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Weekend Discussion Thread: Castle-like Gimmicks

Alert regular Kenneth suggests:

William Castle is well-remembered for the gimmicks he put together for his movies, like the Punishment Poll for “Mr. Sardonicus” and Percepto for “The Tingler.” What Castle-style gimmicks would you suggest for a MSTed movie? One exception: “The Screaming Skull” already has one, with the “free coffin” offer.

For “Batwoman,” how about some actors dressed as the main characters chasing each other around as the characters do?

What would your gimmick be?

Keep those WDT ideas coming!

64 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: Castle-like Gimmicks”

  1. duke of puddles says:

    not sure i totally get the premise, but…
    during ANY of the Hercules movies have an anonymous group of sweaty guys in miniskirts randomly appear and start sword fighting.
    or is that too much like the actual plot?

       4 likes

  2. jay says:

    Boggy Creek II –

    How about smoldering fires randomly placed throughout the theater? The snack bar would serve beans and bologna sandwiches, too. Would actors standing out front dressed in short cut-offs and one strap bib overalls be over the top?

       8 likes

  3. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    During parachuting scenes in The Skydivers, radio-controlled planes could fly above the audience, each one releasing a bag of popcorn and a gift certificate to a nearby coffee shop. But watch out! There could be a tiny acid pack in one of the bags!

       14 likes

  4. Scott Strong says:

    Everyone attending a viewing of Deathstalker III could get a free range potato.

       16 likes

  5. The Creeping Terror Carpet monster would be a cinch to make. It can be used in the theater for patrons. As an advertising stunt, it can appear in pubic areas with large crowds like the dance at the local VFW hall.

       5 likes

  6. Sitting Duck says:

    For the record, Incredibly Strange Blah Blah Blah also had a (admittedly lame) gimmick called Hallucinogenic Hypnovision, which involved theater employees wearing monster masks and attempting to scare viewers.

       9 likes

  7. SteveWithAQ says:

    All I’ll say is that you don’t want to be in the front row during one particular scene of the special showing of Quest of the Delta Knights.

       15 likes

  8. I was trying to think of something for Mac and Me, but I could not think of any obvious promotional tie-in that had anything to do with the movie. Oh well, maybe I’ll just go grab a soda and teach the world to sing or something….

       16 likes

  9. yelling_into_the_void says:

    Theaters in the Bronx, showing Escape 2000 with a chance to win a free trip to New Mexico?

       14 likes

  10. Sitting Duck says:

    SteveWithAQ:
    All I’ll say is that you don’t want to be in the front row during one particular scene of the special showing of Quest of the Delta Knights.

    Yeah, the smell of wizard whiz just won’t come out.

    Using the Emergo technology from House on Haunted Hill, have Frisbees with butane lighters attached fly around the theater during showings of the earlier Gamera films.

       4 likes

  11. michaelkz says:

    Collectible coffee mugs for Red Zone Cuba and The Skydivers. Collectible coffee thermos of extra strong coffee for the snooze fest that is a The Beast of Yucca Flats.

       8 likes

  12. Yeti of Great Danger says:

    During showings of “Bloodlust” there would be a hunter stalking theater patrons and shooting tranquilizer darts at them. Although the movie was so boring, perhaps darts filled with stimulants would be a better choice.

       4 likes

  13. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    Torque the Dorque:
    The Creeping Terror Carpet monster…can appear in pubic areas with large crowds like the dance at the local VFW hall.

    That might be a little too spot-on, if you’re using shag carpets.

       3 likes

  14. skrag2112 says:

    For viewers of ‘Hobgoblins’, director Rick Sloane would be available in the lobby for a free punch in the mouth.

       16 likes

  15. Sock monster worms come out of the theater walls during the cave scene of Robot Holocaust.

    A vat of stew is placed behind the screen and opened up (with a blower to spread that wonderful smell) at the right moments of Track of the Moon Beast. Johnny Longbow’s famous stew is available in the lobby.

    Before Touch of Satan starts, someone dressed up as great grandma sister conspicuously enters the theater and finds a seat. But before great grandma shows up on the screen the one in the theater is gone. Then at random intervals during the show, fling walnuts into the theater.

       5 likes

  16. Son of Peanut says:

    Viewers of Manos get a free apology.

       24 likes

  17. Son of Peanut says:

    According to the Amazing Transparent Man DVD, the studio advertised that the title character would be in the theatre, because, hey, you can’t prove he isn’t.

       18 likes

  18. duke of puddles says:

    jay:
    Boggy Creek II –

    How about smoldering fires randomly placed throughout the theater?The snack bar would serve beans and bologna sandwiches, too.Would actors standing out front dressed in short cut-offs and one strap bib overalls be over the top?

    after the movie, the ushers could collect for the Will Rogers Institute by dressing up like the ‘little creature’ and yell ‘Where’s th’ money ya sonuvabitch!?!’

       5 likes

  19. Prez Gar says:

    Cave Dwellers: Giant fans to feel the wind in your face when Ator is hang gliding.

       8 likes

  20. jjk50 says:

    Pet Turtles (hopefully salmonella-free) to all viewers of Gamera. Optional bowl of Turtle soup if your parents won’t let you bring home a pet.

       3 likes

  21. eegah says:

    For “It Conquered the World”, free carrots for each audience member.
    For “Eegah”, free shave for men with beards.
    For “Secret Agent Super Dragon”, free stick of gum.
    For “Mitchell”, free Schlitz.
    For “The Sinister Urge”, free smut.
    For “Agent For HARM”, a judo demonstration.
    For “Prince of Space”, free cocktail wieners.
    For “Horror of Party Beach”, free salt packet.
    For “Soultaker”, a guy dressed like Joe Estevez goes around annoying people with green glow-rings.
    For “Monster A Go-Go”, there is no gimmick.

       10 likes

  22. goalieboy82 says:

    eegah:
    For “It Conquered the World”, free carrots for each audience member.
    For “Eegah”, free shave for men with beards.
    For “Secret Agent Super Dragon”, free stick of gum.
    For “Mitchell”, free Schlitz.
    For “The Sinister Urge”, free smut.
    For “Agent For HARM”, a judo demonstration.
    For “Prince of Space”, free cocktail wieners.
    For “Horror of Party Beach”, free salt packet.
    For “Soultaker”, a guy dressed like Joe Estevez goes around annoying people with green glow-rings.
    For “Monster A Go-Go”, there is no gimmick.

    for Mitchell it should be free baby oil.

       8 likes

  23. mando3b says:

    For The Atomic Brain and The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, everyone gets a free specially-cut cooked cauliflower (since cauliflowers look so much like brains, you see). At The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, the cauliflower comes in a lasagna pan and has a Chatty Cathy pull-ring that makes it say various things in a husky whisper.

       2 likes

  24. mando3b says:

    Endoplasmic Reticulum: Sock monster worms come out of the theater walls during the cave scene of Robot Holocaust.

    You could have really big ones come out of the walls for Cave Dwellers and The Day the Earth Froze, too.

       1 likes

  25. mando3b says:

    Of course, for The Day the Earth Froze, everyone gets a sampo.

       12 likes

  26. Murdock Hauser says:

    “Warrior of the Lost World” viewers get an autographed picture of Mega Weapon and at select theaters around the country, Mega Weapon will do some meet and greets. Yes, you to can sit behind the wheel of “Warrior of the Lost World,” star Mega Weapon!

       5 likes

  27. For Teenagers from Outer Space plastic gargons (lobsters to you and me) are dropped from the ceiling to scare the viewer

       9 likes

  28. Mibbitmaker says:

    Son of Peanut:
    Viewers of Manos get a free apology.

    Double for Monster a Go Go (especially given the two separate directors… and one for each “Go”)

    For Manos: Everyone is promised a free ride to the theater showing the movie. The ride goes over some of the same scenery over and over, maybe even occasionally by a couple making out in a car. By the time they get to the movie, they get subjected to the same thing on screen, making the moviegoer even more disoriented.

       4 likes

  29. jjk50 says:

    Torque the Dorque:
    The Creeping Terror Carpet monster would be a cinch to make.It can be used in the theater for patrons.As an advertising stunt, it can appear in pubic areas with large crowds like the dance at the local VFW hall.

    Do you realize you said pubic areas not public areas. Although that would have made the movie a lot more interesting.

       5 likes

  30. Ray Dunakin says:

    eegah:

    For “Prince of Space”, free cocktail wieners.

    LOL! Good one!

       2 likes

  31. goalieboy82 says:

    mando3b:
    Of course, for The Day the Earth Froze, everyone gets a sampo.

    there is only one of him so it would be very hard for everyone to get one.

       4 likes

  32. jay says:

    Prince of Space –

    How about small children in upsetting shorts out in front of the theater shouting “WE LIKE IT VERY MUCH!” to urge the crowd inside. You might run afoul of certain child labor laws, but your legal defense could be that it is a Japanese cultural tradition like Sumo (talk about upsetting shorts!) or No theater, but then you would have to go through Mike’s whole routine with the bots about that.

       8 likes

  33. David Maher says:

    A free bottle of BABY OIL!!! for every patron of Mitchell!

       2 likes

  34. Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves says:

    Fun topic which throws us into some bizarre film history. If you’re not careful, you just might learn something… mostly useless, mind you, but SOMETHING! ;)

    My first thought was Grope-O-Scope for Manos. Select seats the theater are equipped with sweaty automated “Manos” (hands… get it!?!) which almost, but not quite, creepily fondle your face at a certain point during the film. The terror would be augmented by a community theater reject with ridiculously stuffed pants stumbling randomly around the theater.

    Also accompanied by Odorama, for the authentic funk of Torgo!

    Absolutely no one will be seated during the granny-panty wrestling scene!

       3 likes

  35. Lawgiver says:

    mando3b:
    Of course, for The Day the Earth Froze, everyone gets a sampo.

    What’s a sampo?

       5 likes

  36. Eegah – Maybe release a few Copperheads and Rattlers in the theater right around the time mystery voice says “Watch out for snakes”

       2 likes

  37. Cornjob says:

    Rubber snakes are dropped or thrown at the audience during screenings of Eegah right as they are admonished to look out for them.

    Rubber or maybe Gummi worms in the theater during Squirm.

       3 likes

  38. mando3b says:

    Curses! Brock Lee Rubberband & Cornjob beat me to it with “Watch Out For Snakes”!
    For Space Mutiny: every man in the audience gets a nickname (“Big McLargehuge”, etc.). (For the ladies, I was trying to come up with something connected with being brought back to life, but it was getting a bit too creepy . . . )

       2 likes

  39. goalieboy82 says:

    for SST: Death Flight
    everyone get the Senegal Flu.

       2 likes

  40. jay says:

    Double Feature: Hercules Unchained and Racket Girls –

    Free 3D glasses will be given out to viewers. All the scenes in Hercules featuring oiled pecs and tastefully displayed hinders will be converted to 3D. Likewise the bullet bra scenes in Racket Girls. That way the entire audience is covered.

       6 likes

  41. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Thanks for using my suggestion!

    Here are a few:
    For “It Lives By Night”, there’s Emergo II, which makes you part of the show during the movie’s shocking climax! (Translation: Rubber bats on wires are swung down from the ceiling over the audience when the on-screen bats attack Sheriff Perv’s car.)
    For “Incredible Melting Man”, there’s an offer of free dry-cleaning for those who become violently nauseous during the course of the movie.
    For “Bloodlust!”, there’s the Crossbow Challenge. Attendees can get a free admission if they can hit a bullseye with a crossbow bolt from the back of the auditorium to the front, next to the screen.
    For “Red Zone Cuba”, the trailer plays up the notion that this is not fiction. That, in fact, it’s based on secret information that the CIA has been hiding from the public. And each viewer of the movie can sign up for a $5,000 insurance policy in case the Company tries to get rid of them to keep the information secret.

       4 likes

  42. Ray Dunakin says:

    For “It Lives By Night”, a drawing will be held and one lucky viewer will be chosen to receive a series of painful rabies shots. The rest get a pair of sweaty pajamas or a smelly hobo jacket.

       1 likes

  43. fatbarkeep says:

    Anyone able to sit through the entire “Ring of Terror” movie gets a free AARP membership.

       12 likes

  44. Crowdini says:

    Time Chasers in SUBLIMINALVISION!

    Arrive in a prom limo! Stylish!

    The ticket taker, dressed in full Castleton snob getup, grabs the ticket you’re holding and says with great intensity,
    “We’re all connected, you idiot!”
    The ticket is taken, replaced with a shiny 2041 half dollar.

    The theater interior looks like a library. Or a Gen Corp office if you squint real hard.

    With SUBLIMINALVISION, any time the transporter in the movie is activated, spirograph flashing lights and whooshing noises activate in the theater and Bob Evils come out and pester the audience to be team players in this government project. They carry around thick contracts and thump pens on them for effect.

    When leaving the theater, Pink Boy thanks you and reminds you to visit lovely Vermont.

    No need to be a grandma leaver-outer! They get in half price!

       4 likes

  45. Lawgiver: What’s a sampo?

    “I think it’s a strapless evening gown.”
    “You think everything is a strapless evening gown!”

       7 likes

  46. Cornjob says:

    For a screening of The Day the Earth Froze the air conditioning could be cranked up when the Sun gets stolen, and the heat turned on when the Sun is liberated at the end. Plus one member of each audience would get a small bag of flour, another would get a small bag of salt, and a third would get a small sample of Iron Pyrite as a stand in for gold. I mean c’mon, we’re not giving away real gold as promo for a crappy film.

       9 likes

  47. profhackenbush says:

    For “Time of the Apes” everyone would get a Johnny doll that would say,”I don’t care! I don’t care!” every time you squeeze it
    For “Kitten with a Whip” you get a coupon that would get you 50% off on nighties
    For “Swamp Diamonds” you’d get a free pair of cut off jeans and a bag of fake diamonds
    For “Attack of the Giant Leeches” you’ll get a rubber leech
    For “Operation Double 007” you’ll get a kit on how to read lips
    For “Girls Town” you’ll get a loaf of bread and a book on how to sing scat
    For “Manos” you’ll get a Torgo hat and a fake rubber hand
    For “The Starfighters” you’ll get your very own poopie suit

       5 likes

  48. mando3b says:

    After watching Bloodlust on MSTie Monday . . .
    You could have a “Tree of Death” in the lobby where people could pick their own rubber novelty item. There could also be a recreation of the hunter’s trophy room where you could pose yourself and get your picture taken. (“I call this one ‘Lutheran love'”!)

    For The Beginning of the End: chocolate-covered grasshoppers at the concession stand, of course, plus free postcards of Chicago

       7 likes

  49. Say No To Yes says:

    Everyone who is willing to plunk down $$$ to see “The Leech Woman” should be gifted with a bottle of booze of choice, or, for the more brave of heart, a vial of youth elixir. Jeeeeeeddddddddd!!!!!!!!

       1 likes

  50. IR5 says:

    A free movie with a single X rating (digital or DVD) for everyone buying a ticket opening night for Hobgoblins.

       2 likes

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