The only movie with a "Punishment Poll"
June 20, 2013 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Mr. Sardonicus is a horror film produced and directed by William Castle. It tells the story of Sardonicus, a man whose face becomes frozen in a horrifying grin while robbing his father's grave to obtain a winning lottery ticket. Castle cited the film in his memoir as one of his favorites to produce, and, with his reputation as the "king of gimmicks" to market his films, built the marketing for the film around the idea of the two possible endings.
posted by KokuRyu (14 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Love this...havent seen it in years.
posted by timsteil at 2:16 PM on June 20, 2013

This reminds me of Clue.
posted by koavf at 2:24 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Not to be confused with Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, Spirit's 1970 prog-folk classic.
posted by Iridic at 2:24 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have not enjoyed watching many of his films but go damn do I love that man. He is like a local matress salesman commercial.

And the punishment poll was used at several points in Mr. Payback, which has several clips on YouTube.
posted by munchingzombie at 2:30 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

This reminds me of Clue.

I'm just going to get this off my chest cause it's always bugged me. While the " they all did it!" ending is the funniest , the Ms. Scarlett ending is the only one that actually makes logical sense within the context of the story.
posted by The Whelk at 2:31 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]

Oh man, if you like William Castle, you should really see Matinee, with John Goodman playing "Similar to but Legally Distinct From William Castle" as he opens a new gimmicky show in a Florida town during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Great fun!
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:13 PM on June 20, 2013 [10 favorites]

Pope! I was trying to recall the name of that movie yesterday. I love it when Metafilter anticipates an askMe.
posted by munchingzombie at 3:17 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

The "punishment poll" scene is great, and Castle's over the top, supercilious wink-wink-nudge-nudge delivery makes it so clear that the whole thing is a ruse, it's almost sad anybody could come out thinking there ever was another ending.
posted by anazgnos at 3:27 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

This reminds me of the Werewolf Break in The Beast Must Die.
posted by dortmunder at 4:05 PM on June 20, 2013

Don't forget Drood, the Broadway musical with 8 different endings, based on the identity of the murderer, determined at each performance by a vote of the audience. The cast probably murmured more curses at author Rupert Holmes than the rest of the world did at his pop "Pina Colada Song".
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:41 PM on June 20, 2013

There was a news story out of Spain in the late 90s.

An old man who won the top lottery prize had a heart attack on the way to claim the prize, and they accidentally buried the ticket with him.

Really happened. I remember 'cause I wrote a song about it.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 4:58 PM on June 20, 2013

For those of you who (rightfully) love the audacious Mr. Castle, I highly recommend Joe Dante's sleeper "Matinee," starring John Goodman as a thinly veiled homage.

The movie-within-a-movie, "Mant", is a pitch-perfect send-up of both Castle and his contemporaries such as Bert I. Gordon.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:59 PM on June 20, 2013

On review, looks like Pope Guilty beat me to it. Consider his motion seconded.
posted by ShutterBun at 5:01 PM on June 20, 2013

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