It's 13 times the thrills 13 times the fun 13 times the screams! It's 13 GHOSTS a ghoulish fright-fest from producer-director William Castle. When an eccentric uncle wills a huge ramshackle houseto Cyrus (Donald Woods) and... more » his impoverished family they get the shock of a lifetime. Their new residence comes complete with a spooky housekeeper Elaine (Margaret Hamilton) plus a fortune in buried treasure and 12 horrifying ghosts. As the terrified family soon discovers these haunting ectoplasms include a decapitated man a wailing lady and a flaming skeleton who are held captive in the eerie house and must find an unlucky 13th to free them! Who'll be the final victim of these ghostly shenanigans? See for yourself if you dare!System Requirements:Running Time: 84 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: HORROR Rating: UNRATED UPC: 043396065505 Manufacturer No: 6550« less
A down-on-its-luck family inherits a mansion -- and then has to deal with its large number of spectral occupants -- in this charmingly cheesy drive-in fave directed by gimmick kingpin William Castle. Apparently it was filmed in "Amaze-O-Vision," whatever that is, and you had to wear special glasses in the theater in order to see the ghosts.
Angela M. (kuroitenshi) from TOLEDO, OH Reviewed on 9/20/2012...
Now, I saw the remake before seeing this one. Yes the remake is all fancy, but this movie is really good and I enjoyed sitting down and watching it for the first time. Even though it is considered an older film it has some great effects for the time and the casting was wonderful, especially the maid/witch who is one of my favorite actresses from that era. If you like creepy movies with a bit of fun in them I very much recommend this one.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
The Magic of Illusion-O In Your Own Living Room
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 02/14/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"William Castle was reknowned for showman gimmicks to which he gave cheesy names, such as "Percept-O," "Fright Break," and "Emerg-O." Although some of these effects were pretty silly, some were fairly complicated--and most of them relied upon the communial nature of a theatre audience for effect. Consequently, a contemporary viewer sitting in the comfort of the living room simply doesn't have much opportunity to experience a Castle film as it was originally presented. But there is one exception. The gimmick for Castle's 13 GHOSTS was "Illusion-O," which required the audience to use color filters (available at the box office) similar to 3-D glasses to see the ghosts in the film. Until recently, all available prints of 13 GHOSTS have been shown in simple black and white with the ghosts always visible, but the recent DVD release restores the tint process, and now you too can have the fun of a William Castle film right in your own home.Like most Castle films, the story is very basic. A financially strapped family inherits a house, and unless they actually agree to reside in it the property goes to the state. But the house is also residence to 11 ghosts "collected" by the previous owner, and his death raised the number to 12. Now all of them are out to add another to their number. Who will the victim be? The script, the design, the cinematography, and the story are just as hokey as they can be, but the cast--which includes Margaret Hamilton of "OZ" fame--plays it very straight and even without the Illusion-O process the film is a cult favorite. But Illusion-O puts the icing on top. Periodically, a caption flashes on the screen instructing you to look through the viewer. Look through the red filter, and Poof! There are ghosts galore. Look through the blue filter, and Poof! Ghosts be Gone! Now, strictly speaking, you don't actually have to look through anything to see the ghosts--they are fairly visible without squinting through that little red lense--but it does add a tremendous amount of fun to the whole thing.But don't go planning that ghost-viewing party just yet. The DVD offers a few extras that are fairly mild but enjoyable--but the darned thing only includes ONE viewer and if you want more you have to order them at an unreasonable price and then wait eight to ten weeks for them to arrive, and although you could probably run up a few extra viewers on your own that seems like a lot of trouble. Still, this may be your only chance to see a William Castle film as it was intended to be seen--and Castle fans won't want to miss that. And those prepared to order the extra viewers (or make them) will find 13 GHOSTS lots of campy, silly fun."
Another gem from schlockmeister William Castle
Mark Shanks | Portland, OR | 10/05/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this one at the theater waaaaay back in 1960, and was scared under the seat before the initial credits were done rolling. (Hey, I was FIVE!) I've seen some of today's jaded youth scared by it, too - IF you treat it right and show it in the proper atmosphere. The writer, Robb White, also did Castle's "House on Haunted Hill", and he seems to have a knack for the occasional creepy lines (like those from a pre-"Adam 12" Marty Millner describing the death of the previous owner of the haunted house - no graphic scenes can compete with your imagination, and that's how Castle gets his best effects.) Recommended for all ages, but the more sensitive (read intelligent and imaginative) youngsters *may* have a nightmare. It's GOOD for them! ;-)Margaret Hamilton, the never-to-be-forgotten "Wicked Witch" from "The Wizard of Oz", plays the housekeeper. Poor Margaret - she HATED this movie, and yet - she just couldn't break away from that one role. She keeps her chin up here, but it's obvious her heart's not in it.When this was first released to theaters, the lucky members of the audience were given "Ghost Viewers" - all part of the "ILLUSION-O" marketing campaign William Castle dreamed up to market this Saturday-matinee special. These "viewers" occasionally show up on some on-line auction sites as a reminder of a more innocent time, when a Saturday afternoon at the movies was cheap, fun, and something you'd always remember."
Fun film, NOT fun without the viewer
William G. Ratcliffe | Lawrenceville, New Jersey United States | 01/19/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Taking into consideration that the film is a classic, what i was rather angry about was the absence of the 'viewer' that was supposed to be included with the dvd. I am inclined to return the dvd to Amazon.com, and suggest those who may want to purchase this dvd to not do so for the reason that i did not get what i paid for."
40 Years Later It's Still Campy Fun
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 10/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you consider this movie's age, it holds up right well! William Castle, the reigning king of spook movies in the late fifties and early sixties, was in fine form with co-conspirator Robb White in this spooky tale of a family inheriting a house and it's twelve ghosts. Someone in the house has been marked to be ghost #13. The ghosts are hard to see without the special 3-D lenses issued in the theaters, but the atmosphere is appropriately frightening.The dialogue is witty, yet wooden, and the acting is only as a film at this time could be---deadpan yet tongue in cheek. Margaret Hamilton plays the witch housekeeper, and she still looks like the Wicked Witch of the West. Martin Milner is cast in the role of the family attorney; Jo Morrow (I remember her from the delightful "Three Worlds of Gulliver") is a very pretty and effective ingenue, and Charles Herbert is a typical little kid, enamored with his ghostly surroundings. However, Donald Woods and Rosemary DeCamp as the parents are superbly cast. You can tell they were having fun with this, almost like they were in a community theater production.All in all, this is one of those great low budget classics from the sixties and scares without nauseating. Enjoy!"
Old-Fashioned B-Flick Scary Stuff
J. Reynolds | Houston, TX United States | 02/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was fortunate to be just old enough to see this film in the theater during its original release. This was a golden age of cinema when admission was 25 cents and an all-day lollipop was five cents, and the theater industry was employing all sorts of gimmics to draw patrons away from TV. (A particularly famous gimmic was stationing registered nurses at showings of "Psycho," to be ready for any heart attacks the movie caused.) And, yes, "13 Ghosts" had a gimmic, the little paper-and-cellophone tinted glasses one wore during haunted portions of the film. If you wanted to see the ghost, you used the red side -- if not, the blue side. At the end of the movie was a trailer hinting that you should try using the viewer that night, after you got home, in a dark room... there was no telling what sort of ghost you might see. That caused all the children to want to keep their little viewers, and I amusingly remember the anxious theater manager standing at the door as we crowded out, flailing around as he tried to grab as many of the viewers back from the kids as he could (I hid mine in my shirt, but saw no ghost that night).
"13 Ghosts" is a fun-scary film -- and it features one of the most stunning opening-credit sequences in all of cinema. Looking closely, it's easy to see how it was done... so simple, yet so effective. Enjoy!"