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William Castle
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    (April 24, 1914-May 31, 1977)
    Birth name was William Schloss
    Produced and/or directed 'Macabre (1958),' 'House on Haunted Hill (1959),' 'The Tingler (1959),' '13 Ghosts (1960),' 'Homicidal (1961),' 'Mr. Sardonicus (1961),' 'Zotz! (1962),' '13 Frightened Girls (1963),' 'The Old Dark House (1963),' 'Strait-Jacket (1964),' 'The Night Walker (1965),' 'I Saw What You Did (1965),' 'Let's Kill Uncle (1966),' 'Rosemary's Baby (1968),' 'Ghost Story (1972)' and 'Bug (1975)'
    Many of his movies are terrible.
    His directorial style has been described as 'crude and pedestrian.'
    He relied on cheesy gimmicks to market his films.
    Examples: he flew plastic skeletons over the audience, used buzzer-rigged seats to 'shock' them, sold insurance policies in case anyone 'died of fright,' etc.
    Many of his movies were remade into versions just as awful as the originals.
    While directing a play starring an actress who had fled Nazi Germany, he sprayed swastikas on the outside of the theater to create publicity.
    He changed his name from 'Schloss' to 'Castle' because Bela Lugosi called him 'Mr. Slush.'
    Some feel he was a promotional genius.
    Alfred Hitchcock was a big fan of his work, as are John Waters and Stephen King.
    His movies may be stupid, but they're usually entertaining.
    One critic says he made 'the finest B pictures of all time.'
    He was originally to direct 'Rosemary's Baby' himself, but decided he wasn't talented enough, and hired the young Roman Polanski instead.
    He received a lot of hate mail from religious kooks who thought 'Rosemary's Baby' was the work of the devil.

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro

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