CREEPY CLASSICS presents...

MOVIE NIGHTS

Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.

Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Cartaret, New Jeresey.

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Creepy Classics Spotlight Movie Last Weekend - THE TINGLER (1959)

Every week, readers here are selecting a movie to view...then we all try to watch it together utilizing our DVD/video library. This past Saturday night, many of us watched THE TINGLER (1959). This was suggested by by Les Zuckerman, Cherry Hill, NJ. Details about movie nights to come are HERE. Please include your name and location after your comments, so we can see how we're all joining together from diffeent locals around the globe! Let's all Synch-Up Saturday nights at 7:30PM, or catch it sometime over the weekend!

I saw this one first back in the late sixties, or early seventies on New York's Channel 11. It was "Chiller Theatre" with the six-fingered hand claymation open. It was circled in red felt-tip (felt tip pens were new to me at the time) in our TV Guide. A ritual I practiced every Thursday when Mom brought the TV Guide home. I found all the horror movies and circled them.

Well, thos one didn't dissapoint. Forget the holes in the script that you could herd brontosauruses through. It delivered. Lots of scary, crazy shocks, over the top dramatics...a thrill a minute. Willian Castle, the director, was Mr. Gimmick, and boy did he do his job. Even without the "Percepto" that was used during its original theatre release, where they strapped bizzing motors on the bottom of some seats. It still was a riot that had this 8-10 year old-boy glued, cross-legged to my parents shag carpet.

The scene with the deaf/mute wife being horrorifucally scared was the scene that stayed with me for many a nightmare afterwards. When the windows go up-and-down by themselves, the hairy hand with the hatchet, and - of course - the bloody bathroom with her death certificate on the inside of the medicine cabinet door.

Unplugged and loving it. My daughter, Paisley, watched it too and is now a William Castle fan. She loves 13 GHOSTS, THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1963), HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, and now THE TINGLER. She wanted me to invite Castle to the Monster Bash convention. I had to break it to her that he had passed away. Boy, I think he would have had a ball at Monster Bash and people would have loved him.

-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA.

Hey Bash Synchers,
This is my commentary on what is probably my 4th lifetime viewing of this William Castle classic. Castle and Price, what a combination, always good for a fun time. So lets check logic at the door and get ready for some real showmanship entertainment, with THE TINGLER.
Bill's set up, I wish I had a buzzer on my chair. What a great gimmick!

Great screaming heads, this would be wild in a crowded movie theater.
Good music, reminds me of Bernard Herrmanns Vertigo music.
Price - If it hurts, let me know.
Interesting premise, the power of fear.

I wonder where this stands in the list of movies featuring sign language? Don´t remember seeing very many. Anyone out there know if it is real?
Cut my head off and boil me in oil...I´ll have to use that one on my wife!
Reading up on his LSD.
¨Your just playing the field and vice versa...¨ Did anyone believe Vincent would be mild mannered for the whole movie?
¨This pistol can make a hole in you the size of a medium grapefruit¨...How so very precise in his measurements.
He shot her! All for science I guess. Oh, it was just a blank.
Hey they are going to leave the dog in the car! Call the humane society!
Hey, anyone who saw this as a kid believe all this? Vincents great voice and acting would be quite convincing for the naive.
He is going to trip out on LSD to catch the Tingler, call Joe Friday! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0zgIzqgxFU
The walls, the walls...
Now to scare the tingler out of the deaf lady...awfully cruel in the name of science. I can imagine the audience screaming now!
Red blood! Cool effect!
Here comes the Tingler!!!
Awfully elaborate set up by the mad doctor, oh, I forgot, I left logic outside. or was it LSD induced? Great scary scene!!!
Creepy sit up!
He got it. THE TINGLER!!! I can hear Castle directing...shake it more, shake it more, it looks dead.
The heartbeat sound of the Tingler!
She put the drug in the outside glass, then switched them, why? Logic outside, logic outside.
It was the husband who set up the show!!! I have seen this a number of times, and can never remember. Still a shock to me.!
Attack of the rubber marionette! The Tingler is loose!!!!
We get to see a lot of a classic silent film! Tolable David.
Oh to be in an audience when this released, this would be a blast! Not as effective by myself on a Saturday morning.
Anyone see this in the the theater? Did people really scream? What a blast!
Strange ending, shades of Diabolique?
This is a fun thriller, wish I could have seen it when it came out with the gimmick, it must have been a lot of fun. Vincent is always great.
See you next week for Return of the Vampire!
-Ken Blose, Mexico

I hope everyone enjoyed seeing my movie selection. William Castle is worthy of Horror Hall of Fame status. While some might call his marketing techniques - "gimmicks'" , I think he had a great feel for making your theater experience a memorable one.

When I saw The Tingler in the theater in the 60's and probably around 10 years old or so, I was hooked by the lights out and screaming at the end. For awhile after that in theaters I had to sit with my legs crossed on the seat for fear of who knows what. This showing tonight in my own house brought back those memories.

-Les Zuckerman, Cherry Hill, NJ

It had been a while since I watched this and found it to be a great William Castle horror film. Gimmicky and fun. Vincent Price is priceless (no pun intended) and the rest of the cast goes along just fine.

Such a cool monster, I wish I had one!! Never a boring moment with this one and the quality of the picture from Sony is absolutely top notch. Great recommendation.

- Kevin Coon, Twin Falls, ID

Above: Italian poster for THE TINGLER. "The Monster of Blood," I think.

Hi Ron,
Here are my thoughts on THE TINGLER.

The opening scene montage of screaming faces is like something you might see and hear in an amusement park haunted house.
The movie theater setting is sort of a wink-wink/nudge-nudge tip off that the story is fanciful nonsense.
Even in modern films, it’s rare to see a deaf mute character in a movie that isn’t played for overt pity.
Yet another unhappy marriage – Vincent Price sure had a lousy batting average when it came to onscreen spouses.
Shooting your wife just so you can get an x-ray of the Tingler – now that’s a screwy plan!
The famous LSD sequences – seeing Vinnie go crazy reminds me of the later AIP Poe films.
Rising corpses, grotesque faces, a bathtub full of blood – if that doesn’t make you smile, you’re not a real Monster Kid.
The Tingler looks like something I might have made with my old Thing-Maker toy.
Bad husbands and bad wives – this movie is a horror film version of Peyton Place.
I love the dime store novelties that Ollie used to frighten his wife to death.
The Tingler on the loose in the theater – what I wouldn’t give to have experienced that scene in a movie house back in the day.
Mark Clark and I were once looking over European lobby cards of horror films from that era and we came across one for The Tingler. The title, however, was something radically different. Mark’s theory – The phrase The Tingler must have a special connotation in Italian (!!!).
“Please do not panic. But scream – scream for your lives!”
Steven Thornton
LaSalle, MI

From Mike's memories!

Flashback to a Saturday evening back in the mid 70's. It was about 7:00 and I had just come home from somewhere (can't remember where...not important anyway). I switched on the tv to channel 9 WOR in NJ/NY. There was a man sleeping on a couch. Wait, not just any man, it was Vincent Price. I knew him well. Not only was he Egghead on Batman, but the star of lots of scary films (as I used to call them). What I noticed next remains with me to this day. Something was crawling toward him. It was big. It was creepy. It made no noise as it easily shambled up the couch and onto my hero. I didn't know what it was, but one thing was for certain. I did not like it! In fact, I hated it!!!! The site of this thing filled me with such unease that I started to scan my TV room making sure there was nothing like it crawling toward me!. I was about 10 at the time and was very impressionable. I was filled with horror as it began to choke Vincent. There was this awful sound, like a distorted heartbeat playing. It only added to the dread. I kept thinking "is he gonna die?" What a relief when only a few seconds later it dropped to the floor and Vincent was OK!

That was my introduction to "The Tingler" and it became a staple in my list of favorite horror films. I can analyze movies until I'm blue in the face, but for me it all comes down to the impression it leaves on me. The Tingler has plot holes you could fly the space shuttle through, but I don't care. It's a fun film from beginning to end. Price is his usual enjoyable self. The music from good old Von Dexter is very macabre and menacing. The plot and subplots are fun too. And then there's the Tingler. It's hideous through and through. It's born from fear and grows on our spine. That's a pretty original concept. It's such a horrible monster that it's meant to die within us and never be released on the world. This movie has so much going for it, it's no wonder that so many people are so fond of it. Vincent's acid trip ( and that great scream he lets out with at the end of it), the frightening sequence of events that scares the poor mute woman to death, the release of the Tingler into the theater, all great stuff! Sometimes I wish I would have been able to see The Tingler when it was released in 59. Honestly though, if I ended up in one of those electrified seats I'm not sure I would have survived the screening. There are some movies that were meant for Saturday nights.....the Tingler is certainly one of them, great choice! Let's meet again next week for more fun.

-Michael Adams, Carteret, NJ

 

Hi Ron,
It was a close call during Saturday night’s viewing of the “The Tingler” as the creature escaped in our home theater room while we watched the movie. Fortunately my daughter, Madison, was on hand to subdue “The Tingler” with one of her ear piercing screams while Vincent Price served us popcorn! Another great William Castle gimmick!

Cheers! -John Harris. Birmingham

 

Hi Ron, great Saturday night choice, but did you know that the B movie that I saw with 'the tingler' back in '59 was 'the bat'....now that was a double feature!
-Frank Nicoletti, New York

I missed “The Tingler” when it originally played in the theatres. Between the commercial on TV and my older brother scaring me
by telling me the the Tingler was going to get me, I was too terrified to see the movie.

When I finally saw it years later, I was convinced that I would not have slept for a month if I had seen it when I was 8 years old.
While watching “The Tingler” on Saturday, I was amazed how scary the film still is. I also was laughing from the sheer silliness of
the plot. The dialogue is an absolute scream. If you listen to what Vincent Price is saying you realize that it’s utter nonsense!

The scene when Price takes the LSD is one of the great over the top scenes ever filmed.

Still for all the silliness of the plot, William Castle’s goal was to scare the crap out of you. He succeeds. The nightmare scenes in which Ollie scares his wife to death are really frightening. The Tingler itself is silly looking and you can see the wire pulling it along but Castle uses it to great effect.

The scenes of it attacking people are very effectively done.

My wife was sitting by working on her laptop. She paused a few time to watch the movie. When I told her that “The Tingler” terrified me as a kid, she laughed until she saw the scene when the Tingler crawled up the couch and wrapped itself around Price’s neck. She commented that the entire actually frightened her. This is a huge compliment from some one who really doesn’t watch horror films.

The famous scene where the Tingler escapes in to the movie theatre is a true classic. It’s both scary and extremely funny. I can see the kids in the theatre screaming their heads off. Sitting in one of the wired seats would have been a true movie experience.

The DVD I was watching was from the William Castle boxed set. The print was impeccable until it came to the nightmare sequence. Apparently that sequence came from another, inferior print.

“The Tingler” is one William Castle’s best. It remains an entertaining and scary film.

Bruce Tinkel, Edison, NJ

 

Ok gang, the first time i saw this movie, I must've been 9 or 10 and it still gives me the creeps!
(so does The Pit and the Pedulum, but thats another story!)
Malcolm Gittins, Pittsburgh, PA

Ron,
Here are my thoughts and observations of The Tingler.

1. Willam Castle used an early version of sensurround for this film called Percepto.
2. An extremely goofy and silly title for the movie. At least they didn't title it Goosepimples. Imagine the creature or creatures they would
have used.
3. William Castle gives a warning at the beginning of the film. The warning is geared towards, in his words, "unfortunate sensitive
people". It was William Castle's polite way of saying the word "cowards".
4. The deaf-mute ticket-taker: Her role was played so broad and so extreme, that she might as well have warn a sign stating, "Please
scare the hell out of me".
5. Vincent Price's harpy wife: When he shot at her with a gun full of blanks, how could she not know that she hadn't been shot? Wouldn't
the absence of a bullet ripping into your flesh have been a clue?
6. Vincent Price is, at one point, reading a book. The title of the book is on the back instead of the front.
7. Vincent Price on a acid trip: To paraphrase The Moody Blues, "Timothy Leary's dead. No, no, no, no it's Vincent Price."
8. I like the fact how every one forgets that Vincent Price's character is a coroner including himself. Every one seems to be okay with a
coroner dispensing medicine. When I'm sick, the first place I go to is a hospital and not a funeral home.
9. The deaf-mute's acid trip and death: Amidst all this goofiness lies this scary and creepy sequence. A corpse pops up looking like
Nosferatu with his mouth sewn up. I love the use of color in the film. The tub of blood with the arm dripping is particularly grisly
considering the time.
10. The tingler: It looks like a dog's chew toy. God bless Vincent Price for selling it and trying to make it look scary.
11. Does a movie theater that shows only silent films, make enough money that you would contemplate murdering your wife to get it?
12. The tingler is in a box. Without any appendages, it picks the lock and escapes.
13. Vincent Price, the coroner/doctor, admonishes the husband for scaring his deaf-mute wife to death. He neglects to tell him that he
injected his wife with an hallucinogenic.
14. Most movies, when they have an obviously cheap effect, try to hide it by using quick shots. Not William Castle. In this film, the
camera moves lovingly and longingly along the cheapness. In the climax he magnifies the cheapness ten times by having it's shadow
projected on a movie screen. I can make a scarier shadow puppet using my foot.
15. In order to subdue the tingler, Vincent Price turns the lights off in a crowded theater and tells the frightened crowd to scream their
heads off. After a few seconds, the tingler is subdued. Nothing is mentioned of the fact of the people obviously trampled to death in
the panic that Vincent Price created. " I want you to remain calm and scream like hell."
I like William Castle and his films, but this film's main draw is Vincent Price. He was an extremely versatile actor. I sincerely believe that he could take a ball of lint and make you believe that the ball of lint will ultimately destroy the earth left to it's own devices. That's what he did with a small rubber chew toy in this film.
Kirk Smith
Manito, Illinois

Dear Les (Great Selection, Sir!), Ron, Kirk, Bruce, Michael, Steven and all other Fellow Creepy Simulcast Readers and Writers out there in the horror/sci-fi universe, I watched director William Castle`s "The Tingler" (1959) THREE TIMES during the last week!--and I have always found this film immensly enjoyable and entertaining (IN A CAMPY WAY!)-- excluding the intense, gripping and morbid bathroom scene where the deaf-mute wife (Martha Higgins) played by the late Judith Evelyn is LITERALLY scared to death by her greedy, scheming and cowardly husband, Ollie. (played by Philip Coolidge) Watching this nightmarish scene unfold when I first watched this movie back in the late 1970`s scared the living daylights out of me as a young kid (IT DEFINITELY GAVE ME "THE TINGLES"!!!!) and years later, now that I am an appreciative film buff, I can see the resemblances between this scene and the classic bathroom scene in director Henri-Georges Clouzot`s "Diabolique" (1955)!

In his 1976 autobiography "Step Right Up!- I`m Gonna Scare The Pants Off America" William Castle talks about how this classic French suspense/horror film affected him both on a personal and professional level and how it influenced him as a filmmaker! Fans of all of his films as well as all general classic horror fans out there should check out this book- You won`t be disappointed!

Anyway Folks, getting back to talking about the movie.....I love the icy banter displayed between Dr. William Chapin (Vincent Price) and his shrewd, calculating, selfish, amoral and two-timing wife, Isabel {potrayed wonderfully by the late Patricia Cutts} THESE LINES ARE ABSOLUTELY MEMORABLE! Watching this film multiple times gives you the chance as a fan to really focus on the scriptwriting- and you learn to appreciate what the late Robb White really did with not much to work with (at least from the beginning!.....) Robb White worked with William Castle several more times during his career (The two men had formed a successful team) but found Castle to be very difficult to deal with as an individual and eventually they separated and Robb moved on to other enterprises.....The other Cast members do a nice job here as well...Darryl Hickman {"Leave Her To Heaven" "The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis"} who plays the good doctor`s faithful assistant, David Morris, manages to hold his own in the key scenes he shares with "The Master Of Menace" himself!--And Pamela Lincoln does a nice job playing the omnipresent usual "nice girl" role. As for Vincent Price himself---Wow!- What more needs to be said?

- This oddity is one of the most unusual horror flicks of the 1950`s- AND one of the most UNDERRATED of Vincent Price`s films! (at least in my opinion) Vincent Price DEFINITELY is the star of the show here! (He got along great with William Castle) and manages to shift back and forth from low-key serious underplaying (the scenes between himself and Pamela Lincoln) to mid-range seriousness (between himself and Judith Evelyn and Philip Coolidge) to OVER-THE-TOP hysterics! (THE CLASSIC LABORATORY SCENE WHEN HE TAKES THE DRUG HIMSELF AND LOSES HIS MENTAL BEARINGS-ONLY TO SCREAM AND PASS OUT)-- when taking into account his different acting styles used in this schlocky, but very successful "B-film"! Much Kudos to Mr. Price on selling this bill of goods to the general film audience (from an acting standpoint) back in 1959!! Other aspects of this production are done professionally as well- with the unique music being a standout. (It is eerily reminiscent of composer Bernard Herrman`s score for Alfred Hitchcock`s "Vertigo" {1958)

As for William Castle himself- there is no question that he was a great "showman" in every sense of the word and is VERY much missed by all of his fans out there! William passed away from a heart attack on May 31st, 1977. He was only 63 years old. We all lost him too soon. The last film he was involved with was 1975`s sci-fi thriller "BUG" starring Bradford Dillman but the best film that he is associated with (from a critical viewpoint) is probably the 1968 psychological horror film "ROSEMARY`S BABY" directed by Roman Polanski and starring Mia Farrow. So looking at "The Tingler" with an open mind, my rating of this crafty little gem starring my 2nd favorite horror actor of all-time, is 3.25/5 stars!

---And with that, it`s a wrap for this week, fellow film fiends- So until next week, when we watch, review and then discuss Bela, Frieda, Nina and Matt in the terminally underrated "The Return Of The Vampire" (1943)-- I bid all of you a truly good night`s sleep! (knowing that "The Tingler" is dead!- OR IS IT???????!!!!!!!!!----- Dan Brenneis- Strongsville, Ohio- Monster Bash Staff Member and Lifetime Film Fan Extroadinairre.

You can get the MGM DVD of THE TINGLER (1959) in the Complete DVD Catalog in-line at Creepy Classics.

 

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