Call William Castle a "schlock" director if you want, but you'd be doing a disservice to his enormously entertaining horror pictures of the '50s and '60s. For those who already know that, "The William Castle Film Collection" is the DVD release of the year.
The five-disc set contains eight movies, including his most beloved, gimmick-laden efforts, like "The Tingler," "Mr. Sardonicus" and "13 Ghosts." These have been issued on disc prior, but hang on to "13 Ghosts," as the one here is not in Illusion-O. That's its only negative.
Even if you have those, plus the Hitchcockian shockers "Homicidal" and "Strait-Jacket," this collection is worth the upgrade. For one thing, it contains three new-to-DVD Castle flicks, making them no longer woefully obscure. Tom Poston stars in both the charming horror-comedy "The Old Dark House" and the wacky sci-fi tale "Zotz!" Last but not least is "13 Frightened Girls," a delightfully oddball spy thriller.
Scattered among the extras are two full episodes of Castle's anthology "Ghost Story" anthology, but best of all is the terrific feature-length "Spine Tingler!" documentary about the moviemaker's life and career. As the set proves over and over again, they're well worth celebrating. One hopes more reissues follow. —Rod Lott