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In or Around New York City? Then You Can Experience The Return of William Castle!

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If someone were to ask us to name our top ten directors of all time, the name William Castle would sit firmly somewhere within the top five. The man was not only a true showman but also an absolute genius. If we have one regret in our tenure here at Dread Central, it is that we weren’t around during Castle’s heyday of insane gimmicks. The man was without question the godfather of viral marketing, and it’s taken the rest of the industry decades to catch up. If you live somewhere within the Tri-State Region, we have the info on an event that you do NOT want to miss!

From the Press Release
THE RETURN OF WILLIAM CASTLE, a 15-film festival of horror and exploitation classics by the director and master showman, complete with their original gimmicks (Emergo!, Percepto!, Illusion-O!, and others – including one created exclusively for Film Forum), will run at Film Forum from August 27-September 6 (two weeks). This is the return of Castle’s gimmick movies to Film Forum – after a 15-year hiatus.

Castle (1914-1977) made over forty B-movies before hitting on a formula for box office success: low-budget chillers geared to the burgeoning Youth-sploitation market, including such effective Hitchcock imitations as Macabre, Strait-Jacket (the latter scripted by Psycho’s Robert Bloch), and Homicidal – which TIME magazine liked better than Psycho. Castle often appeared himself as a master of ceremonies à la Hitchcock, whose success and persona he strenuously attempted to emulate. A master of ballyhoo, Castle shamelessly promoted his pictures with cheesy but highly effective gimmicks, which will be lovingly re-created for the festival.

In or Around New York City? Then You Can Experience The Return of William Castle!

THE RETURN OF WILLIAM CASTLE opens on August 27 and 28 (Friday/Saturday) with a double-feature of HOMICIDAL, Castle’s quick cash-in on Psycho (the one TIME magazine preferred to the original). Will you hold out after the Fright Break? Terrified audience members are given one minute to leave before the conclusion but must sit in the lobby’s Coward’s Corner! It will be shown on a double-bill with STRAIT-JACKET, scripted by Psycho author Robert Bloch: Joan Crawford, returning from a 20-year asylum stint after hacking up her husband, is the obvious suspect when heads start rolling anew. Warning: STRAIT-JACKET vividly depicts axe murders!

Vincent Price, the Castle star par excellence, stars in HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (Sunday, August 29): There’s a ghost for everyone when eccentric millionaire Price rounds up a motley crew of strangers for a little house party. Haunted Hill’s black humor and goose-fleshy atmosphere will be further enhanced by the miracle of Emergo! – a process “more startling than 3-D!” MR. SARDONICUS, screening with Haunted Hill on Sunday, features Castle’s famed “Punishment Poll.” The face of sadistic Baron Sardonicus gets stuck in a terrified grin, concealed behind an expressionless mask as he takes it out on the rest of the cast. Should he come to a horrible end? His fate is decided when the audience is given special glow-in-the-dark ballots to vote on the outcome of this most heinous fiend.

Screening as a triple-feature on Monday, August 30, are three of Castle’s B-movies based on the popular radio mystery series “The Whistler”: THE WHISTLER, with guilt-ridden Richard Dix hiring by-the-book hit man J. Carrol Nash to kill him through a middle man (The method? Death by fright!); MARK OF THE WHISTLER, with bum Dix deciding to cash in on a long-dormant bank account coincidentally in his name; and MYSTERIOUS INTRUDER, with crooked private eye Dix hired to find the benefactor of a mysterious bequest.

Other Castle gimmick movies to be screened during the festival include MACABRE screening on Wednesday, September 1: Doctor William Prince races against time to find his buried-alive-by-a-madman daughter. Due to the horrifying nature of this picture, each patron will receive a $1,000,000 policy insuring against Death by Fright (certain restrictions apply); showing with 13 GHOSTS, presented in Illusion-O!: Vengeful spirits (visible only with specially-provided “Ghost Viewers”) plague a creepy old mansion’s new middle class residents.

Screening on Thursday, September 2, is THE NIGHT WALKER, starring screen legend Barbara Stanwyck (in her final film) as a wealthy widow haunted in recurring dreams by her decidedly dead blown-up husband, co-starring Stanwyck’s real-life ex, Robert Taylor; and LET’S KILL UNCLE, the exact suggestion of Mary Badham (Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird) to teenaged pal – and heir to $5 mil – Pat Cardi, when his uncle/guardian cheerfully admits murder’s his own plan.

The rare Castle film noir WHEN STRANGERS MARRY will also have a single screening (at 6:30 only) on September 2: Kim Hunter weds glove salesman Dean Jagger after their first date, then hears there’s a gloved strangler on the loose – but old flame Robert Mitchum is there to help. Shot in 7 days for $50,000, Strangers was hailed by Orson Welles as “better acted than Double Indemnity and Laura.”

Two Castle 3D movies will be projected in their original double-system format: JESSE JAMES VS. THE DALTONS (September 3 & 4, Friday/Saturday, at 6:30 only): Brett King believes he’s the son of the notorious bandit and hooks up with the Daltons to try and learn the truth, but 3D’d sexpot Barbara Lawrence is raison d’être enough for this Castle oater; and the French & Indian War “Eastern” FORT TI (September 5 & 6, Sunday/Monday at 6:30 only), with colonial George Montgomery teaming up with Redcoats as they go toe-to-toe against the Frenchies at Fort Ticonderoga.

The most famous Castle film of all – and a Film Forum tradition – is THE TINGLER, with its spine-tingling PERCEPTO!, the ultimate in audience participation, to be shown over Labor Day weekend (September 3-6, Friday-Monday). “Get ready to scream – scream for your lives!” when Vincent Price’s fear experiments unleash that centipede-like thing right onto the spinal cords of our terrified audience. Featuring the original blood-splattered color sequence and the screen’s very first acid trip, experienced by the audience via Goldstein’s own innovation, PSYCHEDELORAMA!

Accompanying all shows of The Tingler will be Psycho: The Trailer, the legendary six-minute preview, with Alfred Hitchcock himself squeamishly taking us on a tour of the Bates House. (Psycho, celebrating its 50th Anniversary, will have a one-week run at Film Forum during Halloween Week, October 29-November 4).

Public Screening Schedule

  • AUGUST 26/27 Fri/Sat (2 Films for 1 Admission)
    HOMICIDAL (1961) WITH FRIGHT BREAK & COWARD’S CORNER!
    1:00, 4:35, 8:10
    STRAIT-JACKET (1964) Joan Crawford
    2:45. 6:20, 10:00

  • AUGUST 29 Sun (2 Films for 1 Admission)
    HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1959) IN BONE-CHILLING EMERGO!
    Vincent Price
    2:45, 6:05, 9:25
    MR. SARDONICUS (1961) WITH PUNISHMENT POLL!
    1:00, 4:20, 7:40

  • AUGUST 30 Mon (3 Films for 1 Admission)
    THE WHISTLER (1944) New 35mm Print!
    Richard Dix, J. Carrol Naish
    1:00, 4:45, 8:30
    MARK OF THE WHISTLER (1944) New 35mm Print!
    Richard Dix
    2:15, 6:00, 9:45
    MYSTERIOUS INTRUDER (1946) New 35mm Print!
    Richard Dix
    3:30, 7:15

  • SEPTEMBER 1 Wed (2 Films for 1 Admission)
    MACABRE (1958) WITH $1,000,000 INSURANCE POLICY!
    William Prince
    2:50, 6:10, 9:10
    13 GHOSTS (1960) IN BLOOD-CURDLING ILLUSION-O!
    Martin Milner, Rosemary DeCamp, Margaret Hamilton
    1:00, 4:20, 7:40

  • SEPTEMBER 2 Thu (2 Films for 1 Admission)
    THE NIGHT WALKER (1964) Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor
    2:50, 8:20
    LET’S KILL UNCLE (1962) Mary Badham, Pat Cardi
    1:00, 4:30*, 10:00
    *4:30 show is a single feature only

  • SEPTEMBER 2 Thu (Separate Admission)
    WHEN STRANGERS MARRY (1944) Kim Hunter, Dean Jagger, Robert Mitchum
    6:35 ONLY

  • SEPTEMBER 3/4/5/6 Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon
    THE TINGLER (1959) IN PERCEPTO! & PSYCHEDELORAMA!
    Vincent Price, Darryl Hickman, Judith Evelyn
    Plus Psycho–The Trailer
    1:00, 2:50, 4:40, 8:15, 10:05

  • SEPTEMBER 3/4 Fri/Sat (Separate Admission)
    JESSE JAMES VS. THE DALTONS (1954) Brett King, Barbara Lawrence
    6:30 ONLY

  • SEPTEMBER 5/6 Sun/Mon (Separate Admission)
    FORT TI (1953) George Montgomery
    6:30 ONLY

    In or Around New York City? Then You Can Experience The Return of William Castle!

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    Alien: Covenant’s Carmen Ejogo Joins True Detective Season 3

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    “From the dusty mesa her looming shadow grows…”

    The first season of HBO’s “True Detective” was one of the best seasons ever put on a TV screen. Hands down. The second season was another story altogether. While not a complete waste of time (Colin Farrell owed) the season was basically merely ‘meh’.

    But what about “True Detective” season 3?

    Well, a few months back it was announced that the third season had been greenlit by HBO, with creator Nic Pizzolatto returning to pen the series and director Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) taking the helm of the episodes.

    Today we have news that Carmen Ejogo – who you may recognize Ejogo from such recent fright flicks as It Comes at Night, Alien: Covenant, and The Purge: Anarchy – will be joining the previously announced Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) for Season 3.

    Ejogo will play the female lead, Amelia Reardon, who THR describes as “an Arkansas schoolteacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980.”

    Nice Pizzolatto will serve as showrunner and direct alongside Jeremy Saulnier. Executive producers include Pizzolatto, Saulnier, Scott Stephens and season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as well as original director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Richard Brown are also credited as exec producers.

    Synopsis:

    A macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.

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    Danielle Harris Tried to Get Jamie Lloyd into New Halloween Movie

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    One of the top films all of us are looking forward to the most here at Dread Central is Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel/reboot thing to John Carpenter’s Halloween.

    The new Halloween (2018) film is written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and is all set to be directed by Green this year. Recently we learned that original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis was going to be returning to the new film.

    Not only that, but Curtis’ classic character Laurie Strode would have a daughter… played by Judy Greer. But what about Danielle Harris?

    After all, Harris was the star of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Curse of Michael Myers. Let alone, she had a starring role in both Rob Zombie’s remake and it’s sequel. So how about the new film?

    Turns out Harris tried to get her character Jamie Llyod (aka the daughter of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode) from Halloween 4 and 5 into the new film… but she was turned down by Blumhouse and the new creative team. That sucks.

    Harris was pretty bummed about the whole deal and took to Facebook recently to clear the air. You can check out quotes from her video, along with the video itself, below.

    After that make sure to hit us up and let us know how much you would have liked to see Harris return to Halloween in the comments below or on social media!

    “What I am bummed about is… [Laurie] has a daughter,” Harris says. “I was okay with it when she had a son… but they’re saying it’s the last one and… she has a daughter. And it’s not Jamie. It’s just kind of a bummer, I guess. I think somebody had said, it wouldn’t have hurt the movie to have Jamie reunited with [Laurie]. But that didn’t happen.”

    “We did put in a call, thought it’d be kinda cool even just to have a little flashback…” She continues. “They were not interested. So. I tried.”

    Blumhouse’s Halloween hits theaters October 19, 2018.

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    Posted by Danielle Harris on Monday, November 6, 2017

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    Through the Cracks – Trick or Treat (1986) Review

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    Starring Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Glen Morgan, Gene Simmons, and Ozzy Osbourne

    Directed by Charles Martin Smith


    I have been a horror fan for more than half of my life at this point. Meaning I have seen most of the quality horror offerings under the sun. But that said, every once in awhile a classic sneaks past so we wanted to create this “Through the Cracks” review section for such films.

    Case in point, I had never seen the Halloween horror flick Trick or Treat until last night. I know, right? How the hell did that happen? But these things do happen and so for everyone that has seen the flick a million times, this will be a review of the movie from a super horror fan that – at the age of 33 – is seeing Trick or Treat for the very first time.

    Now let’s get to it.

    First off you have to love the movie’s plot. Mixing horror and heavy metal seems like a given, yet preciously few films Frankenstein these two great tastes together.

    Like many of you out there, I am a big metal fan as well as a big horror fan. The two seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Or Jason and horny campers.

    I dig bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and even those hair metal bands (Dokken forever!) and I’m well aware of the legends surrounding playing these records backward.

    Off the top of my head, the only other flick that combines the two to this degree is the (relatively) recent horror-comedy Deathgasm. I say more horror-metal flicks! Or should we call it Metal-Horror? Yeah, that’s a much more metal title.

    It only makes sense that someone, somewhere would take the idea of “What if Ozzy Osbourne really was evil and came back from the dead (you know, if he had passed away during his heyday) to torment a loner fan?” Great premise for a movie!

    And Trick or Treat delivers on the promise of this premise in spades. Sammi Curr is an epic hybrid of the best of the best metal frontmen and his resurrection via speaker is one of the great horror birthing scenes I have seen in all my years.

    Add to that the film feels like a lost entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. More specifically the film feels like it would fit snugly in between two of my favorite entries in that series, Dream Warriors and The Dream Master.

    This movie is 80’s as all f*ck and I loved every minute of it.

    And speaking of how this film brought other minor classics to the forefront of my brain, let’s talk about the film’s central villain, Sammi Curr. This guy looks like he could share an epic horror band with the likes of Mary Lou from Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II and the Drill Killer rocker from Slumber Party Massacre Part II.

    Picture that band for a moment and tell me they aren’t currently playing the most epic set in Hell as we speak. I say let’s see an Avengers-style series of films based on these minor horror icons sharing the stage and touring the country’s high school proms!

    In the end Trick or Treat has more than it’s fair share of issues. Sammi Curr doesn’t enter the film until much too late and is dispatched way too easily. Water? Really? That’s it?

    That said, the film is still a blast as director Charles Martin Smith keeps the movie rocking like an 80’s music video with highlights being Sammi’s rock show massacre at the prom and his final assault on our hero teens in the family bathroom.

    Rockstar lighting for days.

    Even though the film has issues (zero blood, a rushed ending) none of that mattered much to this horror hound as the film was filled to the brim with striking horror/metal imagery and a killer soundtrack via Fastway and composer Christopher Young.

    Plus you’ve got to love the cameos by Gene Simmons (boy, his character just dropped right out of the movie, huh?) and Ozzy Osbourne as a mad-as-hell Preacher that isn’t going to take any more of this devil music. P.S. Watch for the post-credits tag.

    More than a few of my closest horror buddies have this film placed high on their annual Halloween must-watch lists. And after (finally) viewing the film for myself, I think I just may have to add the film to mine as well. Preferably on VHS.

    Trick or Treat is an 80’s horror classic. If you dig films like Popcornand if you put the film off like I did, remedy that tonight and slap a copy in the old VHS/DVD player.

    Just don’t play it backward… God knows what could happen.

    All said and done, I enjoyed the hell out of my first viewing of Trick or Treat. But what do YOU think of the film? Make sure to hit us up and let us know below or on social media!

    Now bring on Trick or Treat 2: The Prom Band from Hell, featuring Sammi Curr, Mary Lou Maloney, and Atanas Ilitch’s Driller Killer from Slumber Party Massacre Part II!

    • Trick or Treat (1986) 3.5
    3.5

    Summary

    Charles Martin Smith’s Trick or Treat is a sure-fire Halloween treat for fans of 80’s horror flicks, as well as fans of heavy metal music.

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    User Rating 3.14 (7 votes)
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