Shanks (1974)

35mm film, colour, 1.85:1
mono, English

An American horror film directed by William Castle.

Plot Summary

A mute puppeteer inherits a machine that allows him to manipulate dead bodies.


Directed by: William Castle
©1974. Paramount Pictures Corporation
William Castle presents. A Grim Fairy Tale
Produced by: Steven North
Associate Producer: Sheldon Schrager
Written by: Ranald Graham
Director of Photography: Joe Biroc
Edited by: David Berlatsky
Music Composed by: Alex North
Sound: David Ronne
Costumes Designed by: Guy Verhille
Make-up Created by: Jack Young
Hairdresser: Virginia Jones
Special Effects: Richard Albain
Production Designed by: Boris Leven

Marcel Marceau (Malcolm Shanks/Old Walker)
Philippe Clay (Mr Barton)
Tsilla Chelton (Mrs Barton)
Cindy Eilbacher (Celia)
Helena Kallianiotes (Mata Hari)
Larry Bishop (Napoleon)
Don Calfa (Einstein)
Biff Manard (Goliath)
Mondo (Genghis Khan)
Read Morgan (policeman)
William Castle (Grocer)
Phil Adams (Beethoven)
Lara Wing (little girl)

Alternative Titles

A bábmester – Hungary
Jogando com a Vida e a Morte – Brazil
Shock! – working title
Шэнкс – Soviet Union

Extracts included in
Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007)
Trailer Trauma Part 4: Television Trauma (2017)



  • Cinefantastique vol.4 no.3 (Autumn 1975) Fall p.36
  • Films in Review vol.25 no.10 (December 1974) pp.612-613, 628
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.227 no.41 (24 August 1973) p.10 – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.233 no.22 (8 October 1974) p.3
  • Variety 9 October 1974 p.19


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) pp.296-297
  • Comedy-Horror Films: A Chronological History, 1914-2008 by Bruce G. Hallenbeck p.217 – credits
  • Fervid Filmmaking: 66 Cult Pictures of Vision, Verve and No Self-restraint by Mike Watt pp.173-175 – illustrated review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.349
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.65 – credits, review
  • Step Right Up!… I'm Going to Scare the Pants Off America by William Castle pp.233-246
  • The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia by Peter Dendle pp.157-158