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Film directed by William Castle
Film “Riffers”: Kevin Murphy, Mike Nelson, Bill Corbitt
Special Guest “Riffer”: Paul F. Tompkins

“It’s almost time to lock up the house and then your party will really begin. I wonder how it will end.”

Vincent Price as Fredrick Loren

Fathom Events provide cinema events at your local movie theater. They program everything from opera, comedy, music concerts, anime, talk-radio, original programs, children’s programming and much more. And if you were not able to get tickets to your local Riff Trax events around the country, you could get a ticket for the Fathom Events live broadcast of the show and watch everything as if you were in the theater with the Riff Trax gang yourself. Check www.fathomevents.com for upcoming schedule of events in your city.  I was lucky to catch Riff Trax riffing “House on Haunted Hill” last night.

The Movie

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the original 1959 film House on Haunted Hill, let me catch you up to speed.

Directed by William Castle, House on Haunted Hill is the tale of 5 people invited to spend the night in a haunted mansion by eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) and his beautiful but treacherous 4th wife Annabelle (Carol Ohmart).

Anyone who is able to stay the entire night will receive $10,000. Pretty tempting, right?

At the beginning of the evening, Frederick gives each guest a gun and tells them the rules of the party.

However, Annabelle has plans of her own. She pulls guests over to the side to tell them that her husband is insane and he is trying to kill her. One guest in particular, Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig) is especially sympathetic to her plight and is scared of some of the sight she has already seen. Things are going to get a lot scarier and a lot more grisly before this party comes to an end.

William Castle, director of such other fare as 13 Ghosts (1960), The Tingler (1959) and Strait Jacket (1964) was well known for his gimmicks in promoting his B movies. He would install buzzers in the seats, have girls dress in nurses outfits to help those that are “scared to death” during the film screenings and for House on Haunted Hill, he debuted “Emergo”: a system of pulleys that would allow a plastic glow in the dark skeleton to float over the audience at the appropriate times.

House on Haunted Hill is a very entertaining, spooky and charming B Movie that any self respecting film fan will enjoy. I mean, come on: it stars Vincent Price. Vincent Price owns this movie, just like any other film he has starred in.

Mike, Kevin and Bill had some excellent jokes and references in their “riff” of this film classic. With references from everything from Mad Men to What’s Happening, they were on top of their game for this one. The addition of Paul F. Tompkins also was a fun addition to the evening.

Also, as a bonus to all Riff Trax fans, before the feature played, there were two new shorts. Magic Disappearing Money and Paper and I. Both were absolutely surreal and the guys had a great time with the jokes in these as well. Trust me, a short film about a “witch” that helps shoppers save money and short film about a little boy obsessed with the production of paper and becoming a victim to a persuasive paper bag is unlike anything else you have ever seen. The laughs were nonstop.

The Riff Trax guys knocked it out of the park once again. I really enjoyed the presentation by Fathom Events as well. I will keep their events on my calendar.