Drive-In Dust Offs: The Night Walker (1964)

William Castle is a name synonymous with hucksterism and showmanship, more so than the quality of the films he directed. Which isn’t really fair, it’s just that his gimmicky pieces like The House on Haunted Hill and The Tingler (both 1959), with skeletons flying through the audience and buzzers placed under theatre seats respectively, overshadowed an unsubtle but solid directorial style when unburdened by showbiz trappings. Such is the case with The Night Walker (1964), a Robert Bloch (Psycho) scripted thriller that delves into the dream world in effective ways.

Released in late December by Universal, The Night Walker received some good notices but left audiences sleepy. Perhaps the perceived combination of shock master Bloch and schlock meister Castle didn’t match what made it to the screen; indeed it’s a different tale told in a different manner than either was used to telling, yet has a sometimes eerie
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