Sunday, February 21, 2010

Let's Celebrate Finding The Tingler

Ever wonder what causes that tingling up the spine when you're scared? Did you think it was a monstrous microbe wrapped around your vertebrae ready to splinter them to bits? Look no further, friends, Vincent Price has done the world a service and exposed the vile culprit.

Contrary to what you might think, experimentation with LSD has achieved incredible breakthroughs. In 1959, syringe in hand, our intrepid scientist gives himself a heroic dose. In the name of science, you understand. Wracked with terrifying visions, he discovers... The Tingler!

Vincent Price's wife is a wicked piece of business. Purring with evil, she loves it when he extracts the beasty from a corpse's neck. "Let's celebrate finding the tingler," she says, then slips him a mickey. Next thing you know, he's out cold with a slimy and quite obviously rubber worm pinching his neck with its pincers.

He doesn't hide his feelings for her either.

Isabel: The only way Dave Morris will marry my sister is over my dead body.

Warren: Unconventional but not impossible.

Magical moments in matrimony! Add a pinch of tingler and you've got the perfect recipe for a match made in hell. Add a dash of feline affirmative action and bring to a boil:

Warren: I was going to use this cat for my experiment, but you made a much better subject. Have you two met, in the same alley perhaps?

And let's not forget the acid, still legal when the movie came out. Though innocent by today's standards, at about the halfway mark you'll feel like somebody spiked your drink too. Unforgettable, trippy images are on full display, including an axe-wielding ape and the piece de resistance a hand rising from a bloody bathtub. Spliced in against black&white film, it's wonderfully creepy.

Did I mention the rubber worm? You'd be amazed at the tingler's effectiveness when it grabs hold of a victim's neck while looking like a reject toy for demented children. Remember the earwhigs from Star Trek 2? Like that, but on steroids.

Next time you're in the mood for a fifties B-movie, look no further than The Tingler. If you've ever reveled in an Ed Wood disaster, this is a step up -a baby step.


Lin said...

Vincent Price has scared the bajeepers out of me since the 7th grade when we saw every one of those Edgar Allen Poe movies that he made. EEEEK! said...

Ha! This is funny because in the mid-60s, I saw only part of this movie and the only thing I remember is that woman turning on the bath and blood coming out of the spigot. It scared me so badly I went under the covers and about perspired to death. I never finished it, but now may have to...

wngl said...

Lin, that voice of his puts Vincent Price in a special creep-out category, for sure.

Holly, you should definitely see the rest of the movie, there are several more memorable scenes after the bloody spigot!

Bill said...

Thanks for the reminder. I'm about due for a re-watch of The Tingler.
Another William Castle confection you may enjoy is 1961's Homicidal. I watched that for the first time recently, and truly laughed out loud.