Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Friday, July 4, 2008


THE TINGLER (1959). Director: William Castle.

Robb White's screenplay contains some very interesting elements and certainly features a very unique monster. Dr. Warren Chapin (Vincent Price) discovers that inside each human being is a microscopic organism at the base of the spine that grows and grows as we experience terror. The creature's growth is halted by a scream, the simple release of tension. However, if someone is unable to scream (such as a deaf mute, played by Judith Evelyn, who is terrorized to death) the creature will grow several feet long. Chapin removes "the tingler" from the spine of the dead woman, but it escapes ...

This is silly but clever stuff, put over by an enthusiastic cast. Price is fine, with only a few hammy moments. Patricia Cutts is very sexy and saucy as his unfaithful wife, Isabel. Darryl Hickman (brother of Dwayne "Dobie Gillis" Hickman) is Chapin's lab assistant, David, who's dating Isabel's "nice" sister Lucy, (Pamela Lincoln, daughter of Verna Hillie of Mystery Mountain). Philip Coolidge is Evelyn's deceptively gentle husband.

Verdict: SCREAM if you see The Tingler! ***.

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