"The Tingler" - It Sent Shivers Down Your Spine







I was talking with my sister the other day. Well, it was awhile ago. Actually, through an email. She asked me if I remembered watching the movie, "The Tingler?" 


My answer was I certainly do. How could I forget the mad scientist played by Vincent Price? Or, the creature that thrived on the fear of its victims? I was nine or ten at the time, the movie premiered in 59. I saw it soon after. 



Vincent Price


A creature, a parasite that looked like a centipede, a big one, Amazonian big! It lived inside people's bodies and made the person shiver when it sensed its victims were afraid. That's why it was called the Tingler. It sent shivers down your spine.


I first saw it on television in black and white and then on the big screen, also in black and white but at the theatre they had some seats rigged with electric buzzers and gadgets, that went off during the suspense scenes. The gimmick was called, "Percepto." 


Other gimmicks were; using the sentence...


SCREAM FOR YOUR LIVES!


...in their advertising campaign, over and over again. 


This gimmick also terrified the audience. In one scene the Tingler is let loose in a movie theatre, the audience goes mad. You can imagine the audience that I was sitting with, lifting their feet off the ground, looking on the floor for the Tingler. Almost everyone did! A message streamed across the bottom of the screen, THE TINGLER IS IN THE THEATRE, adding, SCREAM FOR YOUR LIVES, then a black image of the creature crawled across the screen. Some people jumped from their seats and actually ran out of the theatre. I remember I wanted to, but was too afraid to move.

The movie trailer:





Funny the things that brought fear to you as a child, they seem silly now but not at the time. After all monsters and boogey-men have been under my bed and in my closet my whole life. I'm older now and can appreciate my fears. They're grounded. I don't have to worry of ever getting shocked, sending shivers down my spine as the Tingler did when I was a kid.




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1 comment:

Kathleen McCormick, LCSW, MPH said...

The Tingler! I remember. I was a little younger than you and I think I saw it on TV. It was so much simpler to be scared then! What really scared was that movie that had the brains and spinal cords going after everyone. I think it was called the Brain. Thanks for the memory prompt...