April 24, 1914 – May 31, 1977
My man William Castle. The king of the movie gimmick! If you’ve read my About page you know he was instrumental in my love of the B-Movie genre. “Straight Jacket” 1964 starring Joan Crawford and Diane Baker was surprisingly, creepy scary. Joan is sent away to an asylum after chopping off the head of her husband (Lee Majors) and his lover with an axe. (Witnessed by their young daughter.) She’s released 20 years later. (supposedly cured) However, the axe murders resume. Was the release premature? While Crawford went out on a promotional tour for the picture, Castle had cardboard axes made to hand out to patrons. Gotta love it!
Two of his films were remade by his daughter Terry Ann Castle, who co-produced House on Haunted Hill in 1999 and Thirteen Ghosts in 2001.
A documentary chronicling Castle’s life, Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story, directed by Jeffery Schwartz, premiered at the AFI FEST 2007 in Los Angeles and won the Audience Award for Best Documentary.