Tag Archives: monster movies

Really Awful Movies: Ep 248 – The Tingler



Part artist, part huckster, William Castle is a name a lot of people know in the horror world. He produced Rosemary’s Baby (and would’ve directed too, were it not for health issues) but he’s best known for the gimmicks he deployed to promote the living heck out of his movies.

The Tingler, starring the legendary Vincent Price (check out our interview with his daughter, Victoria Price) is one such movie. Castle used “percepto” technology, a buzzer installed beneath some theater seats that literally shocked members of the audience!

The cost of this equipment added $250,000 to the film’s budget, which was negligible by comparison. Percepto was used sparingly and in predominantly larger theaters for logistical reasons.

The premise is delicious: Price stars as Dr. Chapin, a prison coroner responsible for doing autopsies on prisoners on death row (this seems like a waste of time and money, but that’s neither here nor there). A side of interest of his: how humans experience fear. He and a lab assistant speculate that there’s a structure on the spinal cord that is associated with fear responses (hence, “spine-tingling” fear).

Dr. Chapin uses his wife as an unwitting participant, scaring her with a starter pistol and doing an examination on her spine.

The Tingler is a fun movie, a corny monster movie / creature feature from the 1950s. And there’s the bonus of Castle himself introducing the film, and warning of the terrors to come. Hilarious!

On this episode of the Podcast:

  • How do we experience fear?
  • What is fear?
  • Are there different things people fear and how does horror exploit this?
  • We talk about hypochondriacs
  • We talk about death-defying experiences
  • We talk about the legacy of William Castle and who modern day exemplars are
  • Castle’s use of prop ghosts and audience shills
  • And finally, we discuss the lasting impact of the incredible icon of horror, the one and only Vincent Price

 


Really Awful Movies: Ep 239 – House



House. Here we go. We’re back to the 80s on this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast. It’s House, which stars three stalwarts of the TV world:William Katt, George Wendt, and Richard Moll (The Greatest American Hero, Cheers and Night Court).

Katt portrays a novelist, Roger Cobb, who needs a place of quiet contemplation to get some writing done. You’ve heard that one before, right? He takes over the domicile of his late aunt, whose suicide he’d witnessed as a young lad.

Soon, “his friends” start to join him (as the poster says).

One night while investigating a noise coming from his late aunt’s bedroom, the author is attacked by a deformed, hideous monster that’s been lurking inside the closet. Soon, more attacks occur: Cobb is attacked by levitating garden tools, and he begins to see visions of his ex wife and missing son.

Eventually Cobb discovers an entry into a sinister PORTAL TO HELL.

His jovial neighbor (and devoted fan), Harold (Wendt) offers a kind ear as he’s melting down.

House is best known for its poster, and yet it inexplicably spawned numerous sequels. Why? It’s because that was the thing to do. Especially if Sean S. Cunningham was involved.

House was directed by Halloween H20 director Steve Miner (interested folks can check out our discussion of that film). Is he up to the task?

What is the meaning of a homestead?

Where does this one fit in the haunted house realm?

Join us!