The Tingler

  • Film
  • Horror films
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A cultish chiller that acquired some fame on its original US release when Castle wired up the cinema seats with electrical buzzers to give his audiences a little extra shock value. The plot is ingeniously ludicrous: a doctor (Price) discovers that fear breeds a centipede-like organism in the base of the spine. The organism can kill if its grip is not released, and only a scream can do that. So the good doctor experiments on a deaf-mute, the wife of a cinema-owner who only shows silent movies. Castle was a real Hollywood showman, a downmarket Hitchcock whose work shows considerable flair. The scenes in the movie theatre are very striking, and the way the doctor torments his victim - by providing her with visual shocks (a kind of acid trip) and by causing running water from a tap to turn into blood (black-and-white gave way to colour here) - is clearly the work of a sick mind. Castle recalled, 'I was asked by somebody at Yale whether The Tingler was my statement against the establishment and whether it was my plea against war and poverty. I said, Who knows?'

Release details

Duration: 82 mins

Cast and crew

Director: William Castle
Screenwriter: Robb White
Cast: Vincent Price
Judith Evelyn
Darryl Hickman
Philip Coolidge
Patricia Cutts
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