The coroner and scientist Dr. Warren Chapin is researching the shivering effect of fear with his assistant David Morris. Dr. Warren is introduced to Ollie Higgins, the relative of a criminal sentenced to the electric chair, while making the autopsy of the corpse, and he makes a comment about the tingler-effect to him. Ollie asks for a lift to Dr. Warner, and introduces his deaf-mute wife Martha Higgins, who manages a theater of their own. Dr. Warner returns home, where he lives with his unfaithful and evil wife Isabel Stevens Chapin and her sweet sister Lucy Stevens. Dr. Warner, upset with the situation with his wife, threatens and uses her as a subject of his experiment. When Martha dies of fear, Dr. Warner makes her autopsy and finds a creature that lives inside every human being, feeds with fear and is controlled by the scream. Once Martha was not able to scream, the tingler was not rendered harmless and became enormous. When the living being escapes, Dr. Warner and Ollie chase it in a crowded movie theater. –IMDb
William Schloss was born in New York City to a Jewish family. Schloss means “castle” in German, and Castle probably chose to translate his surname into English to avoid the discrimination often encountered by Jewish entertainers of his time. He spent most of his teenage years working on Broadway in a number of jobs ranging from set building to acting. This put him in a good stead to become a director, and he left for Hollywood at the age of 23, going on to direct his first film 6 years later. He also worked an as assistant to director Orson Welles, doing much of the second unit location work for Welles’ noir classic, The Lady from Shanghai.
Castle was famous for directing films with many gimmicks which were ambitiously promoted, despite being reasonably low budget B-movies. Five of these were scripted by adventure novelist Robb White. Recently, two of his films have been remade, House on Haunted Hill in 1999, and Thirteen Ghosts in 2001 (the latter retitled Thir13en Ghosts… read more
Castle positions horror as the subject and the object; the self and the other. In the process, he also examines the relationship between content and form. This is much more than a schlocky gimmick piece. It's a psychedelic excursion into excess and visual invention. Handsome photography and sober performances lend gravity to the experience. Strong evidence for the potential of genre filmmaking.