutts Isabel Chapin
Peter Bull Casper Femm,Jasper Femm
Vladimir Sokoloff Father
Cecil Kellaway Dean Updike
Pamela Lincoln Lucy Stevens
Ralph Moody 1st Clerk
Rochelle Hudson Emily Cutler

Technical Credits
Jeffrey Schwarz Director
William Castle Director
Ray Russell Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- William Castle Film Collection
   Play 13 Frightened Girls
   Play 13 Ghosts
   13 Frightened Girls Scene Selections
   13 Ghosts Scene Selections
   Special Features
      13 Frightened Girls
         Original "British" Trailer Introduction
         Original Candy Web Trailer
         Original "Candy Web" Theatrical Opening Message from William Castle
         Original "Candy Web" Theatrical Closing Message from William Castle
         Alternate Opening (British)
         Alternate Opening (Swedish)
         Alternate Opening (French)
         Alternate Opening (German)
         Original Theatrical Trailer
      13 Ghosts
         The Magic of Illusion-O
         Original Theatrical Trailer
Disc #2 -- William Castle Film Collection
   Play Homicidal
   Play Strait-Jacket
   Homicidal Scene Selections
   Strait-Jacket Scene Selections
   Special Features
         Psychette: William Castle and Homicidal
         Homicidal Youngstown, Ohio Premiere
         Original Theatrical Trailer
         Battle-Axe: The Making of Straight-Jacket
         Joan Crawford Wardrobe Tests
         Joan Crawford Axe Test
         Strait-Jacket TV Spots
         How to Plan a Movie Murder-Vintage Featurette
         Original Theatrical Trailer
Disc #3 -- William Castle Film Collection
   Play the Old Dark House
   Play Mr. Sardonicus
   The Old Dark House Scene Selections
   Mr. Sardonicus Scene Selections
   Special Features
      The Old Dark House
         Original Theatrical Trailer
      Mr. Sardonicus
         Taking the Punishment Poll
         Ghost Story: Pilot (The New House)
         Original Theatrical Trailer
Disc #4 -- William Castle Film Collection
   Play the Tingler
   Play Zotz!
   The Tingler Scene Selections
   Zotz! Scene Selections
   Special Features
      The Tingler
         Scream for Your Lives: William Castle and the Tingler
         Alternate Drive-In Sequence
         Original "Scream" Sequence
         Ghost Story: Graveyard Shift
         Original Theatrical Trailer
         Original Theatrical Trailer
Disc #5 -- William Castle Film Collection
   Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story
   Commentary with Producer / Director Jeffrey Schwarz and Terry Castle: On
   Commentary with Producer / Director Jeffrey Schwarz and Terry Castle: Off

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