Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Tingler

The Tingler ~ This is a movie with a bit of a reputation. Directed by William Castle, the Barnum of gimmick flicks, the promotional campaign for The Tingler included such bits as the fact that screaming will ward off the creature called the Tingler. And then there's the thing with the seats. In some theaters, several seats were rigged to deliver electrical shocks at certain points in the film. Castle is of course the same man who had skeletons come out of the ceiling and buzz the audience and had nurses make viewers sign waivers in case they died during the movie for other films.

Matinee, directed by Joe Dante, featuring John Goodman as a William Castle-like filmmaker and promoter has also played on this tour so one has to wonder if any shenanigans has been planned for a night's viewing on the penultimate night of the TCM Classics Cruise on board the Disney Magic. The Bride ran into Illeana Douglas, granddaughter of Melvyn Douglas, actress, producer, and TCM host and interviewer - earlier in the day and she said that there would indeed be surprises that night at The Tingler.

The film, starring Vincent Price as a scientist searching for an organism that lives in the human body and feeds off fear, is perhaps Castle's most famous, and also what film promoter and historian Bruce Goldstein is known for. He has shown the film all over the world, and now on the TCM Cruise. For more info on Bruce Goldstein, check out New York's Film Forum and Rialto Pictures, well worth checking out, and in between all that cool stuff, he sets up showings of The Tingler.

For what is already a so bad it's good campy horror b-movie, complete with nearly incomprehensible plot, bad acting, silly special effects, and is practically set up for a MST3K workover, this treatment added so much more. Psychedelic full color light effects highlight the acid trip of the flick, skeletons flying out of the ceiling, and of course, the piece de resistance - the Tingler attacking Illeana Douglas in the front row, all made this performance one of the highlights of the cruise.

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