Remember Castle Films? Those of us who had them will never forget them. I wish I still had mine. This was before Vcrs and Dvds when 8 mm films were the only chance you had to own a piece of Universal history. How could they edit a full length feature into 4 minutes (50 ft. Headline Edition) and 12 minutes(200 ft Complete Edition) and still have the movie make sense is beyond me. It just goes to show the mastery and skill of a good editing job. I , of course, collected the Universal Monsters films. Another interesting idea they came up with was taking a feature film and dividing it in half and releasing it in two diffrent films. Such a case was Doom Of Dracula and House of Frankenstein. This was actually 2 segments from House Of Frankenstein. It was a good idea. Instead of owning only 12 minutes you could have 24 minutes of your favorite classic. I knew some people who spliced them together, but I preferred to keep them seperate.
Sound was the next phase of 8mm films. These were edited to approxmately 8 minutes. It consisted of a piece of film with a small strip of magnetic audio taped attached to it. Then they had to edit the film and make the sound match. No easy task! Soon afterward 400ft reels were made available. Some in sound and some in silent which gave you a chance to own even more pieces of your favorite classic films.
In the late 1970's , Castle Films tried to broaden it's appeal by changing its' name to Universal 8. The company de-emphasized the classic horror and comedy titles, which was it's mainstay of films. All good things must come to an end and now Castle Films days were numbered. With the competetion of Ken Films and Blackhawk films releasing full length features on Super 8 and Vcr's on the horizon along with rising production cost they called it quits. Videocassettes of the Universal classics soon became cheaper to buy than 8mm films. There was really no comparison. For about the same price of a 400ft reel complete edition of a film, you could buy the full length feature on videocassete.
Castle Films has earned its' place in Universal history. It allowed us to own a piece of our favorite films and came packaged in a creative box design. I think it is safe to say that all of us who owned them or are still lucky enough to still have them can appreciate what they accomplished. You will find some of the Universal Monster editions throughout the site in various sections. Castle Films........Thanks for the memories!