SCARING THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF YOU: THE FILMS OF WILLIAM CASTLE

Date/Time
Date(s) - Wed. Feb. 29, 2012 - Wed. Mar. 14, 2012
12:00 am

Location
Blue Sunshine

Instructor
Maude Michaud

Admission

An icon of B-movies and master of marketing stunts, William Castle has left a lasting impact on the horror film industry. Despite less than stellar reviews, Castle’s films often proved successful commercially, thanks to his many gimmicks which attracted curious movie goers, and his constant quest to scare the daylights out of audiences. First spanning a variety of genres – including film noir, westerns and thrillers – before focusing on his trademark “gimmicky horror”, his body of work still continues to influence modern filmmakers, including John Waters who cites him as an inspiration for his “Odorama” cards created for the release of Polyester. This course will examine Castle’s legacy by first situating him within the historical context of the early-40s Hollywood, when he began his career, before focusing on his ‘horror cycle’ which began in the late-50s. In addition to a close analysis of some of his key films that will help highlight recurring themes, parallels will be drawn between his work and other horror films of the era. The second part of the course will offer an in-depth study of his various gimmicks; how they worked, how they were timed to the films and how audiences reacted. Screening of excerpts will help students get a better feel of what the experience was like for spectators. Lastly, the third part of the class will be devoted to the later part of his career working mostly as a producer and how his legacy inspired countless filmmakers and marketing stunts.