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A 1959 Horror film with a famous Gimmick. Directed by the man who did the best, William Castle.
Vincent Price plays Dr. Warren Chapin, who is researching the shivering or "Tingling" sensation fear causes within all humans. Dr. Warren is introduced to Ollie Higgins, the relative of a criminal sentenced to the electric chair, while making the autopsy of the corpse. Ollie asks for a lift to Dr. Warner, and introduces his deaf-mute wife, who manages a theater of their own.
He gives her Acid and Ollie "Helps" unbeknownst to the Doctor.
When Martha dies of fear, Dr. Warner makes her autopsy and finds a creature that lives inside every human being, a thing he had theorized on and jokingly referred to as "The Tingler", which appears to feed on fear and is kept in check by screams. The mute was unable to scream, and was frightened to death. The Tingler grew from a microscopic creature to the size of a human arm.
Dr. Warren removes the beast to study it, but it escapes... INTO THIS VERY THEATER!
Yes, that was the gimmick.
Inside the theater were actors who were 'attacked' by the Tingler, and joy buzzers hidden under certain seats, as if the tingler was attacking you.
- Afraid of Blood: Martha is. Of course, the bathtub filled with blood would have freaked out most other people as well.
- Attack of the Killer Whatever: It's a living thing, that's true, but beyond that, no one figures out what exactly the tingler is. It looks like a Velvet Worm, super-sized.
- Body Horror: A parasitic worm-lobster lives on your spine and grows when you're scared and is strong enough to break the spine.
- For Science!: Dr. Warner's primary motivation. He later regrets his actions.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You
- Fright Deathtrap: Ollie's plan to kill his wife. An LSD shot from the doctor helps exacerbate things.
- Gainax Ending: Yes, really. Ollie is left in his room and for no reason, the doors and windows lock and his dead wife rises...Is it because off the Tingler or somethng else?
- Mushroom Samba: Contains quite possibly the first Acid Trip put to film. Not once, but twice.
- No Fourth Wall: Ladies and gentlemen, please do not panic. But scream! Scream for your lives! The Tingler is loose in this theater!
- Rich Bitch: Dr. Warren's wife cuckolds him regularly.
- Scare Chord: All over the place.
- Splash of Color: Blood pouring in a sink and filling a bathtub appears red in an otherwise completely black & white picture.
- Your Cheating Heart: Isabelle isn't faithful to Warren and he knows it. Isabelle comes into the room putting on her earrings while Warren comments how the tie clip on the table isn't his.