High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Sunday, October 28, 2012

What Price Gory? ... Ain't Nothin' But a Hearse Party This Halloween as I Salute My Favorite Horror Ham!

 53 YEARS 


House on 
Haunted Hill 

remains my
all time favorite
horror movie.

Directed by William Castle...
a master of tongue-in-cheek horror...

House on Haunted Hill starred my favorite
spook flick actor, Vincent Price.

The movie provided
an ideal showcase
for Price's priceless,
campy acting style.

With crackling dialogue and snappy one-liners...

House on Haunted Hill prompted
as many chuckles as screams.

Everybody sing along!

Oh, they're hangin' from the ceiling

they're screamin' on the floor!

Hairy paws are comin' through the door.

Gurl, you need to bust some moves

If you don't your life you'll lose

Ain't nothin' but a party, baby

Ain't nothin' but a hearse party!

Meet Watson Prichard...

a drunken sot
who rambles on
and on about
severed heads
and ghosts.

Is it demon rum doing the talking?
Or would we be wise to take Prichard seriously?

Very seriously!

 Frederick Loren: It's almost time to lock up the house 
 and then your party will really begin. 

 I wonder how it will end... 

 Frederick Loren: 
 Remember the fun we had when you poisoned me? 

 Annabelle Loren: (laughs) 
 “Something you ate,” the doctor said. 

 Frederick Loren: Yes...arsenic on the rocks! 

 Frederick Loren: 
 Don't let the ghosts and the ghouls disturb you, darling. 

 Annabelle: Darling, the only ghoul in the house is you! 

 Watson Pritchard: 
 These (guns) are no good against the dead. Only the living. 

    Pritchard: Six hours…six of us. Time enough. 

 Rooms? Guns? I tell ya, it doesn’t make any difference. 
 They aren’t through with us yet. 

At last you've got it all...


I had... 

even my life.

But you're not 

going to live to enjoy it!

Come with me, murderess...


A promotional genius, director William Castle turned his low budget B movies into box office hits by using a variety of gimmicks. The publicity package for House on Haunted Hill, for example, asserted that the picture was filmed using a technique called Emergo. To transform the movie into an interactive experience, Castle distributed a promotional kit
to theaters screening the movie. The kit included a creepy, inflatable glow-in-the-dark skeleton.

During the movie's terrifying climax a skeleton emerges from an acid-filled wine vat to exact revenge on wife/villainess Annabelle Loren. Simultaneously, the skeleton in the theater was rigged to spring from the stage and sail on a wire above the audience. As word spread about the movie's bare bones special effects, rambunctious teenagers couldn't resist the urge to pelt the poor skeleton with candy boxes, cups and anything else they could get their hands on. It was not the audience reaction Castle had anticipated. It was, neverthe-
less, an encouraging sign that a good time was had by all.

 Good night, doctor. Good night, Annabelle. 

 The crime you two planned was indeed perfect; 
 only the victim is alive and the murderers are not. 

 It’s a pity you didn’t know when you 
 started your game of murder… 

 that I was playing, too. 



Have a Shady day!


  1. Ha! A very enjoyable post, to be sure! I did not know that about that movie, with the extra special effects. I'm sure, though, there were some who were scared out of their gourd. It reminds me of seeing Rocky Horror Picture Show when it first came out and how the audience reaction to the show really became such an integral part of the show.

    1. That's a fitting comparison, Shelly. William Castle devised all sorts of gimmicks to make his horror movies fun filled interactive experiences. His movie The Tingler, which also starred Vincent Price, is another example. He installed gadgets on some theater seats which delivered mild electrical shocks (or tingles) to patrons at intense points of the movie. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, dear Shelly, and I wish you a happy week ahead!

  2. Hey! We saw this movie a couple of weeks're right-verrrry good! I didn't see it at the movies, darn! I hate that I missed the skeleton floating through the theater! I like films with Vincent Price, he always throws in some humor, and speaks to the audience. 'The House of Usher' was a favorite of mine too. In truth, it's Vincent Price's voice and mannerisms that draws us to him. His voice also appears in Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' recording. Thanks Shady, this is very cool-it's that time of year, and they're all roaming! Have a wonderful's great to see you today.♫

    1. Hi there, Susan! It's great to see you, too, and to be able to move on to a topic other than the Dell's destruction. HOHH is a short movie by today's standards but it's long on entertainment value and tongue-in-cheek humor. I love Vincent Price movies and have seen all of his Poe classics. He was truly a one of a kind character actor and a very nice and generous man in real life as well. Thank you so much for coming by, dear Susan, and happy H-ween to you!

  3. Tom would you believe I have never seen House on Haunted Hill! For shame! I did watch two so bad they're good scary films last night Phenomena and Troll 2. Phenomena was the better of the two and starred a young Jennifer Connolly in her first film role. Very original plot! Thanks for your scary film recommendation! I will check it out!

    Emma x

    1. Hi, Emma! Yes, I know about Phenomena, one of Jennifer Connelly's early films. Have you also seen her with Bowie in Labyrinth? I hope you get a chance to watch House on Haunted Hill because it's a heck of a lot of fun. Be advised there is a 1999 remake which I have also seen but the far superior one is William Castle's 1959 original. Thank you very much for coming over, dear Emma, and good night to you in Dublin!

  4. A great post for Halloween! I loved Vincent Price movies as a kid and I think I saw them all. That first picture of Watson Pritchard was taken from a Star Trek show where he was a lawyer for Captain Kirk. I always enjoyed his acting. Have a Happy Halloween, Shady!

    1. Hi, dear Belle! You have a good eye. I couldn't find a suitable image of Elisha Cook, Jr. in the role of Prithard so I borrowed that picture from Star Trek. Elisha Cook was another gifted character actor, usually playing men with an abundance of flaws and weaknesses. It's great to see you here today, dear friend Belle, and I wish you a very happy week ahead!

  5. Like Emma I never saw it either but sure enjoyed reading your post about it. Have a happy Halloween too.

    1. Happy Halloween to you, Odie! I highly recommend Wm. Castle spook flicks and especially hope you catch this one someday.

  6. I've only seen the remake of this film and it kinda fell flat for me. Maybe I need to give the original a try! The screenshots you've included look a thousand times better than the 1999 remake. I think my fave scary film will always be Rosemary's Baby. It still gives me chills. PS thanks again for the well wishes. I sure hope this storm isnt as bad as they say its gonna be.

    1. Hey, I totally agree about Rosemary's Baby. Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes were two of the greatest actors of the 60s. Having seen both versions of HOHH I really think you will appreciate the campy '59 original with it's crackling dialogue and, of course, Vincent Price, known to your generation as the rapper in "Thriller" and the old inventor in Edward Scissorhands. Oh, dear Amber, I am very sad about your plight. Stay safe, my dear friend. This too shall pass. I'll be thinking about you. Thanks for taking time to come over for a visit. It speaks volumes about your character.

  7. I've never seen The House On Haunted Hill, but I remember The Haunting of Hill House, which scared the bejeebers out of me. Vincent Price was a treasure. A B movie treasure to be sure, but I miss those hokey old horror movies. Such fun to watch.

    1. karen - You really get into the spirit of Halloween and I know you'd get a kick out of this scary/funny Vincent Price picture. I'm pretty sure you can watch the whole movie on YouTube. Thanks so much for your visit and comment, dear karen!

  8. Interactive theater! Sounds like my kind of shin dig. You're so funny Shady, you get me chuckling every time.

    1. Hi, Alabee! I'm glad my post made you smile and laugh. We all need it right now. I very much appreciate your friendship and thank you for coming over to see me again today. Take care, dear friend!

  9. Creepy and spooktacular. Vincent used to both fascinate me and scare the heck out of me giggle xo

    1. I love everything Vincent Price was in, Katie. As you might recall he was a favorite guest celeb on Hollywood Squares and was also popular on the talk show circuit. Thanks for coming by, dear friend!

    2. I watched The Last Man on Earth yesterday. Vincent Price vampire/zombie hunter giggle. Hugs

    3. Hi, Katie! I have a gallery in my home that includes a collection of framed vintage horror movie posters. Several are Vincent Price pictures including The Pit and the Pendulum, Tower of London, The Raven, The Haunted Palace and The Masque of the Red Death. Thanks again for stopping by, dear friend. I hope you're having a wonderful birthday!

  10. Believe it or not, I've never seen the whole original movie, HOHH. Several times I've landed on a channel and caught the last several minutes in the basement with wife, skeleton and Price. I've watched the remake several times, still not totally understanding the plot, but your presentation here has made me want to hunt down the Castle version--it looks like it makes more sense than the later one, even though some of the effects can be chuckled at now. It seems that in the days when these movies were released, our imaginations supplied a lot of the tensions. And agreed---Vincent Price was the Master of the Horror Film.
    Glad to hear Sandy was easy on Floridians.

    1. Hi, Ron! You can watch HOHH 1959 free on YouTube (immediately following a Romney ad). Here's the link:

      I agree that we relied on our imaginations decades ago. Great directors didn't have to show the monster very often. A quick glimpse now and then and our minds did the rest. Blood and gore were kept at a minimum and the movies were better and better for us. Hurrican season 2012 has been berry berry good to Florida so far this year. Thanks for coming by, Ron, and I'll see you in our next feature starting minutes from now!

  11. Oh, yes, I remember this one. A fun movie for all the reasons you've stated.


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