When: Fri., Jan. 13, 7 p.m. 2012
Retrofantasma Classics scares up a classic gimmick horror flick and a real oddity from writer/ director/ producer/ mad genius William Castle for its latest double feature. First at 7 p.m. is 1959's House on Haunted Hill, a Vincent Price-starrer that was badly remade four decades later. Its initial (hugely popular) theatrical run included Castle's gimmick of "Emergo," in which a skeleton would fly over the audience at select times. We're not sure if the Carolina will go that far, but you have to give the man credit.
Up next at 9:30 p.m. is an obscure Castle flick with an odd history, 1966's Let's Kill Uncle, Before Uncle Kills Us. The tale of two kids trying to outwit a murderous relation is most interesting for its source, a darkly comic children's book that was profiled in the January 2009 issue of The Believer. In that issue, journalist Theo Schell-Lambert talked about a stern teacher reading the book to his class as a kid; he later tracked down the author, who in turn helped the book come back into print. The film version hasn't screened anywhere for more than two decades, despite Universal striking a new print in 2000. Enjoy this companion to an odd literary footnote and one of the great gimmicky horror films together for $8. —Zack Smith