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4.1 out of 5 stars
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The Tingler
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on June 30, 2012
...From the moment the film opens with a dry caution from William Castle to the viewing audience, one is taken back to the generation of movie-going as an ultimate experience, involving all the human senses and impacting our emotions and leaving deep psychological triggers to ever effect us. The movie though somewhat dated still manages to evoke "shivers" and the "frightened to death" scene does still have a "spine-Tingling" effect to this day.
On the whole, the premise of the film is a unique venture though typical of the genre during this period. The story
line maintains a level of believability supported by the film's dead-pan performances, lead by a stoic Vincent Price. A must for fans of Price, Castle or any 50's Sci-Fi in glorious B&W (Although there is a brief Colour moment in this offering)...And don't be affraid to scream!
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on July 19, 2017
This movie is still a great deal of fun. Vincent Price chews the scenery in a compelling way
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HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERon February 22, 2007
William Castle was the king of gimmick horror, juicing up his sometimes-great-sometimes-really-hokey horror flicks with everything flying skeletons to two-tone glasses.

For "The Tingler," it was a buzzer in the seat called Percepto, which would be a shock to anyone watching the movie. The movie itself was a rather uneven but original idea, with Vincent Price playing a borderline doctor who discovers the very roots of human fear. It's entertaining, but has some big flaws.

Dr. Warren Chapin (Price) is performing autopsies at a local prison, where each dead man died in the electric chair -- and something crushed their spines. To further his research, he frightens his nasty wife and X-rays her, and finds something that appears when afraid, and vanishes when the victim screams. He tries taking acid to frighten himself, but the experiment fails.

Then the deaf-mute wife of an acquaintance is frightened to death by some ghastly visions, and Chapin extracts an enormous, centipede-like worm from her spine -- the "Tingler." After Chapin's wife almost kills him with it, he decides that some borders should never be crossed. But before he can return the Tingler to its dead host, it escapes.

All B-movie goodness, complete with a rubber worm and deliciously vitriolic dialogue. While the idea of a spinal parasite fed by fear is a really hokey idea, Castle plays it so straight that the audience doesn't really have an opening for scoffing. Like a good fantasy story, it creates its own reality.

Castle was at his best when he was doing nasty dialogue, and he's in good form here ("There's a word for you." "There's several for you!"). He builds up a sense of rising tension throughout the straightforward plot, which is only broken when the movie ends. And despite tubs of blood and giant worms, Castle also shows his talent for the understatedly creepy when Chapin takes acid.

In fact, "The Tingler" would be a great B-movie if it weren't for two very hokey scenes. One is of a black screen, with Price's voice exhorting, "The Tingler is in the theatre! Scream for your lives!" Very awkward. The other is the final scene, which makes absolutely no sense, and has nothing to do with what comes before it. I guess Castle just needed a shock ending.

It must have been nice for Price to play a non-villain for once -- his Chapin is obsessed and a little twisted, but he isn't insane or nasty, and by the last act he's realized that science isn't the end-all. Patricia Cutts and Philip Coolidge give good performances too, as David's toxic wife and as a sweaty theatre manager who isn't as timid as he seems to be.

"The Tingler" is a fairly entertaining cult horror movie, with good acting and a big rubber worm. If only it weren't for those two scenes.
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on October 29, 2003
I admit it! I am a sucker for old Black and White horror films. They are quite tame by today's buckets of bloody special effect big budgets ones, but they hold a fun all their own. Especially when the ringmaster is the oh so talented Vincent Price. He was always the odd mix of silky mannered menace, with that sprinkle of humour that set him apart from so many actors. It was that devilish twinkle in his eye that always told you he enjoyed what he was doing.
The Tingler is another of the Castle low budget treats. Price plays a mild mannered doctor/research scientist married to a rich wife who is a floozy. She runs around on Price, cares little that he knows it, controls her younger sister's life, but Price is not a man you push too far. Obsessed with discovered the results fear has on the body, he finds out there is a critter that increases in our bodies when we are frightened, the more fear the bigger and stronger it grows and the only thing that can destroy it is screaming. Feed up with his wife's wicked ways, he convinces her he is going to kill her so he can X-ray her trying to prove the existence of the Tingler.
Price gets mixed up with Olly, a husband of a theatre owner who is a deaf-mute. She goes bonkers and passes out when she sees blood. Price wonders what would happen in her, if the Tingler is unleashed, but she cannot scream. Later, someone deliberately scares her to death, and Price operates and removed the Tingler. But then, wife tries to use the Tingler to strangle Price...all in good loving fun, mind you. The pesky beastie dashes off and heads to the theatre to menace everyone there.
One note, though the film was shot in Black and White, the sequence where Olly's wife is driven to death was shot in colour emphasize the red of the blood scaring her.
Great fun and it's a bit of a walk down memory lane! A must for any fan of Castle or Price.
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on November 15, 2002
Two horror masters are at work here. William Castle presenting one of his most outlandish and original films and Vincent Price at his least hammy best as a doctor who discovers "the fear factor". The "factor" being a slimy looking centipede-like creature that grows on peoples' spines when they become frightened. If the person doesn't scream (destroying the creature) they will die. The doctor even experiments with LSD in a bizarre sequence to induce fear in himself. The most memorable sequence is still the color one. In a subplot, a theater manager with a mute wife who suffers from OCD plans to kill her for her money by scaring her to death. The wife (a great Judith Evelyn) is alone in the apartment and is assaulted with ghoulish horrors like an axe being hurled at her, her death certificate on the bathroom medicine cabinet, the bathtub filled with blood with a bloody hand and arm reaching out of it for her, the taps running blood, etc. This is done in color for maximum effect and the poor wife dies from fright because she cannot scream---being mute. This is where Price discovers "the tingler". Impulsively, he does an illegal autopsy on the woman and finds the creature attached to her spine and removes it. It later escapes into the theater filled with people and Price gets on the horn and exhorts them to "Scream! Scream for your lives! The tingler is loose in this very theater!" Of course this is where Castles' gimmick of "Percepto" came in. The seats in theaters showing "The Tingler" were wired to produce mild shocks to patrons at key horror moments. How can you top that? "The Tingler" is great fun from start to finish. Pure entertainment and Castle at his morbidly lurid best.
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on March 27, 2002
William Castle was reknowned for his gimmicky films. For THE TINGLER he had "Percepto," and it was a lulu: randomly selected seats in the theatre were wired with a small motor, and at a peak moment in the film these motors came to life and literally gave your bottom a buzz! But unless you happen to have a really warped sense of humor plus some mechanical apptitude, you'll have to forego the "Percepto" effect and settle for one of the most weirdo stories to come down the street.
A doctor (Vincent Price) is studying the effects of fear. In the process, he finds that fear causes a nasty, worm-like creature to grow inside the human body along the spine. Release your fear by screaming, and the creature is destroyed; if for some reason you cannot scream, however, the creature merely grows larger and larger and kills you by crushing your spine. What the good doctor really wants, of course, is to lay his hands on one of these critters--and when a man murders his deaf-mute wife by scaring her to death, Dr. Vince gets his chance. Eventually "The Tingler" escapes into a movie theatre, and the seat-buzzing begins!
Price and company give it their all, and the film is as enjoyable as only schlock horror can be. Fans of the genre will hoot over the murder, Vincent Price's LSD trip, the scenes where the tingler escapes into the theatre--not to mention at the monster itself, which looks like a cross between an overweight centipede and a lobster. And yes, you really can see the wires! The DVD edition also includes lots of fun extras, including a short documentary on the film. Castle fans will get a kick out of it, but all others are warned away!
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on May 2, 1999
Not bad. Another in William Castle's Ed Wood-like attempts to be the Alfred Hitchcock of Horror (I refer mainly to his cutesy "host" duties).
The story centers around a coronor's attempt to discover why he finds spinal cord injuries in people who are scared to death. Turns out there is a microscopic organism that rapidly grows around the spine when people get scared. Only screaming can prevent the amazingly strong creature from crushing the vertabre. Once you scream, the creature reverts to it's microscopic size. This is what explains the "tingle" in the spine when you're scared, hence the name of the creature, the "Tingler".
In the course of his experiments, Vincent Price removes a Tingler from a victim and it gets loose in a movie theatre. This is the perfect opportunity for Castle to ask movie patrons to scream... literaly.
This movie was the one whereby Castle had movie theatre seats "wired" to a device that would give electric shocks to viewers when the Tingler was on the rampage.
Entertaining '50s camp with Vincent as a hero instead of a villian.
****NOTE: The movie the patrons of the theatre are watching is a silent film called "Tol'able David", a well renowned 1921 film about a young lad who takes up delivery of the mail, and meets up with evil crooks.
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on December 15, 2000
To call William Castle's "The Tingler" cheesy would be an oxymoron. William Castle made cheesy movies that flagrantly thumbed their noses at common sense and believability. They were brazenly ludicrous "B" films that didn't pretend to be anything else (like "The Sixth Sense"). However, "The Tingler" and "House on Haunted Hill" both starred a class act, Vincent Price. Mr. Price took hammy acting and transformed it into performance art. The scene in "The Tingler" where he has a VERY bad acid trip defies description. My friends and I screech with laughter just thinking about it-Vincent was great. The fact that William Castle couldn't possibly explain how his screen villains pulled off all of their "scare tactics" on their hapless victims doesn't matter-they are so SHAMELESSLY UNBELIEVABLE that you have to laugh-and you do! "The Tingler" looks and sounds great in the DVD format-and the documentary about this camp classic is extremely enjoyable-Darryl Hickman, in particular, is quite charming and funny. "The Tingler" and the original "House on Haunted Hill" are must-have DVDs, if you are a fan of silly and enjoyable horror flicks. Hooray!
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on February 13, 2004
The DVD version of _The Tingler_ is the way to go for horror buffs. It includes priceless footage of the legendary William Castle promoting the film, as well as interesting comments by co-star Darryl Hickman. Hickman seems somewhat apologetic for his role in the film. I was thinking, "Are you kidding? This turned out to be one of the biggest cult classics of all time."
Also hilarious is the drive-in scream sequence, which dealt with the problem of the tingler being loose in a drive-in rather than a theater.
Great film, Castle's campy best. Vincent Price is memorable--he goes on the first LSD trip ever on film--in 1959! Judith Evelyn is remarkable as Ollie's deaf-mute wife. The famous bathroom sequence is as good as it gets.
Sharpen up your suspension of disbelief and enjoy!
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on January 2, 2002
One could only imagine the flock of lawyers standing out in front of a theater showing this film. If there were shocks in the theater ...these would be nothing compared to the shock Mr.C. would recieve when the lawsuits in their " suits" came raining down on his office.
A neat little idea to keep folks awake..and for the rest of us to ponder. The introduction is priceless and Mr. C sure is a showman. Sit back and relax....and scream if you have to..if not bring the " Tingler" to your local chiropracter for an adjustment.
Fun all the way
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