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Saturday, October 25, 2008

HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL 1959 And 1999




The original 1959 Version
House on Haunted Hill is quite an atmospheric film with spooky background music and a very convincing cast. The special effects might be poor when compared to today's standards, but with believable charecters, and all of that atmosphere, who needs modern-day effects. "The Ghosts are moving tonight," Watson Pritchard tells us at the beginning if the film, and then promises that in a few moments he will show us the only really haunted house in the world. Watson keeps his promise and there are plenty of cobwebs, ceilings that drip blood, organs that play by themselves and chandaliers that swing and fall. This is an olide, people, but it is still a goodie, and, to top it all, it's got Vincent Price in it too.





The 1999 Remake
How far would you go for a million dollars? Would you spend the night in a haunted house? When twisted billionaire Stephen Price and his devilish wife, Evelyn, offer six strangers one million dollars each, there is only one rule to the game: they'll have to survive one night in a former mental institution, haunted by the ghosts of the inmates killed there, and an insane doctor who did unspeakable things... At first, everyone is having fun, thinking that the whole thing is a joke. But once the entire house automatically seals itself shut, they realize that this is no joke.

PART 1


PART 2


PART 3


PART 4


PART 5


PART 6


PART 7


PART 8


PART 9


PART 10


Trivia For The house on Haunted Hill 1959

* Used a gimmick called "Emergo" in theaters. When the skeleton rises from the acid vat in the film, a lighted plastic skeleton on a wire appeared from a black box next to the screen to swoop over the heads of the audience. The skeleton would then be pulled back into the box as Vincent Price reels in the skeleton in the film. Many theaters soon stopped using this "effect" because when the local boys heard about it, they would bring slingshots to the theater; when the skeleton started its journey, they would pull out their slingshots and fire at it with stones, BBs, ball bearings and whatever else they could find.

* The large grosses for this film were noticed by Alfred Hitchcock. This led him to create his own low-budget horror film--Psycho (1960).

* This would be the last of only five films for Julie Mitchum, the sister of Robert Mitchum.

* The Ennis Brown House in Los Angeles, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1924, and now listed on the National Historic Register, was used for the exterior shots of the haunted house during the film's opening sequence.

* William Castle had related the story of meeting Vincent Price on a day when Price had learned that he had been passed over for a part. Over coffee, Castle described the premise of this picture. Price liked the idea and it led to a two-picture collaboration, this and The Tingler (1959).

* The popular theme music originally had haunting lyrics by Richard Kayne, but only the orchestral version was used in the final film. For the record, the lyrics went as follows: There's a house on Haunted Hill / Where ev'rything's lonely and still / Lonely and still / And the ghost of a sigh / When we whispered good-bye / Lingers on / And each night gives a heart broken cry / There's a house on Haunted Hill / Where love walked there's a strange silent chill / Strange silent chill / There are mem'ries that yearn / For our hearts to return / And a promise we failed to fulfill / But we'll never go back / No, we'll never go back / To the house on Haunted Hill!

Trivia For The House on Haunted Hill remake 1999

* Geoffrey Rush's character's last name is Price. This is a reference to the original House on Haunted Hill (1959) in which Vincent Price played the main character.

* The rollercoaster in the beginning of the movie is The Incredible Hulk at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.

* The directors of both the original version and the remake are named William.

* The only character in both the original and the remake of this film is the owner of the house, Watson Pritchet. However all the other characters are loosely based on characters from the original.

* The names William Malone, Gilbert Adler and Vlademar Tymrak appear on Price's guest list before it is deleted. William Malone and 'Gilbert Adler' are respectively the director and producer of the film. Vlademar Tymrak was a serial-killer and evil spirit in an episode of "Tales from the Crypt" (1989) (episode "Report from the Grave") which was also directed by Malone.

* The first person to be killed in the movie is screenplay writer Dick Beebe.

* The inscriptions on the walls and doors in the hospital are all in German, but do not make any particular sense when translated. The inscription "Gehirn Hygiene" for example is a rough translation of the English "brain sanitation" into German. Maybe the German inscriptions were just supposed to add a more gothic atmosphere to the movie, but quite certainly they are also a reference to an old German Horror movie SchloƟ Vogeloed (1921) directed by F.W. Murnau, which also deals with a haunted manor.

* Cindy Crawford was considered for the role of Melissa Margaret Marr.

* Famke Janssen performed her own stunt when the glass ceiling breaks. It was extremely important for Janssen to remain where she was and very still, yet even with her basically glued to the spot, the shard hit with so much impact that it bounced her head off the table as you can see on close inspection of the scene.

* William Malone got the idea to set the movie in a former insane asylum when he was filming an episode of "Tales from the Crypt" (1989) in a former asylum and noticed that crew members were running scared out of the basement, not wanting to film there.

* Co-producer Terry Castle is the daughter of William Castle, who directed the 1959 version of the film.

* Geoffrey Rush was never meant to look like Vincent Price (star of the original film). The original screenplay described Stephen Price as a regular looking businessman. Rush didn't care for this, so he suggested that his character look like the film director John Waters. The director agreed to test this look out. After his transformation, he ended up looking so much like Vincent Price the director decided to keep the look.

* Marc Blucas and Ivana Milicevic filmed a short "movie in a movie" sequence which was cut from the theatrical release, but appears in the deleted scenes section of the DVD release.

* When creating the black "evil" that attacks the surviving cast at the end of the film, the animators used images of nude women. They took film of nude women dancing, mirrored the image, and then repeated that image hundreds of times at different sizes to make the spidery shape you see in the finished movie. If you pause the DVD and look closely, you can make out some of the women.

* 'Elizabeth Hurley' was considered for the role of Evelyn Stockard-Price.

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