It’s well documented that William Castle had aspirations to be Hitchcock, or in many ways rise to his level of filmmaking prowess. Speaking as someone who loves Castle as much as Hitchcock, I’d say they’re about neck and neck, but with different ideas of what constitutes a horror movie. Castle’s talent is theatrics, and with “Strait-Jacket” he takes what is essentially his own version of “Psycho” and stages it as a twisty, occasionally campy, and very cerebral murder mystery. Castle also goes a step forward, turning his killer on their victims with an axe that they use to lop their heads off.
“The Tingler” is one of my first introductions to William Castle and the art of his theatricality when it came to horror movies and making them an experience. As a kid, “The Tingler” and “House on Haunted Hill” were constant rotation at my home, and I loved how Castle’s films sucked you in. To this day I remember being very riveted in the brief moment during “The Tingler” where the movie breaks the fourth wall asking you, the audience, to scream loudly to avoid being attacked by—dramatic pause—the Tingler!
For movie buffs and collectors looking to gather up some classic schlock and silly horror films, “Mill Creek Entertainment” brings us a 50 Movie MegaPack DVD Set of some their worst and most infamous horror films. Thrown in to the mix, there are some science fiction, juvenile terror movies like “I Accuse My Parents,” and even the George Hamilton starring “Evel Knievel.” Further digging in to the selection of fifty titles, there’s 1944’s “Delinquent Daughters,” the Francis Ford Coppola horror classic “Dementia 13,” the slasher “Driller Killer,” and 1977’s “Drive In Massacre.”
There’s the deliriously bad but hilarious science fiction action film “Future Hunters” starring Robert Patrick, and Bruce Le, William Castle’s fun “House on Haunted Hill,” the early Brandon Lee starring stinker “Laser Mission,” the classic MST3K spoofed “Manos-The Hands of Fate,” the so bad it’s great drug hysteria movie “Reefer Madness,” the goofy science fiction film “Slipstream,” the classic dwarfsploitation movie “The Terror of Tiny Town,” and the Fred Williamson post apocalyptic science fiction film “Warriors of the Wasteland.” All movies come packed in a cardboard box by Mill Creek and in paper sleeves. I have to say I miss the plastic clam cases, but maybe it’s a cost thing.
This year movie collectors might enjoy knowing that Mill Creek Entertainment has taken to the digital world, allowing their consumers to redeem their fifty megapack purchases for digital libraries for their laptops, cell phones, and Ipads. Much like every other home release, the consumers will be given a unique code with their purchase, allowing them to redeem their movie packs in digital form at Mill Creek’s new service Watch.MillCreekEnt.Com where they can watch them, stream them, or download them.
From Mill Creek Entertainment comes a twelve movie pack of some of the most interesting titles out there for purchase. Every year, there’s a new set with these movies, but as I always say: These packs are good for horror fans starting a collection and looking to get more for their bucks. “Don’t Answer the Phone” is the 1980 thriller about a Vietnam veteran taunting a radio show host as he describes his violent experiences with women and begins stalking her.
Back in 2007, I reviewed “Spine Tingler!” for the Slamdance Film Festival, a yearly event that’s much more entertaining and fulfilling than its counterpart Sundance. “Spine Tingler!” is quite possibly one of the best horror documentaries and film documentaries of all time ranking with “The Kid Stays in the Picture” and “The Shark is Still Working” as the account of a Hollywood mogul and his attempts to make filmmaking so much more fun not only for the man behind the camera, but for the folks watching in the audience.
I have to say director Steve Beck’s treatment “Thirteen Ghosts” is not as bad as everyone says it is. Every movie buff knows that this is a remake of the cult-classic directed by famous director William Castle. I found this to be a very good horror flick and a fun ghost thriller. The premise and concept of the movie are basically the same. The family is trapped in a big house with ghosts you can only see with special glasses. There are different entities and personalities for each ghost, my favorite would have to be the Juggernaut.