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The Tingler
Schrei wenn der Tingler kommt

USA 1959
produced by
William Castle for William Castle Pictures/Columbia
directed by William Castle
starring Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman, Patricia Cutts, Philip Coolidge, Pamela Lincoln
written by Robb White, music by Von Dexter, cinematography by Wilfrid Cline

William Castle's gimmick movies

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Warren (Vincent Price) is a good natured (but a bit mad) scientist, who thinks that human fear is a creature - he dubs the Tingler -  that grows out of humans' spines when people are frightened & can only be paralyzed by loud screaming.

His hypothesis is confounded (he thinks) when he accidently gives Martha (Judith Evelyn), the death-mute wife of his friend Ollie Philip Coolidge), a small fright, but she, unable to scream, faints.

In further experiments, he pretends to shoot his wife Isobel (Patricia Cutts), who repeatedly cheats on him & doesn't even try to hide it. his shooting her (with a blan) gives her the fright of her life & she faints before she can even think of screaming - & when Warren then x-rays her, he really finds evidence for the Tingler.

A self-experiment with LSD to scare himself witless though to understand the Tingler leads to nothing though when he at one point can't but scream.

The next day, Warren pays another visit to Ollie & Martha, & gives Martha, who hasn't been herself since the fright he gave her, an injection ...

That same night, Martha sees gruesome visions of horror, & ultimately dies from fright (was it Warren's injection one wonders). Ollie brings Martha's corpse to Warren & asks him to determine the corpse of death - & when Warren cuts her up, he finally finds a live specimen of the Tingler (which pretty much looks like a giant centipede), & these Tinglers are pretty aggressive.

After Ollie is gone again (with his wife's corpse, for some reason), Warren shows the Tingler to isobel, & she can't but see the bpossibilities of this cute little critter, & thus drugs ehr husband & lets the Tingler loose right next to him ... & befor long the Tingler has made its way to Warren's throat, & would have strangled him to death too, wouldn't his good-natured sister-in-law Lucy (Pamela Lincoln) have passed by & screamed the Tingler into paralysis.

Warren realizes there is only one way to neutralize the Tingler, to rejoin it with its dead host-body Martha ... but when he arrives at Ollie's, he makes a rather startling discovery, that Ollie had frightened his wife to deathfor her money, & he himself, with his talks about the Tingkler, has given him the idea. But while the 2 men still argue, the Tingler escapes, into Ollie's movie theatre that's just beneath his appartment.

In the movie theatre the Tingler attacks several people including the projectionist, & only Warren's urging everybody to scream ("Don't panic, but scream as loud as you can !") can finally paralyze the creature.

In the end, Warren can successfully rejoin the Tingler with Martha & persuade Ollie to give himself up to the police. But once Warren is gone, the Tingler gives Martha new life, just to scare Ollie to death.


The Tingler is one of these typical William Castle-films, where the gimmick upon which it was marketed - several seats in the audience were equipped with vibrators (not what you think) that would go off at certain moments to give the audience members that certain tingling feeling, while Vincent Price's onscreen voice woud urge the audience to participate in screaming ... which is just great to imagine.


The film itself is good fun too though: a completely silly piece of science-horror (of course there is no giant centipede growing out of our spines when we are frightened), full of enjoyably stupid dialogues & unbelievable but devil-may-care plottwists, carried above all by the wonderful, wonderfully ham Vincent Price  (who works wonders making his outrageously incredible lines believable).

The direction might be a bit old-fashioned for the late 1950's, but in a most charming way, & it never stands in the way of the film's narrative of atmosphere.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD