Have you ever seen William Castle’s The Tingler? Thankfully it’s available now on Blu-ray as part of Powerhouse Films volume one William Castle boxset. It stars the one and only Vincent Price and that alone should make for an interesting enough sci-fi horror. So without further ado here’s my The Tingler Blu-ray Review.
- The Tingler (1959) (Part of the William Castle Volume One Boxset)
- Genre: Sci-fi Horror
- Directed by William Castle
- Running Time: 82 Mins
- UK Rating 15
- Discs: 1
- Released By Powerhouse Films aka Indicator
- Blu-ray Released: 22 October 2018
Dr Warren Chapin (Vincent Price) is fascinated by the effect that true terror has on the human body. In fact he discovers that when a person is so terrified a parasite that is attached to the human spine dubbed the Tingler feeds on this emotion and can become massive in size. Just what will this discovery mean for Dr Chapin?
Style / Direction
The film was directed by William Castle with the cinematography handled by Wilfred M. Cline. It’s a black and white movie however it does contain the colour red which is there to induce the feeling of fear. Overall the film does a decent enough job of trying to terrorise although if I’m being honest The Tingler special effect is actually the weakest part of the film while Vincent Price’s voice conveys the true terror.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is composed by Von Dexter.
Acting / Characters
Without Vincent Price I suspect this film simply wouldn’t have worked. As I mentioned the actually Tingler monster fails to impress and I’m guessing that was the case even back in 1959. That said Price’s performance does however redeem the film as he takes the role completely seriously despite the monster prop being less than impressive. By taking this approach he makes it an enjoyable enough sci-fi horror.
- Vincent Price as Dr. Warren Chapin
- Judith Evelyn as Mrs. Martha Ryerson Higgins
- Darryl Hickman as Dave Morris
- Patricia Cutts as Isabel Stevens Chapin
- Pamela Lincoln as Lucy Stevens
- Philip Coolidge as Oliver “Ollie” Higgins
Conclusion: The Tingler (1959) Film Review
There’s little doubt William Castle loves to promote his own brand of horror with his own distinctive set of gimmicks that start before the film proper and of course during the films terror climax. He does this to create a kind of apprehension as to what you are about to see. Sometimes it works but mostly it simply adds to the Wiliam Castle brand, which is fair enough. The prop used to provide the terror is not particularly convincing yet its Vincent Price’s performance that really creates the air of panic.
There many strange events that simply don’t make sense, such as when Vincent Price’s character is performing an autopsy of serial killer when a relation of the dead man walks in an begins conversing with Price as if it were a normal occurrence.
I guess The Tingler is best summed up as a ridiculous yet intriguing film. I’m not going to say this is an outstanding sci-fi horror-thriller as it’s not. It is however well worth a look for fans of the genre which I include myself.
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Conclusion: The Tingler (1959) Blu-ray Review
Powerhouse always delivers on excellent picture quality and I have no issues to report with The Tinger. Audio and image quality are both excellent. I recommend taking a look at the Kim Newman feature “Imaginary Biology” in which he provides an overview of both the story and William Castle. It’s well worth a look and I for one agree with pretty every point he makes.
In fact all of the extras are well worth taking a look at especially if you happen to be a William Castle fan which I assume you are if you have purchased the boxsets.
- Alternative Features: Audio with Stereo ‘Scream’ sequence
- Audio with Drive-in ‘Headlights’ sequence
- Fully Restored Bathroom Scene from rare 35mm print
- Audio Commentary
- Imaginary Biology (17 mins)
- I Survived ‘The Tingler’ (4 mins)
- Unleashing ‘Percepto’ (3 mins)
- Scream for Your Lives! William Castle & The Tingler (16 mins)
- Isolated Music & Effects Track
- Joe Dante Trailer Commentary (3 mins)
- Promotional Materials Gallery
- Percepto Instruction Manual
- Reversible Sleeve
- 40 Page Booklet
On to my movie rating for The Tingler (1959)
- Movie Rating: WELL WORTH A LOOK
- Blu-ray Picture: EXCELLENT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
The Tingler (1959) is available now on Blu-ray.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip not be representative of the Blu-ray version.
So that’s The Tingler (1959) Blu-ray review, don’t forget to keep a look out for the rest of the William Castle boxset reviews.
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Summary: The Tingler (1959) Blu-ray Review
Director(s): William Castle
Actor(s): Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman, Patricia Cutts, Pamela Lincoln, Philip Coolidge
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
A ridiculous yet intriguing sci-fi horror film that’s well worth a look.
- Vincent Price
- Excellent Picture Quality
- Interesting & Insightful Extras
- The Tinger Special Effect