I have no idea what took me so long because Castle's films are right up my alley, I wasn't even all the way through one film before I decided that Castle was, in my opinion at least, the greatest director who ever lived.
Castle's stock in trade was low budge kitschy horror with a hefty dose of humor. He was a master showman and each of his films had a clever gimmick to hook audiences: ghost viewing glasses, dangling glowing skeletons, cardboard axes, the list goes on.
13 Frightened Girls
is actually not the typical Castle film in that is not a horror comedy, but a spy spoof about the teenage daughters of diplomats. For the films gimmick Castle pretended to recruit the prettiest girls from 13 countries to play the leads.
(As usual Castle stretched the truth, the 13 girls in the film were not all from the represented countries and he forgot to count because there are 15 girls in all.)
The girl's all attend Miss Pittford's Academy
and have charming blue early 60s jumper uniforms with cute hats and a P aplique on the collar.
I was drooling over the uniforms, but they are just the tip of the style iceberg in this film. As the girls get caught up in the "candy web"
Castle's term for their teeny-bopper spying tactics that are lead by the American diplomat's daughter, Candy Hull, they sport some of the cutest early 60s outfits and hair styles I've ever seen (I particularly love Candy's hair bows.)
The interiors in the film are also mid century perfection:
And as a bonus there is an adorable white kitten , the inspiration for Candy's code name, who reminded me of my own sweet Spot.
13 Frightened Girls is an absolutely charming film for any fan of mid century cinema and can be rented from Netflix or purchased on Amazon as part of the William Castle 5 movie pack for the bargain price of $8.99, which is how I viewed it.