Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Price of Fame!

Getting that Tingler feeling all over...

It's a whole week dedicated to the "Vincentennial" - actor Vincent Price's 100th birthday celebration, Friday, May 27th, 2011!

We'll let Buddha Man take this one!

The Tingler (Columbia Pictures, 1959) Vincent Price stars in his second William Castle movie, and as usual, the flick is a fun little thriller. Vinnie plays Dr. Warren Chapin, a dedicated researcher with an earnest young assistant (Darryl Hickman - Sharky's Machine), a venomous wife, and a really wild line of research - what is it that snaps peoples spines when they die of fright? Eventually, he discovers that all of the pent up fright energy in the body causes a microscopic creature he calls the Tingler that resides in everyone's spinal area to grow uncontrollably in proportion to the level of fear, and the nasty wormlike creature eventually grows large enough to use its pincers to crumple up your backbone like a matchstick.

Man, that is one ugly necktie Vincent Price is wearing...
The only way to escape the Tingler is to SCREAM - as that releases the energy that the creature is growing from and shrinks it back to miscroscopic size. This crazy bit of sci-fi is then blended into an even more eclectic plot involving the evil Mrs Chapin; a nebbishy little man who owns a movie theater with his deaf mute wife; and several scary sequences that don't make a lick of sense but are cool as heck to watch. Castle's gimmick for this flick was to have the action come to its climax in that movie theater, so he could have the film you're watching "break" and Vincent Price's voice hammer at you from the darkened theater to "Scream! Scream for your lives!" To insure you might want to go along with the idea, several seats in the theater were wired up to "tingle" the viewer's backside as though the worm monster was working on their spine! Incredible! The other really cool sequence in the black and white movie involves a bathtub full of blood - look at this shot from the scene:

Is that just awesome or what? This may be less of a family flick than some of the other Castle movies, what with bathtubs full of blood, axe murderers, and a big scary worm crawling around, but it is a jammin' little flick, highly recommended to those so inclined! Check this one out!

And with that I wish a Happy 100th birthday to Mr. Vincent Price! And always remember...no mere mortal can resist...the evil of...the Thriller!


  1. I love watching old movies, but haven't even heard of this before. I love the fact that they can put color into the otherwise black and white- it adds even more to the movies themselves (especially the thrillers!) Thanks for the suggestion. :)


  2. Sara - Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you'll return! We can get into some fairly obscure stuff around here! Cheers!

  3. Nice post! And yeah, I love that Martha death scene. The color use just adds so much to such a simple scene. William Castle was way ahead of his time.

    1. Thanks much Fred! Yeah, it's just a kickass movie - Castle was pretty visionary. Oh, and did you know his ghost is still around? He's even commented on a couple of my Castle-themed posts!