As a child, Nick Castle Jr. showed up in extra and bit roles in the films choreographed by his famous dancer father. The younger Castle attended the USC film school, where he befriended fellow aspiring director John Carpenter. Castle's first big-screen credit was as an actor in Carpenter's successful Halloween (78). A director from 1982, Castle has shown an above-average technical proficiency. It's hard to discern a directorial signature from Nick Castle in The Last Starfighter (84) and especially Dennis the Menace (93); both appear to have been extensively preplanned and storyboarded before the cameras turned, with Castle functioning merely as traffic cop.