American movie producer and director (1914-1977). Castle produced horror movies, many of them pretty good, but he's best known as a producer of memorable gimmicks.

Though his best known films (he produced both "Rosemary's Baby" and "Shampoo") were gimmickless, most of his pictures featured some sort of gimmick designed to draw in audiences. In "The House on Haunted Hill" (the original--not that lame-ass sequel), a skeleton was rigged to fly over the audience. In "The Tingler", the theater seats were wired for "Percepto", which delivered mild electric shocks to certain audience members.

"Mr. Sardonicus" featured a "Punishment Poll", which let the audience decide the fate of the villain. In "13 Ghosts", the gimmick was "Illusion-O" (basically, 3-D--but when there were no ghosts to be seen, you could just take off the glasses and avoid the usual 3-D headaches). For "Macabre", Castle offered a free insurance policy covering death by fright. And in the Joan Crawford chiller "Strait Jacket", every moviegoer received a free cardboard ax.

Research from the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

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