Macabre (1958)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Mar 1, 1958 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 73 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Cavett Binion

This first "gimmick" outing from horror producer William Castle is mainly distinguished by the clever ad campaign promising $1000 insurance for each patron (from Lloyds of London, no less!) against the possibility that they may die of fright during a screening of the film. (A similar gimmick would later be employed by the producers of the less imaginative thriller The Screaming Skull, who promised patrons an all-expense-paid funeral.) Castle certainly had nothing to worry about, since there is nary a moment of heart-stopping terror to be found in Macabre. That said, the plot is consistently entertaining, involving small-town doctor Rod Barrett (William Prince) racing the clock to locate his missing daughter after she is buried alive in the town cemetery by the same psychopathic killer who murdered his wife and her sister. It's clear that Castle had not yet honed his talents as a huckster of cheap thrills -- which reached their cheesy apex in The Tingler -- but there is definitely a spark of mischief here.



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