Sure these films were mostly based around a in-theater gimmick however they still managed to be, at worst mildly amusing and at best classic spook show fare. Castle's films were very much a product of their time and hence most haven't aged very well, still, for a lot of people they remain brilliant and enjoyable works of art. Yes I said art damnit! I always felt like they have a spooky-dark ride quality to them and its why Turner Classic Movies loves to show stuff like 13 Ghosts (1960) around Halloween. Hell Castle even produced and has a cameo in Rosemary's Baby (1968) a film that went onto huge success.
When Psycho (1960) screamed into theaters, audiences and critics were completely blown away by it. Indeed its hard to understate just how ground breaking it was. Seeing how it literally changed the game in terms of shock and thrills it was bound to attract rip-off's. And some were even really good, including Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) which was Oscar nominated and even spawned a whole new sub genre the 'Psycho-Biddy or Grande Dame Guignol'. The king of razzle dazzle and larger than life personality William Castle wanted to get in one the fun and made Homicidal (1961) Following a brutal murder, a mysterious blonde named Emily breezes into her home town and with it threatens to reveal a host of dark family secrets. There is also a hefty inheritance in play, which might drive someone HOMICIDAL!
|Joan Crawford in Strait-Jacket|