Friday, September 17, 2004

castle redux ... again

A significant slab of Roger Corman's work was his screen adaptations of E A Poe's works. And Roger was good with cheap shlock. Another guy who took shlock to new highs (seriously) was William Castle, whose shock devices accompanying his films are probably more famous than the films themselves. It was only with his production credit for Polanski's bone-chiller Rosemary's Baby that Castle gained critical respectability. But his canon of B-horror flicks have always been cult favourites. For some reason Dark Castle Entertainment decided to do a Corman/Poe on Castle and churned out remakes of his flicks. House on Haunted Hill is the second one I've seen (the first was House of 13 Ghosts). You needn't have seen the original to tell that this version is mostly lifeless (no pun intended). Admittedly there's a great upgrade on the technology front. And there are the obvious stereotypes. There's bad German. And there's homage too (Rush's character Stephen/Steven Price is named for Vincent Price, who starred in the original). And there's an interesting cover of Sweet Dreams by Marilyn Manson (a favourite of movies where green is a dominant colour?) on the soundtrack. There's a lot of fizz, in fact a flood-load. But there's no fear. It's all strictly by-the-numbers and for the $$$. Pity. Still, given that the outside was all pelting rain and blessed thunder and winds (Ivan was his name), this movie seemed appropriate.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.