Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Tingler

The Tingler (1959)

Extremely Trashy

Another bizarre William Castle flick. This one is about a coroner (Vincent Price) who discovers that fear can actually manifest physically and, if not released with a scream, can kill you. Experimenting with LSD and a deaf-mute woman (Judith Evelyn), he manages to extract the weird bug thing created by extreme fear.

The movie is really very high concept - in the right hands it could have been quite interesting - but is rather poorly executed. Much like in 13 Ghosts, it's hard to tell if anything is actually going to happen at all.

Stuff just meanders along at a painfully slow pace without even the vaguest sense of direction. Okay, the plot of this movie was a little tighter than that of 13 Ghosts, but it still has a lot of extraneous and bizarre elements.

They did do one or two interesting things, though. For example, the woman's fatal acid trip, shot in black & white & red, is pretty cool. Vincent Price's not so fatal acid trip, on the other hand, was fuckin hilarious ("the walls... are closing in... mustn't scream... mustn't.... aaaaaaaaagh!!!!"). Trivia: according to IMDb, this is one of the first movies ever to depict an acid trip. Weird.

Anyway, the "monster" was sort of stupid, but it still freaked me out just a little. It looked sort of like a centipede or something and was pretty gross. And it lives in your spine (I think)! That's just wrong.

There wasn't nearly enough gore in this movie. Sure, there was a bathtub full of blood, but I'm talkin about, like, things ripping out of people. People getting their heads bitten off. You know, shit like that. I know, this was 1959 but... well, whatever.

Yeah, Vincent Price is always fun to watch, even though he looked kind of embarrassed throughout. The movie was morbidly entertaining and amusingly ridiculous.


Directed by: William Castle. Written by: Robb White. Starring: Vincent Price, Darryl Hickman, Patricia Cutts, Pamela Lincoln, Philip Coolidge, Judith Evelyn.

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