Terry Castle, daughter of the late William Castle, horror film director and producer known for his B horror classics of the late 1950s and 1960s, is relaunching William Castle Prods.
The senior Castle was known as much for his exhibition gimmicks — including having a nurse in attendance for the faint of heart, or wiring seats to give audience members a mild electric shock during scary scenes — as for the films themselves.
Castle hopes to introduce her father’s work, and a variety of original horror films, to a new generation of filmgoers.
Said an enthusiastic Castle from her San Francisco offices: “Dad buzzed over 20 million butts in ‘Tingler,’ had a skeleton fly above the theater audience’s heads in ‘House of Haunted Hill,’ insured theater attendees against ‘death by fright’ in ‘Macabre,’ and introduced the ‘Fright Break’ with the ‘Cowards Corner’ for those too afraid to see the end of ‘Homicidal.’ People don’t forget this kind of unique movie-going experience.”
Castle added that her dad always taught her that a script needs a good story. Modern audiences, she said, will delight from the sorts of gimmicks her father used in his films.
William Castle Prods. will initially focus on films for kids as well as on the old-fashioned style of horror filmmaking. The company is developing “Point Dume,” a psychological thriller that “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” creator D.J. MacHale is co-writing and slated to direct; and “Rubbish,” a thriller in which teenagers break off from the monotony of a youth tour to find themselves trapped overnight inside a medieval Warwick castle.
Terry Castle served as co-producer for Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis’ remake of her father’s 1958 classic, “House on Haunted Hill,” starring Geoffrey Rush, and due in theaters later this year.
Prior to that, Castle, like her father, worked in children’s media. She was an exec in charge of production at Nickelodeon, where she oversaw such series as “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” “Wild and Crazy Kids” and “Welcome Freshman.”
Castle hopes to continue to work with Silver and Zemeckis’ Dark Castle Prods. and to form other strategic alliances.