Wednesday, August 05, 2015


Howdja like to have a large caterpillar-cum-clawless lobster growing on YOUR spine? Well, that's just what ol' Vince Price discovers while doing some research into fear along with Dobie Gillis' brother in this late-fifties moom thriller that I remember the older (read: second grade) boys in school dribbling over back when it was shown on channel 21's SHOWTIME (hosted by Marc Howard, soon to be a Philly tee-vee bigwig). Of course back then first-grader me was more engrossed with more kiddie-oriented entertainment and still felt that horror films along these lines were more or less horrid nightmare bait. No TINGLER for me considering that the YOU ASKED FOR IT reruns on the other station had me front and center for such wholesome entertainment as armless ladies and the guy who milked snake venom to make into medicine.

Unfortunately by the time I was old enough to appreciate films like THE TINGLER they had been replaced by adult melodramas and unfunny game shows which only goes to show ya that I indeed was born too late to enjoy life, especially when "life" had become relevant hippie moralizing and unfunny lectures passing as cutting edge humor.

But this William Castle flick is just what any self-respecting seven-year-old proto-delinquent would wanna rush home from school to watch. Good ebb/flow of tension and cheap shock throughout this 'un, which won't make you puke or anything but still delivers the goods what with the scene where this deaf mute is scared to death by faucets flowing blood and a crazy monster coming at her with a knife (which may be an illusion but in a film like this who can tell?) not to mention the one where the Tingler itself gets loose in a silent moom revival theatre (that happens to be showing the Richard Barthelmess classic TOL'ABLE DAVID) and starts creeping up the legs of the patrons! The part where the screen goes black and Price intones to the audience to scream must've been a hoot, especially for a lotta male dates who wanted to do a li'l sneak tit squeezing on their frightened-to-death dates!

No chair buzzers when I watched this 'un, but it still gave me alla them adolescent thrills I most certainly didn't get back then because films like this had become verboten around the time I hit the double digits. But for those of you who are hitting the age of retirement and are opting out for a second teendom 'stead of childhood THE TINGLER would be a much better bet to osmose those model car and monster days of yore 'stead of some Joan Baez album, y'know?

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