William Castle is by far my favorite film director. He made some of the most fun and entertaining films of all time and was a master horror filmmaker and showman. Most of his movies are some of my favorite films. He created gimmicks and a filmgoing experience that was copied by some of the more popular great filmmakers, including his idol Alfred Hitchcock.
By the way, Psycho would not exist as the classic it is if William Castle's House on Haunted Hill didn't.
Some of William Castle's most infamous gimmicks include an ILLUSION-O ghost viewer for 13 Ghosts, a $1,000 life insurance policy for Macabre, seat-belts for I Saw What You Did, and PERCEPT-O shocking seats for The Tingler!
Because he is my favorite filmmaker, I have collected tons of his cool movie memorabilia, and this is the first descent into that abyss of Castletoscity!
Today, we've got the giveaway coin from one of his few comedies, ZOTZ!.
So in the film, Tom Poston is this eccentric ancient languages professor who comes into possession of a coin with the word ZOTZ on it. Inscribed on the letters it tells him that the coin will give him magic powers to slow down time, cause instant pain, or death. Hilarious mishaps ensue at a magical rate, and it basically becomes William Castle's version of the Disney film The Absent-Minded Professor.
THE MAGIC WORD FOR FUN!
(and yes, I do own this poster)
It's not Castle's greatest movie, and it's far from his worst. It has some cool supporting roles played by Jim Backus (aka Mr. Magoo and Mr. Howell from Gilligan's Island) and the Marx Brothers' old lady comic foil, Margaret Dumont. There's also some cameos by super awesome 1950s/60s character actors Fred Clark, James Milholin, and Tom Poston's old comedy partner Louis Nye.
Instead of something as insane as shocking your butt every time Tom Poston yelled ZOTZ! (which would have been super amazing), the gimmick this time was the coin. They handed these things out to everybody who bought a ticket, and now I've got two of them, and obviously, they are ZOTZTASTIC!!
Well that's it for today, but check out the AWESOME trailer for ZOTZ! below!
ZOTZ!... Uh, I mean ENJOY!