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Transcript - The Tingler (1959) - Cinemassacre's Monster Madness 2007

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James Rolfe: Cinemassacre's "Monster Madness"! We're going through the history of horror films, 31 days leading up to Halloween. The review of today is "The Tingler". Horror legend Vincent Price plays a doctor who makes an outrageous discovery. When you're scared you know that tingly feeling you get in your spine? Well, that's a parasite; a creature called 'the tingler' which lives in your vertebrae. 

David Morris: How did you get this picture? Who was it? 

Dr. Warren Chapin: It doesn't matter how or who, Dave. 

David Morris: Isabel? 

Dr. Warren Chapin: …I said it doesn't matter. 

James: It feeds and grows on fear but luckily our bodies were built with a defense mechanism; screaming. Screaming is what stops the tingler from growing. The doctor tries a deadly experiment on an innocent woman who is deaf and mute. The doctor gives her LSD and makes her have a horrible trip. It's a really weird scene with some color parts and maybe the first drug trip ever depicted on film. But anyway, she can't scream so the tingler is able to grow. 

(Dr. Chapin screams as the tingler bites his arm)

James: At parts the movie would stop in a gimmick to encourage the audience to scream. 

Announcer: Scream! Scream for your lives! The Tingler is moving--

Woman: Aaargh! It's on me! 

(Many people scream)

James: Oh god!?! 

Announcer: Keep screaming! Scream for your lives! It's here, it's over here! Help! Aaargh, help!?! Look out-- 

James: The theater seat were rigged with back-vibrators to make you feel the tingler. There would also be actors playing in the audience fighting with the tingler itself. This is the work of William Castle. He's the man responsible for turning the movie theater into a funhouse. 

William Castle: Remember this; scream at the right time may save your life. 

James: For "House on Haunted Hill" he had a glow-in-the-dark skeleton swing across the audiences head. Later when people knew about it, kids would show up to the movie with slingshots and shoot rocks at it. This was when movies were fun. There were drive-in theaters, movies in 3D, live performers. It must have been great but now it's just a thing of the past. 

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