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THE TINGLER (1959)

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  • The film is reviewed here
  • Released by: Columbia-Tristar
  • Running time: 81:25
  • Chapter stops: 28
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85
  • Enhancement: None
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Languages: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai
  • Region coding: Region 1
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Picture: The visual quality of this disc is excellent, with crisp black and white images throughout. In fact, the picture quality is a little too good at times – the wires by which the Tingler is manipulated are painfully apparent on several occasions. The only instance where the clarity of the image fails is during the colour insert. Here, the picture is considerably softer and grainier than during the rest of the film. However, there is absolutely no doubt that the producers made the right choice in including a poorer quality colour sequence rather than a better quality black and white one.

Sound: The audio has been cleaned up and is steady and clear and free of background noise throughout. This serves both the film’s entertaining dialogue, and Von Dexter’s score, which is full of Vertigo-esque piano inserts and suggestive saxophone riffs (whenever Isabel is on screen). It also draws attention to a cinematic anomaly: all the creepy sound effects scattered through the colour sequence, which poor Martha Higgins can’t hear anyway!

Special Features:

"Scream For Your Lives!" featurette: This 20-minute mini-documentary covers the production and release of The Tingler, the use of and reaction to "Percepto" and the film’s references to LSD. It uses clips from the film (none of which look or sound as good as the film proper; they are also fullscreen, not widescreen), and contains interviews with Lucy Chase Williams, author of "The Complete Films Of Vincent Price"; film historian David Skal; and "monster enthusiast" Bob Burns. The highlight, however, is the good-natured contribution of Darryl Hickman, who recounts a number of funny anecdotes about the making of the film, the cast’s attitude to it, and his own presence in it, including how William Castle conned him into doing it without payment.

The "Scream!" inserts: Included is the rare drive-in version of the famous "Scream for your lives!" sequence, with William Castle’s voice in place of Vincent Price’s. Price’s segment from the cinema print is also included. Both, a la MST3K, have a theatre screen and a silhouetted audience superimposed.

Biographies and filmographies: Brief biographies and selected filmographies for William Castle, Vincent Price and Darryl Hickman.

Scene selections: Twenty-eight chapter stops are included – impressive for an eighty-two minute movie. These are presented in a series of screens, with an increasing amount of "dripping blood" oozing over the screen as you progress through them. However, "selections" is misspelled on the main menu.

Trailers: The original trailer for The Tingler and the trailer for the Tom Savini re-make of Night Of The Living Dead are included (the latter is rated G – neat trick for a Savini film!).

Liner notes: Some brief notes are included, again mostly concerned with Percepto and the film’s LSD references. Stills from the film are included on the insert.

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