The Tingler 1959

I remember going to see this at our local Ritz Cinema – a Vincent Price film

The Tingler

The Tingler is a 1959 horror thriller starring Vincent Price, and is one of his lesser known films. The film revolves around parasites that live inside human beings and feed off their fear, which causes a spine-tingling sensation. While this film is not one of Vincent Price’s best, the kind of marketing gimmicks used to sell it were just plain bizarre for 1959. The film is considered a cult classic. 

This film is best known for one particular gimmick used to sell it, where some rows of the Cinema Seats vibrate at set times during the film, to make people think they’d been infected with the parasite.

Fake screamers and fainters were even hired to throw fits and pass out during film screenings, with fake doctors on hand to look after them. 

William Castle the Director had given us ‘The House on Haunted Hill’ a year before this and that was filmed in the ‘Emergo’ process – another of his gimmicks where we saw a skeleton emerge from the screen at one particular stage of the film – and then ‘The Tingler’ was made in ‘Percepto’ which could be felt if you were in one of the seats wired up for a mild electric shock when The Tingler appeared.

You really have to hand it to William Castle – he knew how to pull the crowds in

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