Tingler, The (1959): Directed by William Castle

Intrigued by the circus of Barnum and Bailey, New York stage plays, radio and the movies, William Castle (1914 – 1977) knew what he wanted to do with his life and spent most of his teenage years working on the stage in a number of jobs ranging from set building to acting. He left Broadway for Hollywood at the age of 23, going on to direct his first film (The Chance of a Lifetime) six years later.

Castle honed his craft over the next decade turning out every manner of film. He also worked as an assistant to director Orson Welles, doing much of the second unit location work for Welles’ noir classic The Lady from Shanghai, starring Rita Hayworth. Castle had a reputation for getting the work done, and eventually decided to produce and direct his own pictures. The first, Macabre, boasted ad lines like “See it with someone who can carry you home!” and “If it frightens you to death, you’ll be buried free of charge!” The hype worked and Castle became famous for directing films with many gimmicks, which were ambitiously promoted, despite being reasonably low budget B-movies. By the mid-60s, he abandoned the gimmicks and went on to produce the Roman Polanski classic Rosemary’s Baby (1968). His autobiography was entitled “Step Right Up! I’m Gonna Scare the Pants Off America.”
The Tingler (1959)

Legendary horror star Vincent Price appears in The Tingler, the terrifying story of a docile creature that lives in the human spinal cord. It becomes activated by fright and can only be destroyed by screaming. Castle promoted the film with the gimmick of “Percepto,” where audiences would actually feel the sensations of the actors on the screen. To achieve this, theaters wired select seats with tiny motors underneath that would vibrate during key scenes in the movie. The audience would get a “tingling” sensation and were encouraged to “Scream – scream for your lives.” The Tingler has a running time of approximately 82 minutes and is not rated.