6.7/10
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The Tingler (1959)

Not Rated | | Horror | 29 July 1959 (USA)
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An obsessed pathologist discovers and captures a parasitic creature that grows when fear grips its host.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Mrs. Martha Ryerson Higgins
...
David Morris
Patricia Cutts ...
Isabel Stevens Chapin
Pamela Lincoln ...
Lucy Stevens
...
Oliver 'Ollie' Higgins

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Storyline

Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us. His theory is that the creature is suppressed by our ability to scream when fear strikes us. He gets a chance to test his theories when he meets Ollie and Martha Higgins, who own and operate a second-run movie theater. Martha is deaf and mute and if she is unable to scream, extreme fear should make the creature, which Chapin has called the Tingler, come to life and grow. Using LSD to induce nightmares, he begins his experiment. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Amazing NEW TERROR Device Makes You A Living Participant in the FLESH-CRAWLING ACTION! PERCEPTO! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

29 July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El aguijón de la muerte  »

Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)| (partial)

Color:

(one scene)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the sequence in which the mute Mrs. Higgins is terrified to death, color film stock (rather than black and white) was used, so any images of blood would appear in vivid red. See more »

Goofs

Hair and nails do not continue to grow after one dies, as Dr. Chapin asserts. The illusion of growth is created by the shrinkage of the flesh surrounding the hair and nails. However, the belief in growth after death has become so ingrained in common folklore that it is not surprising to see it used as "fact" in a horror film; such films play on our fears and knowledge of folklore to achieve their effects. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Warren Chapin: I came because I was a bit worried about your wife, a shock like that can have bad after effects you know.
Oliver 'Ollie' Higgins: You know I've been worried about her too, she hasn't eaten hardly a thing and she can't sleep. Ever since she saw that blood, she just roams around the theater all night.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Under the Skin with Joseph LeDoux, Ph. d (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

B Movie Heaven!
16 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Tingler" is the name that Vincent Price's likable scientist character gives to the creature that apparently is responsible for the sense of spine-tingling fear we all experience at some point in our lives. If we scream, The Tingler is rendered harmless. If we do not, The Tingler will get us!

This is classic William Castle gimmick stuff. When this black and white masterpiece of schlock was originally shown in theaters, devices would be rigged up underneath theater seats which would "tingle" during a certain scene. The film would then seemingly stop, and the audience would be encouraged to scream! Scream for their LIVES! Of course, the audience was happy to oblige and the Tingler would be defeated. Man, how I regret having missed those days of cheesy ballyhoo.

This film has some really nifty stuff in it. Highlights include Vincent Price's "acid" trip (reportedly the first acid trip ever seen on the silver screen), and a cool hallucinatory color sequence with a deaf mute woman menaced by a bathtub full of blood, among other things. The plot is clever and actually pretty well thought out for a B flick, and Vincent is superb, as he always is. This is an absolutely hysterical film that should not be missed. I can't say enough good things about it

  • it simply has to be seen to be appreciated. It's campy, seedy, bloody
good fun!


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