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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Tingler (1959)

Starring Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman, Patricia Cutts, Pamela Lincoln
Directed by William Castle
(actor & director credits courtesy

A coroner studying the effect of fear on the human body in his spare time makes the incredible discovery that a living creature causes the tingling on our spine when we become frightened.

Modern audiences might not find this film as frightening as those of fifty years ago, but despite the fact that we can't enjoy Castle's gimmick back then of rigging vibrating seats in selected theaters, it's still great fun, and enjoyable to watch.  Not playing an out-and-out cad like he did in his prior film with Castle, House On Haunted Hill, Price is able to employ his considerable charm in serving as the very likable protagonist of this picture, though saddled with a cheating wife he probably goes too far in turning into one of his test subjects.  The showpiece of the film, a nightmarish sequence in which the mute character played by Evelyn reacts to terrors throughout her apartment, including the only color used in the picture, is the most effective from a horror point of view, but scenes involving the true monster of the movie, the "tingler" itself, are still entertaining, even though it's unable to move its individual legs as it waddles across the floor.  That serves as a cheerful reminder that the film left and still leaves smiles on the faces of many. 

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