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The Tingler(1959)

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The Tingler (1959)

"Ladies and gentlemen, please do not panic. But scream scream for your lives!"

Director William Castle was an ambitious journeyman looking for his breakout film when he hit upon his winning formula with Macabre, a low-budget 1958 thriller that sold its onscreen shock effects with promotional ballyhoo. In a brainstorm of publicity ingenuity, Castle issued an insurance policy (backed by Lloyds of London) to cover all ticket buyers against "death by fright." The campaign was a success, the film was a hit, and Castle found his new persona: a B-movie P.T. Barnum by way of Alfred Hitchcock. He launched a new gimmick with each succeeding horror film and took to personally promoting and introducing his films, just like Hitchcock was doing on television. In fact, for The Tingler (1959), Castle's third feature in this vein, composer Von Dexter's score borrows from the Hitchcock sound with the distinctive harp glissandos of Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo (1958) theme.

The Tingler was Castle's second and final film with Vincent Price, whose silky voice and acting grace had brought a little class to Castle's previous film, the gleefully disreputable House on Haunted Hill (1959). Price plays Dr. Warren Chapin, a part-time coroner and full time scientist pursuing a private inquiry into the power of fear in the human body. "There's a force in all of us which science knows nothing about," he explains. "That it's strong enough to shatter the spinal column we know, but what it is what causes it to appear and disappear that we don't know." With a few simple scares and some timely X-rays, Chapin proves that the human body hosts a parasite that feeds on fear (quick, rewrite the medical texts!). He theorizes that screaming is the only thing that can stop it (becoming an early champion of primal scream therapy in the process) and names it the "tingler," after the tingles one feels in a state of terror.

It's not long before he extracts one of these things from a victim literally scared to death (too bad she didn't have her Lloyds of London insurance policy), revealing one of the cheapest of any of Castle's special effects. His tingler is a cheap rubber model that looks like a lobster crossbred with a centipede. When it moves through a faux animal skin rug, the fur ruffling past the otherwise stiff extremities creates an illusion of the legs actually moving, but for the rest of the film Castle is content to show the thing wobble across floors and over potential victims, yanked by unconcealed strings at times.

"In a controlled experiment with my own fear, perhaps I can find out all the things we have to know," Chapin muses to his assistant. "Only nothing scares me." That sounds like a challenge, and Chapin faces it with a movie first: he shoots himself up with an experimental chemical called LSD and has the first acid-trip freak-out on American screens. Price hams it up with gusto, but apparently no one on the production had any actual experience to draw from, and his histrionics make the scene endearingly square in retrospect.

"I gotta tell you something, neither Bill nor Vincent nor I took any of this too seriously," recalls co-star Darryl Hickman (brother of Dwayne "Dobie Gillis" Hickman). You can't blame them. Screenwriter Robb White, Castle's loyal partner in high-concept schlock, is more concerned with the gimmicks than with the story or the suspense. There were plenty of complications, to be sure; Chapin hates his socialite wife (Patricia Cutts), a millionaire tramp who doesn't bother to hide her affairs or apologize for blocking her younger sister's marriage to Chapin's handsome young assistant (Hickman). There are even a couple of murder attempts, but the main storyline is not very compelling.

A subplot concerning a deaf-mute woman (Judith Evelyn) who owns a silent movie theater is used to greater effect. At one point she finds herself in a waking nightmare of macabre threats (including a sink and bathtub running with blood-red fluid, the sole shocks of color in the black and white film), unable to scream and thus stop the tingler before it kills her. Castle takes credit for casting Evelyn, though it was actually Price who suggested her for the role, and she adds the right touch of eeriness to her part, a character right out of the silent films she shows in her theater.

Ultimately, however, it's all about the gimmick. In House on Haunted Hill, Castle had theaters rig skeletons to glide over the heads of the audience at a certain point in the film. For the climax of The Tingler, where the creature gets loose in a movie theater, Castle had theater owners hire a plant in the audience to faint on cue and get carried out by doctors (not real ones, of course). But that was just the appetizer. For the main course he unleashed "Percepto," a fancy name for a small, motorized vibrator placed under selected theater seats and wired to the projection booth. It was carefully timed to a key scene where the tingler crawls across the projector lens just before the screen goes black and the booming voice of Vincent Price entreats audiences not to panic, but to "Scream - scream for your lives!" Cue Percepto, which goosed the audience into playing along. "In the final count, I think we must have buzzed 20,000,000 behinds," writes Castle in his biography, a possibly inflated number, but then would you expect any different from a born self-promoter?

There is no doubt that William Castle could mount an effective B-movie thriller with an offbeat sensibility. The Tingler is more gimmick than movie and it lacks the level of tension and terror of other productions, but the showmanship is still a lot of fun.

"Ladies and gentlemen, just a word of warning. If any of you are not convinced that you have a tingler of your own, the next time you're frightened in the dark...don't scream."

Producer: William Castle
Director: William Castle
Screenplay: Robb White
Cinematography: Wilfred M. Cline
Film Editing: Chester W. Schaeffer
Art Direction: Phillip Bennett
Music: Von Dexter
Cast: Vincent Price (Dr. Warren Chapin), Judith Evelyn (Martha Higgins), Darryl Hickman (David Morris), Patricia Cutts (Isabel Stevens Chapin), Pamela Lincoln (Lucy Stevens), Philip Coolidge (Oliver Higgins).
BW&C-82m.

by Sean Axmaker

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The Tingler (1959)

Following the box-office success of The House on Haunted Hill (1958), Columbia Pictures offered to set up producer William Castle with his own unit at the studio. This meant that Castle would have an office, a full-time staff, and the authority to put the technicians and crew members of his choice under contract to work on a slate of films. The first film Castle produced under this new arrangement was The Tingler (1959).

Screenwriter Robb White told interviewer Tom Weaver (in Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes) that "the makeup guy that we had on House on Haunted Hill, Jack Dusick, had made a rubber worm. He showed me this worm one day, a horrible looking thing, about a foot long. In those days we didn't have the violent makeup and special effects they have today, but this worm, it haunted you - it scared you! I began thinking about that, and I told Bill, 'Let's find out where fear comes from and we'll use this worm!' It was a lot of fun writing the script, but I didn't like the movie."

Co-star Darryl Hickman later said, "my fianc at the time was Pamela Lincoln, and she got the job, and then I got a call from Bill (Castle). And he said, 'Don't you want to be in the picture?' and I said, 'Not especially,' and he said, 'Oh yes you do! You want to be there because it would be good publicity and your intended is part of the movie and you could help her.'" Unfortunately Hickman's height was 5'10" to Price's 6'4" frame, so Hickman had to wear lifts in his scenes alongside the taller actor.

White also told Weaver about the origin of the LSD scene in the film: "I wanted something different from the typical shot or pill that you see in movie 'trips.' Aldous Huxley told me about a doctor at U.C.L.A. who was running an experiment on lysergic acid [LSD]. So I went up there to see this man, Dr. Cohen, and he gave me some of it. He took me into a nice little room with a cot and a radio and he got something out of his refrigerator and gave me a shot. It was all legal then. I watched the grain in the wood writhing around and listened to the music. It was very pleasant, although I didn't ever want to do it again." White claims that he related his experience to Vincent Price so that the actor might give a convincing performance. "I went back and told Vincent about it, what the real reaction would be - I just wondered if it wasn't something that Vincent could be dramatic about without falling around and all that stuff. He said, 'Forget it.' And when he took the shot in the movie, he jumped around and did the same god-damned thing he always did."

The negative cost of The Tingler was $400,000. The Percepto gimmick cost an additional $250,000 to implement. Some sources claim that theater seats were rigged with small electrical charges, but that is not the case. Castle bought war surplus motorized vibration devices that were designed to be installed in aircraft wings for de-icing. Rigged under a theater seat, they gave a mild "tingle." The motors were sent to the bigger theaters on the circuit, and were installed on one out of every ten seats or so. An article appeared in weekly Variety on August 5, 1959 titled "Goosepimple Saga with Seats to Suit." It explained that it took about four hours to equip the average theater with the devices, which was done "under the supervision of Milton Rice and D. Hollaway."

The vibration devices were not the only gimmick that Castle employed for The Tingler. Also for the larger engagements, Castle had theater managers employ phony nurses in the lobby, and at a crucial point in the story, the film would actually be stopped, the house lights would come up, and the nurses would take away a woman in the theater that had fainted. The fainter would also be a plant, of course. Once the person had been taken out, the film would resume and Vincent Price's voice would be heard to say: "Ladies and gentlemen, there is no cause for alarm. A young lady has fainted. She is being attended to by a doctor and is quite alright. So please remain seated. The movie will begin again right away. I repeat - there is no cause for alarm." Special speakers were installed so that this announcement came from the back of the theater. During the Percepto sequence later in the film, Price's frantic announcement to the audience to "Scream for your lives!" was also cued to come from the rear of the auditorium.

Castle tells a story in his book (that was also verified by screenwriter Robb White) concerning a prank that occurred in a theater wired early for the Percepto gimmick: "A week before The Tingler opened in Boston, The Nun's Story, starring Audrey Hepburn, was playing. During a matinee filled with women, the bored projectionist decided to test the 'Tingler' equipment. He pushed the switch during a scene where Hepburn and the nuns were praying. The proper Bostonian ladies got the shock of their lives."

SOURCES:
Step Right Up! I'm Gonna Scare the Pants Off America by William Castle
Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography by Victoria Price
Interview with Robb White in Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes by Tom Weaver
Interview with William Castle in Kings of the Bs: Working Within the Hollywood System Edited by Todd McCarthy and Charles Flynn
Scream for Your Lives! William Castle and 'The Tingler' (1999) - 16min. documentary on DVD of The Tingler
Original Columbia Pictures pressbook for The Tingler

by John M. Miller

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The Tingler (1959)

William Castle's publicity machine for The Tingler was turned on well before the movie had even finished production. He had special crates made with large padlocks on them and armed guards in place on the Columbia lot to keep "The Tingler" at bay purely for the benefit of the press, of course. A special publicity photo was released to the trade press of Vincent Price inspecting the crate, next to a sign which read "KEEP DISTANCE IF TINGLER BREAKS LOOSE VACATE STAGE IMMEDIATELY DO NOT PANIC! SCREAM!"

The film's trailer, like the film, had an introduction by Castle himself, hinting at the effects of the Percepto gimmick. Then over a montage of scenes from the movie, these words:
IMPORTANT! As you enter the theatre, you will receive instructions and special equipment to guard against attack by The Tingler! USE IT! DON'T BE EMBARRASED TO SCREAM! IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE! GUARANTEE: THE TINGLER WILL BREAK LOOSE IN THE THEATRE WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AUDIENCE!

In the film Price is seen reading a medical pamphlet (with the title printed on the back cover) called FRIGHT EFFECTS INDUCED BY INJECTION OF LYSERGIC ACID LSD25 A PRELIMINARY REPORT.

The film's pressbook contained the usual suggestions for local exhibitors and stunts to drum up publicity, such as this gem: "The fact that 'The Tingler' exists in the backbone of humans can cue a contest to find the local girl with the prettiest backbone. The stunt can be worked as a contest on a local TV program or at the theater, the judging to be done by TV and newspaper personalities. The girls should wear bathing suits that expose their backs, with the finalists receiving certificates of merit, promotional gifts and guest ticket prizes. Go after photo coverage."

Many reviews and articles about The Tingler say somewhat misleadingly that the sequence with blood in the bathtub was "filmed in color." That isn't actually the case color film stock was simply used to tint the liquid in the scene a blood-red. The scene plays in black-and-white with the exception of the liquid, lending a disturbing effect to the scene.

According to the film's Pressbook, Columbia's music division - Colpix Records - distributed a novelty 45rpm record based on The Tingler, and the flipside carried a song called "The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock." Exhibitors were encouraged to "go after disc jockey shows with this 'Tingler' novelty."

Theaters were also encouraged to offer theater patrons "'Tingler' ice cream treats with spices added" at the concession counter.

Screenwriter Robb White said that one problem with the Percepto vibrating motors was that kids would eventually locate the devices in the movie theaters. "They came and unscrewed the motors broke them off and stole them. And they cost a lot of money."

A remake of The Tingler is slated for a 2009 release.

SOURCES:
Step Right Up! I'm Gonna Scare the Pants Off America by William Castle
Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography by Victoria Price
Interview with Robb White in Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes by Tom Weaver
Interview with William Castle in Kings of the Bs: Working Within the Hollywood System Edited by Todd McCarthy and Charles Flynn
Scream for Your Lives! William Castle and 'The Tingler' (1999) 16min. documentary on DVD of The Tingler
Original Columbia Pictures pressbook for The Tingler

by John M. Miller

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The Tingler (1959)

"'The Tingler,' topping the Columbia double bill, could use a little gore, even with those palpitating ads. For some time producer William Castle has been serving some of the worst, dullest little horror entries ever to snake into movie houses. This one, which he also directed, is about a rubbery-looking lobster. This object, labeled a 'tingler,' is supposedly a tangible mass of flesh incorporating the zone of human fear and, we are told, residing in each of us. Anyway, Vincent Price, as a scientist, extracts it from the spine of poor Judith Evelyn, in the casting of the year-a deaf mute cashier at a theatre showing silent movies. The bedraggled 'tingler' slithers around terrified victims. It failed to arouse the customer seated in front of this viewer yesterday - a fearless lad who was sound asleep, snoring. Just keep us awake, Mr. Castle."
Howard Thompson, The New York Times, March 10, 1960.

"The Tingler, right down to its bright red corpuscles, indelibly stamps producer William Castle as an imaginative, often ingenious, showman. The film abounds in hokum, camouflaged in science, and it has been successfully gimmicked to insure maximum exploitation... Almost staggeringly effective is a hairraising sequence in which a bathtub full of blood blares out in all its rich sanguinary color amid the remaining blacks and whites."
Ron, Variety.

"Preposterous but original shocker; coroner Price discovers that fear causes a creepy-crawly creature to materialize on people's spines; it can be subdued only by screaming. This is the infamous picture that got moviegoers into the spirit with vibrating gizmos under selected theater seats! a gimmick director/producer Castle billed as 'Percepto.' Also noteworthy as likely the earliest film depicting an LSD trip. One critical sequence is in color."
Leonard Maltin, Classic Movie Guide.

"Despite Castle's ponderous, pedestrian direction, in which everything is spelled out 1-2-3, The Tingler overall is one of his most entertaining films. It's silly, sure, but that's part of its charm. No one else has ever made a story like this, and the chutzpah of its premise is almost breathtaking. ...Furthermore, some of the acting is very entertaining. Price doesn't have quite as slick an opponent in Patricia Cutts as he did in Carol Ohmart in House on Haunted Hill, but they deliver the waspish Robb White dialogue with infectious glee. Price is clearly enjoying himself in these catty exchanges. ...Philip Coolidge is required to be mousy and henpecked, while still having a shade of possible menace, which he accomplishes quite well. Judith Evelyn is good in her mime performance as the ill-fated Martha; her angular, coarse features and popping eyes express her terror well. ...White's screenplay is lumpy and really has no plot at all. Price wants a tingler; Coolidge wants his wife dead. Both get what they want. The film is a horror movie with SF elements, but structured as a 1940s-type murder melodrama. The attempt on Price's life by his wife seems like an effort to add running time."
Bill Warren, Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties.

"The sheer effrontery of this piece of hokum is enjoyable in itself, while the script and direction follow Castle's usual format of laying down a persuasive horrific exposition and then, at the right moment, parodying it outrageously..
Monthly Film Bulletin.

"Another gimmicked-up fright flick from William Castle, with theaters back then wired to give audiences a gentle 'tingle' at proper moments. Without the hokum, though, this is one of Castle's better attempts at the macabre, earmarked with a distinctive tongue-in-cheek flavor. ...Best sequence comes when the 'tingler' is loose in a movie theater showing TOL'ABLE DAVID and everyone runs like hell. There is also a scene of a hand coming up out of a tub of blood originally filmed in color, but TV prints are all in black and white."
John Stanley, The Creature Features Movie Guide

"A cultish chiller that acquired some fame on its original US release when Castle wired up the cinema seats with electrical buzzers to give his audiences a little extra shock value. The plot is ingeniously ludicrous: a doctor (Price) discovers that fear breeds a centipede-like organism in the base of the spine. The organism can kill if its grip is not released, and only a scream can do that. So the good doctor experiments on a deaf-mute, the wife of a cinema-owner who only shows silent movies. Castle was a real Hollywood showman, a downmarket Hitchcock whose work shows considerable flair. The scenes in the movie theatre are very striking, and the way the doctor torments his victim - by providing her with visual shocks (a kind of acid trip) and by causing running water from a tap to turn into blood (black-and-white gave way to colour here) - is clearly the work of a sick mind. Castle recalled, 'I was asked by somebody at Yale whether The Tingler was my statement against the establishment and whether it was my plea against war and poverty. I said, Who knows?'."
Adrian Turner, TimeOut Film Guide.

Compiled by John M. Miller

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teaser The Tingler (1959)

"Ladies and gentlemen, please do not panic. But scream scream for your lives!"

Director William Castle was an ambitious journeyman looking for his breakout film when he hit upon his winning formula with Macabre, a low-budget 1958 thriller that sold its onscreen shock effects with promotional ballyhoo. In a brainstorm of publicity ingenuity, Castle issued an insurance policy (backed by Lloyds of London) to cover all ticket buyers against "death by fright." The campaign was a success, the film was a hit, and Castle found his new persona: a B-movie P.T. Barnum by way of Alfred Hitchcock. He launched a new gimmick with each succeeding horror film and took to personally promoting and introducing his films, just like Hitchcock was doing on television. In fact, for The Tingler (1959), Castle's third feature in this vein, composer Von Dexter's score borrows from the Hitchcock sound with the distinctive harp glissandos of Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo (1958) theme.

The Tingler was Castle's second and final film with Vincent Price, whose silky voice and acting grace had brought a little class to Castle's previous film, the gleefully disreputable House on Haunted Hill (1959). Price plays Dr. Warren Chapin, a part-time coroner and full time scientist pursuing a private inquiry into the power of fear in the human body. "There's a force in all of us which science knows nothing about," he explains. "That it's strong enough to shatter the spinal column we know, but what it is what causes it to appear and disappear that we don't know." With a few simple scares and some timely X-rays, Chapin proves that the human body hosts a parasite that feeds on fear (quick, rewrite the medical texts!). He theorizes that screaming is the only thing that can stop it (becoming an early champion of primal scream therapy in the process) and names it the "tingler," after the tingles one feels in a state of terror.

It's not long before he extracts one of these things from a victim literally scared to death (too bad she didn't have her Lloyds of London insurance policy), revealing one of the cheapest of any of Castle's special effects. His tingler is a cheap rubber model that looks like a lobster crossbred with a centipede. When it moves through a faux animal skin rug, the fur ruffling past the otherwise stiff extremities creates an illusion of the legs actually moving, but for the rest of the film Castle is content to show the thing wobble across floors and over potential victims, yanked by unconcealed strings at times.

"In a controlled experiment with my own fear, perhaps I can find out all the things we have to know," Chapin muses to his assistant. "Only nothing scares me." That sounds like a challenge, and Chapin faces it with a movie first: he shoots himself up with an experimental chemical called LSD and has the first acid-trip freak-out on American screens. Price hams it up with gusto, but apparently no one on the production had any actual experience to draw from, and his histrionics make the scene endearingly square in retrospect.

"I gotta tell you something, neither Bill nor Vincent nor I took any of this too seriously," recalls co-star Darryl Hickman (brother of Dwayne "Dobie Gillis" Hickman). You can't blame them. Screenwriter Robb White, Castle's loyal partner in high-concept schlock, is more concerned with the gimmicks than with the story or the suspense. There were plenty of complications, to be sure; Chapin hates his socialite wife (Patricia Cutts), a millionaire tramp who doesn't bother to hide her affairs or apologize for blocking her younger sister's marriage to Chapin's handsome young assistant (Hickman). There are even a couple of murder attempts, but the main storyline is not very compelling.

A subplot concerning a deaf-mute woman (Judith Evelyn) who owns a silent movie theater is used to greater effect. At one point she finds herself in a waking nightmare of macabre threats (including a sink and bathtub running with blood-red fluid, the sole shocks of color in the black and white film), unable to scream and thus stop the tingler before it kills her. Castle takes credit for casting Evelyn, though it was actually Price who suggested her for the role, and she adds the right touch of eeriness to her part, a character right out of the silent films she shows in her theater.

Ultimately, however, it's all about the gimmick. In House on Haunted Hill, Castle had theaters rig skeletons to glide over the heads of the audience at a certain point in the film. For the climax of The Tingler, where the creature gets loose in a movie theater, Castle had theater owners hire a plant in the audience to faint on cue and get carried out by doctors (not real ones, of course). But that was just the appetizer. For the main course he unleashed "Percepto," a fancy name for a small, motorized vibrator placed under selected theater seats and wired to the projection booth. It was carefully timed to a key scene where the tingler crawls across the projector lens just before the screen goes black and the booming voice of Vincent Price entreats audiences not to panic, but to "Scream - scream for your lives!" Cue Percepto, which goosed the audience into playing along. "In the final count, I think we must have buzzed 20,000,000 behinds," writes Castle in his biography, a possibly inflated number, but then would you expect any different from a born self-promoter?

There is no doubt that William Castle could mount an effective B-movie thriller with an offbeat sensibility. The Tingler is more gimmick than movie and it lacks the level of tension and terror of other productions, but the showmanship is still a lot of fun.

"Ladies and gentlemen, just a word of warning. If any of you are not convinced that you have a tingler of your own, the next time you're frightened in the dark...don't scream."

Producer: William Castle
Director: William Castle
Screenplay: Robb White
Cinematography: Wilfred M. Cline
Film Editing: Chester W. Schaeffer
Art Direction: Phillip Bennett
Music: Von Dexter
Cast: Vincent Price (Dr. Warren Chapin), Judith Evelyn (Martha Higgins), Darryl Hickman (David Morris), Patricia Cutts (Isabel Stevens Chapin), Pamela Lincoln (Lucy Stevens), Philip Coolidge (Oliver Higgins).
BW&C-82m.

by Sean Axmaker

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The Tingler (1959)

WILLIAM CASTLE (in prologue): I am William Castle, the director of the motion picture you are about to see. I feel obligated to warn you that some of the sensations--some of the physical reactions which the actors on the screen will feel will also be experienced, for the first time in motion picture history, by certain members of this audience. I say certain members because some people are more sensitive to these mysterious electronic impulses than others. These, uh, unfortunate, sensitive people will at times feel a strange, tingling sensation; other people will feel it less strongly. But don't be alarmed--you can protect yourself. At any time you are conscious of a tingling sensation, you may obtain immediate relief by screaming. Don't be embarrassed about opening your mouth and letting rip with all you've got, because the person in the seat right next to you will probably be screaming too. And remember this - a scream at the right time may save your life.

OLLIE HIGGINS (Philip Coolidge): Does it always kill them in... in the chair?
DR. WARREN CHAPIN (Vincent Price): Well, I've never heard of it failing.
OLLIE HIGGINS: Well, in the chair... does it hurt them?
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Not if it's done properly. At least I don't think so.
OLLIE HIGGINS: Even a slight shock hurts.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Try putting an electrode soaked in saline solution on your head and another one strapped to your leg and then slamming two thousand volts between them. If it hurts let me know.

DR. WARREN CHAPIN: I've seen this phenomenon many times in people who were badly frightened just before they died. There's a force in all of us that science knows nothing about. The force of fear. That it's strong enough to shatter the spinal column we know. But what it is what causes it to appear and disappear, we don't know. Someday I intend to find out.
OLLIE HIGGINS: Maybe it's the force that makes you spine tingle when you're scared.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Exactly. The tingle? It can do a great deal more than that. You know, it's odd I've been experimenting with this force for years never had a name for it until now. Now I think I'll call it The Tingler.

DAVID MORRIS (Darryl Hickman): Here, I got that prescription for you (hands Warren a vial of LSD).
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Oh good. You know, from the articles I've read, this is a very interesting drug.
DAVID MORRIS: So is nitroglycerin.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Dave where is that 'all for science' attitude?DAVID MORRIS: I left it in my other suit. Now please don't fool with that stuff alone, Warren it can produce some pretty weird effects.

ISABEL CHAPIN (Patricia Cutts): You know Warren you've lost contact with living people. Nobody means anything to you anymore unless they're dead and you can root around in them with your sharp little knives. There's a word for you.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: There are several for you.

ISABEL CHAPIN: The only way Dave Morris will marry my sister is over my dead body.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Unconventional but not impossible.

ISABEL CHAPIN: I'm tired and I'm sleepy. Goodnight.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Stay awake a little longer. Who knows? The next time you sleep it may be forever.

ISABEL CHAPIN: I had nothing to do with my father's death, and you know it.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Would you like me to prove it isn't nonsense?
ISABEL CHAPIN: You can't prove anything, because there's nothing to prove.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: But you wouldn't like me to try, would you? And you should remember this too, Darling - organic poisons are like old soldiers, they never die, they just lie smoldering in the grave - and I'm not bad at autopsies either.

DR. WARREN CHAPIN (holding gun): Either you give Lucy half of all the money you've got and leave her alone, or you commit suicide right now.
ISABEL CHAPIN: Suicide? You mean murder.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: When I finish rearranging things, it'll look like suicide, now make up your mind. We'll want to be through with this before Lucy comes home.
ISABEL CHAPIN: I'm not giving that stupid child anything so you can put away that silly pistol.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: This silly pistol can put a hole in you the size of a medium grapefruit.

DR. WARREN CHAPIN: ...fear causes the tingler to spread across the spinal column, and probably with those arm-like things across the vertebrae, and forces it to become arched and rigid.
DAVID MORRIS: And you believe that screaming, or perhaps any sound the human in fear can make, deenergizes it paralyzes it.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Well, the screaming seems to stop the tingler from bending the spinal column. Screaming may even dissolve it, or if it's a living organism kill it.

LUCY STEVENS (Pamela Lincoln): I'm worried David, Isabel has been sweet to me all morning.
DAVID MORRIS: Me too, she even said hello, she even smiled.
LUCY STEVENS: So look out, the roof is going to fall in.

LUCY STEVENS: Dave, that drug you brought...
DAVID MORRIS: It's not a drug, it's an acid.

DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Things were pretty foggy, but I remember thinking that I mustn't scream. But the pain and the fear were so great. I, I don't think anybody could keep from screaming if they were really terrified. Unless...

LUCY STEVENS: Unless what, Dave?
DAVID MORRIS: Suppose a person could not possibly scream?
LUCY STEVENS: Well everybody can scream.
DAVID MORRIS: A deaf mute can't scream.

DR. WARREN CHAPIN: I dropped by because I was a little worried about your wife, a shock like that can have pretty bad after effects, you know.
OLLIE HIGGINS: You know - I've been a little worried about her too, she hasn't eaten hardly a thing and she can't sleep. Ever since she saw that blood, she just roams around in the theater all night.

DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Did you hear what the little husband said to the big wife?
ISABEL: Is this another one of your oblique jokes?
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: He said 'why does the back door slam every time I come in the front door?'

ISABEL CHAPIN (making a toast): Here's to the Tingler, and your new wife.
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: I hope the new wife doesn't turn out to be as dangerous as the Tingler.

DR. WARREN CHAPIN: The tingler exists in every human being, we now know. Look at that tingler, Dave. It's an ugly and dangerous thing - ugly because it's the creation of man's fear which is ugly too; dangerous because... because a frightened man is dangerous. We can't destroy it because we've removed it from its natural place.

DR. WARREN CHAPIN: You killed her.
OLLIE HIGGINS: No I didn't...
DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Your wife was frightened to death, with this, and this.

DR. WARREN CHAPIN (in darkness after turning off house lights): Ladies and gentlemen, there is no cause for alarm. A young lady has fainted. She is being attended to by a doctor and is quite alright. So please remain seated. The movie will begin again right away. I repeat there is no cause for alarm.

DR. WARREN CHAPIN (again in darkness): Ladies and gentlemen, please do not panic! But SCREAM! Scream for your lives! The Tingler is loose in this theater!

DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Just because poison happens to exist, is no excuse to commit murder with it.

DR. WARREN CHAPIN: Ladies and gentlemen, just a word of warning. If any of you are not convinced that you have a tingler of your own, the next time you're frightened in the dark... don't scream.

Compiled by John M. Miller

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