William Castle Productions Presents: House On Haunted Hill Annotated Screenplay – Complete With Emergo!

As always I want to give a huge thanks to our friends over at Green Galactic and William Castle Productions for this press release announcing the release of the 1959 screenplay for the classic House on Haunted Hill, it is annotated and includes an introduction by none of other than legendary director, Joe Dante! Being published on Oct. 31st means it will make that perfect last minute stocking stuffer for the Halloween Holidays! What? You guys don’t hang stockings for treats and toys by the fireplace for Halloween?! Weird…

The Recently Resurrected William Castle Productions Presents
House on Haunted Hill: A William Castle Annotated Screamplay – Complete with Emerg-O!
To Be Released on October 31, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA – October 6, 2011 – Due out on October 31, 2011, William Castle Productions proudly presents House on Haunted Hill: A William Castle Annotated Screamplay. The book features legendary horror filmmaker William Castle’s authentic working script from his 1959 classic thriller with original formatting and Castle’s own hand-written notes. This collector’s item even comes with a new twist on Castle’s famous theater gimmick, Emerg-O. The 248-page book includes a foreword by acclaimed director Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling, Matinee), hailing the book as “an important artifact.” It also includes an introduction by William’s daughter, Terry Castle, who shares her personal thoughts on this seminal piece of film history. A critical perspective of the film by writer and illustrator Charlie Largent is also included as well as a special welcome from William Castle himself. The Screamplay will be available in print for $24.99 via Amazon and select retailers through the recently resurrected William Castle Productions (ISBN-13: 978-0578092928). For more information please visit http://williamcastle.com/blog/william-castle-productions.

“It’s not that often that you find a script from this period surviving with annotations,” writes Joe Dante in the introduction, “And that’s what makes reading this script such a pleasant surprise; you can actually imagine what it was like to be there, reading the script on the set with the actors, and coming up with artistic decisions on the spot.”

House on Haunted Hill – The Movie-
House on Haunted Hill remains a classic chiller to this day. Produced and directed by William Castle and written by Robb White, the shocker is beloved not only for Castle’s suspense-filled direction but what came to be known as “The Gimmick,” carnival sideshow trickery that both scared and delighted the audience. The original film stars the inimitable Vincent Price and features the classic gimmick Emerg-O – an inflatable glow in the dark skeleton attached to a wire that floated over the heads of the uproarious audience during the final moments of the film to parallel the action on the screen.

In the film, eccentric millionaire playboy Fredrick Loren (Price) and his fourth wife Annabelle have invited five strangers to a “party” at the House on Haunted Hill, a spooky old mansion with a murder-laden history. Whoever stays in the house for one night will earn ten thousand dollars each. Loren even provides loaded guns as party favors. As the night progresses, the guests are trapped inside the foreboding house with ghosts, murderers, and other terrors.

House on Haunted Hill: A William Castle Annotated Screamplay
The Screamplay features the House on Haunted Hill script’s original formatting, maintaining the integrity of the authentic screenplay replete with Castle’s own hand-written notes. In addition, the book cover imitates the leather-bound binders that Castle used for every movie. William Castle Productions, in keeping with the spirit of “The Gimmick,” presents this book with a print version of Emerg-O – simply flip through the pages and scare yourself silly!

The annotated script “pulls back the curtain on the film,” writes Charlie Largent on the artifact, “Castle’s copious notes shine a light on both his own working methods as the director and Robb White’s as the screenwriter … It’s the closest thing we’ll ever have to an alternate director’s cut of this seminal spookfest.”

But there is still more news concerning William Castle (Who has been able to come back from the dead to promote his new book, The Prayer) and his daughter, Terry Castle!

EVENTS – Book Readings/Signings For All 3 Titles & Film Screenings:

Some in-person events include… a blood-making demonstration of the Castle family secret recipe.

EAST COAST:

NYC:
Sun. 10/16 – Books of Wonder’s “Chills & Thrills for Young Readers” – 1:00pm – FearMaker: Family Matters book reading/signing – http://www.booksofwonder.com/events101611.asp

Buffalo:
Wed. 10/19 – Buffalo International Film Festival [Lancaster] – 7:30pm – SKYPE appearance to introduce House on Haunted Hill screening with Emerg-O!
http://www.buffalofilmfestival.com and http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1858214971?ref=ecal

New Jersey:
Fri. 10/28 – Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre [Jersey City] – 8:00pm – House On Haunted Hill screening with Emerg-O! – Castle’s grandson hosts a Q&A and raffle with copies of House On Haunted Hill: A William Castle Annotated Screemplay
http://loewsjersey.org/alt/index.php?view=details&id=122%3Athe-house-on-haunted-hill&option=com_eventlist&Itemid=27

WEST COAST:

Bay Area:
Fri. 10/21 – Book Passage [Corte Madera] – 7:00pm – From The Grave: The Prayer book reading/signing – http://bookpassage.com/event/william-castle-grave-prayer

LA:
Sat. 10/22 – Aero Theatre [Santa Monica] – 6:30pm – House on Haunted Hill screening with Emerg-O! as part of American Cinematheque’s Vincent Price Centennial Weekend. Introduction by Terry Castle who will sign copies of House on Haunted Hill: A William Castle Annotated Screamplay before the film in the Aero lobby – http://www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/house-on-haunted-hill-the-abominable-dr-phibes

LA:
Thu. 10/27 – Stories Books & Café [Echo Park] – 7:30pm – From The Grave: The Prayer & FearMaker: Family Matters book reading/signing – http://www.storiesla.com

LA:
Thu. 11/10 – Larry Edmunds [Hollywood] 7:30pm – House on Haunted Hill: A William Castle Annotated Screamplay book reading/signing – http://larryedmunds.com

Stories Books & Café Presents: Terry Castle, Oct. 27th!

Thanks to our friends over at Green Galactic and William Castle Productions for sending us the heads up on this spectacularly spooky upcoming Halloween treat for those readers in the Los Angeles area!

“Stories Books & Café Presents:
The Return of the Late Legendary Horror Filmmaker William Castle
With a Reading From His New Novel
From the Grave: The Prayer
By His Own Flesh and Blood, Terry Castle
Thursday, October 27, 2011

All Ages Welcome!
Halloween Tricks & Treats Including
Demonstration of Castle Family Secret Recipe for Blood

LOS ANGELES, CA – September 21, 2011 – Known for his ingenious marketing gimmicks, legendary horror film producer and director William Castle (1914-1977) has returned from the dead with his first new work in decades, From the Grave: The Prayer (Volume 1), a novel for Tweens/Young Adults. Due out this Halloween season in early October 2011, the 75,000-word book set in Hollywood and Southern France is a compelling thriller infused with history, suspense, and horror. To celebrate, there will be a special Los Angeles Halloween event where his own flesh and blood, daughter Terry Castle, will read from and sign copies of the book at Stories Books & Café in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 7:30pm (1716 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026; 213-413-3733; http://www.storiesla.com). All ages are welcome! Expect Halloween tricks and treats including a fake blood making demonstration by Terry as she reveals the secret family recipe. From the Grave: The Prayer will be released on October 2, 2011 through the recently resurrected William Castle Productions. For more information please visit http://williamcastle.com.

William Castle
Born in New York City in 1914, William Castle made horror films in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s and lived his life scaring the living daylights out of people with the numerous horror films he produced and/or directed. Macabre (1958), House on Haunted Hill (1959), The Tingler (1959), 13 Ghosts (1960), Mr. Sardonicus (1961), Homicidal (1961), Straight Jacket (1964), and Rosemary’s Baby (1968) are a few of his classic credits, the second and third films starring Vincent Price in career-defining roles. In addition to directing and producing, he also made many appearances in films (his own and others) such as Shampoo (1975) and The Day of the Locust (1975). He also appeared in a non-speaking part in Rosemary’s Baby as the grey-haired man lurking outside the phone booth while Mia Farrow attempts to get in touch with her obstetrician.

Castle is perhaps best known, however, for the marketing strategies he developed to get his fans into theaters. In addition to the tingled butts of movie-goers at The Tingler screenings and insuring moviegoers against death by fright for Macabre, he also created “Illusion-O” a ghost viewer/ghost remover for 13 Ghosts, a “Punishment Poll” for Mr. Sardonicus, and Homicidal audiences were introduced to “Fright Breaks” and the “Coward’s Corner.” He also introduced audiences to new film techniques such as “Percept-O” and “Emerg-O.”

At 15, he began his career on Broadway, securing his first acting role by passing himself off as Samuel Goldwyn’s nephew. He began his directing career at the age of 18 with a stage production of Dracula before graduating to work as an assistant to director Orson Welles, doing much of the second unit location work for Welles’ noir classic, The Lady from Shanghai (1947). John Goodman’s character in Matinee (1993) was based on Castle. His 1976 autobiography, Step Right Up, I’m Gonna Scare the Pants Off America, was reprinted in 1991 with a foreword by John Waters, who eulogized Castle thusly, “Without a doubt, the greatest showman of our time was William Castle. King of the Gimmicks, William Castle was my idol. His films made me want to make films. I’m jealous of his work. In fact, I wish I were William Castle.” Castle died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on May 31, 1977.

Terry Castle
Terry Castle, the real life daughter of cult filmmaker William Castle, grew up in Los Angeles with a dad who made a living scaring the wits out of moviegoers everywhere. Although he was internationally famous, to her he was always just dad, though a larger than life one at that. While she was growing up in the 1960s her father taught her interesting life skills such as the best recipe for fake blood, the proper way to hold an ax, and how to act out the most terrifying of ghost stories. After working as a writer and producer for years for CNN, Travel Channel, and Nickelodeon/MTV-Networks, she worked with Dark Castle Entertainment (Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis’ production company named after her father). At Dark Castle she co-produced and consulted on the remakes of two William Castle films to make the plots even more frightening: House on Haunted Hill (1999) and Thir13en Ghosts (2001). Her soon to be released book, FearMaker: Family Matters, is an homage to her father (he’s a ghost writer on it actually!). Much of what lies within the pages of both The Prayer and Family Matters is based on real life occurrences shared by the two Castles. Horror is in her blood, as she carries on her father’s wicked tradition of scaring innocent souls everywhere.

William Castle Productions
Since the 1950s, William Castle Productions has been dedicated to scaring America with dozens of film and television releases. The production company is best known for films Rosemary’s Baby (1968), House on Haunted Hill (1959), and The Tingler (1959). Dormant for a number of years after Castle’s death in 1977, the production company has been re-animated in recent years by the ghost of William Castle in collaboration with his daughter Terry Castle. In addition to From the Grave: The Prayer, William Castle Productions will soon release another new book, FearMaker: Family Matters written by Terry and William Castle. Additional new film, television, theater, and DVD projects are also currently in the works.

A big thanks to William Castle Productions for the awesome photos of the legendary film director you see above!