I had never seen William Castle's The Tingler, starring Vincent Price, but I had heard all kinds of things about it.
This is a truly absurd, yet original, horror film.
It involves Vincent Price as a coroner who is obsessed with finding out what causes a person to feel fear.
After a slew of bodies are examined by Price he notices that each body has had it's spinal column crushed but no gn of what caused it.
He decides to "experiment" on his wife and finds out that fear manifests itself as a phycal form on the spinal column and can only be destroyed by screaming in terror.
He sets out to recover the phycal form of fear, which he calles the tingler due to the tingling sensation that one feels up their spine when they are scared, and finds the perfect victim: a woman who is deathly afraid of blood but also is deaf and mute so when she gets scared she cannot scream and thus in death the tingler will still live.
What Vincent Price takes off of her spine looks like a larger veron of the creatures used in Star Trek 2 to bring Chekov under Khan's control.
Yes the creature is obviously made of rubber but the way Vincent handles it makes one think that it is alive.
The Tingler is a ludicrous film.
Unfortunatly you need someone like Vincent Price in it because he delivers the laughable dialogue so serious that he makes it believable.
There are good things in this film though.
William Castle uses mood and shadows alot and it is the first film, I believe, where a character knowingly injects themself with LSD after reading about the consequences of their actions first.
The ending where the Tingler escapes into the theater and WIlliam Castle has fun with his audience is something I wish more horror movie directors would do.Is The Tingler a great movie?
Not really but it isn't horrible either.
If Vincent Price hadn't of done this film I fear it would have been as lousy as Plan 9 from Outer Space was directed by Ed Wood.
This film shows just how great Vincent Price was.
If you have never seen this one or are curious about it it is worth it. My final verdict is:
**1/2 out of *****
The two and a half is all for Vincent Price.