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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful.
Storming The Castle!
By Michael King
This 2-DVD set includes five movies directed and produced by William Castle. "13 Ghosts" (1960) stars the very likable Martin Milner, who uncharacteristically plays a villain. The gimmick for this movie was the claim that it was filmed in "Illusion-O," and a special viewer was needed to see the ghosts. You looked through the red filter to see the ghosts, or looked through the blue filter to block seeing the ghosts. This funny and frightening film easily rates five stars.
My least favorite film is "13 Frightened Girls!" (1963). It stars Kathy Dunn as Candace "Candy” Hull, a/k/a Kitten. She’s the teen-aged daughter of an American ambassador who uses her access to various embassies to engage in espionage. Her crush on the much older Wally Sanders, played by Murray Hamilton, is more creepy than romantic. As for Kathy Dunn, this was her only appearance in a theatrical, feature-length film. I'm being generous in giving this mediocre movie a two-star rating.
The movie "Mr. Sardonicus" (1961) is set in 19th century Europe. Guy Rolfe stars as Baron Sardonicus, the man whose face is frozen in a hideous grimace of a grin. His disfigurement turned him into a cruel, heartless monster of a man. The gimmick for this movie was that the audience could vote on whether Baron Sardonicus would be pardoned or receive further punishment. Unlike the voting outcome, I give this movie a thumbs up, and a four-star rating.
The film "Homicidal" (1961) finds William Castle's dipping his toe in the pool of slasher movies. In fact, critics of the time referred to it as a knock-off of Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie "Psycho" (1960). The gimmick in this movie occurred near the end of the film. A clock appears counting down the seconds during a one-minute "Fright Break." William Castle advises the audience that anyone too scared to see the frightening climax of the movie could get up, go into the lobby, and get their money back. I certainly watched the last scene of the film, and give it a four-star rating.
The final film is "The Old Dark House" (1963), which bears little resemblance to the 1932 version of the movie, which starred Boris Karloff and Charles Laughton. The wonderful Tom Poston stars as Tom Penderel, an American car salesman living in London. He is invited to spend the weekend at the fabulous Femm Estate, where he meets a family of eccentrics. Robert Morley turns in another fine performance as Roderick Femm. However, my favorite character is the gorgeous Fenella Fielding as Morgana Femm, a real femme fatale. This is my favorite movie, and the funniest film of the five. I happily give it a five star rating. Adding up the ratings, it totals twenty stars divided by five movies, for an overall rating of four stars. Even without any bonus features, it is well worth purchasing this five-film set at such a bargain price.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
By Ms. Le Chat
Big William Castle fan, and this set has some of his movies I'd not seen before. If you're familiar with his work, he does schlocky with a twist, so most films are creepy, and/or suspenseful without being intellectual or campy. Clear prints, great sound, worth the price.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful. See all 50 customer reviews...
Great value on 5 William Castle films (originally available in ...
By D. A. Beckham
Great value on 5 William Castle films (originally available in the much more expensive and OOP William Castle Collection) Really nice quality for the price. You may want to make sure you have a set of red/blue 3D Glasses for 13 Ghosts, because it includes the Ghost Vision segments but will look pretty funky without the specs.