June 1, 2009

The Tingler (1959)

The Tingler (1959)
Watched May 31, 2009

Vincent Price is a pathologist that discovers that, when we are extremely scared, the tingling of our spine is due to "the tingler", and can only be put to rest by screaming. Soon enough, he takes a tingler out of a woman's dead body who died of fear, and the creature gets loose. Uh-oh!

"The Tingler" isn't anything especially memorable or anything, but it's good enough to recommend.

Man, I wish I was alive to see this movie in theaters. To experience all of William Castle's stupid little gimmicks to try to attract audiences. As some of you probably know, for "The Tingler", Castle's gimmick was PERCEPTO. He attached surplus vibrators left over from WW2 to certain audience members' seats, and during a special scene in the movie, turned off all the lights in the theater, turned the vibrators on and pretended the Tingler was loose in the very theater. He also put plants in the audience to faint during the movie, only to be carried out by fake nurses. How great. Nowadays, all we get gimmick-wise is 3D, and that's been around for a looooong time and was never that amazing to begin with.

Honestly, I don't really even think there's anything special about the movie itself, I just think Castle's gimmicks are awesome. So, without the gimmick, the movie kind of loses something. It's still not a bad movie, though. We've still got Vincent Price, who's always fun to watch. We've still got that Tingler thing, which is some sort of caterpillar about 100 times too big. And we also have the highly entertaining scene where a deaf mute is literally scared to death. Awesome.

At the very least, the story's pretty damn original. I mean, there really aren't that many (if any) other movies about killer spine caterpillars with death grips attracted to your fear. I'm actually gonna go ahead and say this is the only film with that certain plot element. I'm a sucker for originality.

But, overall, there's not really anything great about "The Tingler". Yeah, it's a good film, and it's certainly entertaining, but there's nothing that makes you think "wow I am so enthralled in what's happening" or "wow this movie is amazing and I will always remember it". Nope, just a pretty average 50s movie with Vincent Price. Did I mention you get to see Price on LSD in the film? I bet that sold some people.

Alright, this one's gonna be a pretty short review, as I really have nothing else to say. I think "The Tingler" had a great plot, but I think it didn't take complete advantage of it, as the Tingler never really does anything. It tries to kill a couple people, but it's a pretty useless monster, as you or anyone around you can stop it simply by making noise. It just kind of latches on to your leg and hopes you don't notice so it can do whatever the hell a giant spine caterpillar would do to you. Sounds pretty unintimidating to me. Overall, I recommend the movie, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see it. I give "The Tingler":

3 out of 5 chainsaws (AVERAGE)