And now, a message from the director of The Tingler, Mr. William Castle.
Today's post, which is presented in TEXT-O, is the exhibitor's instruction manual for the PERCEPTO gimmick for William Castle's classic film The Tingler!
I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT!
Well, luckily I have this PERCEPTO manual, and now I will forever know how to "do it".
So, in The Tingler, Vincent Price is this semi-evil doctor whose main goal in life is to prove that a creepy lobster-like creature grows in your spine when you are scared. And of course, he calls this spine tingling crustaceany thing The Tingler!
INTERESTING FACT -- The Tingler is the first film to show the movie-fied effects of the psychedelic drug LSD in a scene where Vincent Price freaks out on acid.
WANNA SEE?!? OF COURSE YOU DO!!
When they originally showed the film in theaters, the great William Castle came up with an almost completely insane (and hilarious) gimmick -- during a scene where The Tingler gets loose in the theater, the theater owners would SHOCK certain seats with a joy buzzer type contraption which he entitled PERCEPTO! Genius. I can only hope that one day I can be PERCEPTO'd.
As you can see, this manual was sent to all the theater owners by Columbia Pictures to show them how to hook up these crazy things to the seats. They were apparently powered by car batteries, and controlled from the projection booth. They were cued by a moment where the screen goes black and Vincent Price yells...
"THE TINGLER IS LOOSE IN THE THEATER!
EVERYBODY, SCREAM! SCREAM FOR YOUR LIVES!"
There was another part to the gimmick as well. The theater would hire a couple of girls to scream and freak out, running around the theater and fainting during the "SCREAM FOR YOUR LIVES!!" scene. They would then be dragged out on a stretcher by a couple of ushers, while the audience freaks out, or laughs at them for being stupidly scared.
GAH! I WANT TO SEE THIS IN A THEATER IN 1959! GIVE ME A DANG TIME MACHINE, YOU LAZY SCIENTIST JERKS!
You can download the PERCEPTO manual for The Tingler HERE!!
Oh, and if you're looking for an early Christmas gift for me, well you can just go buy me a Tingler.
Enjoy! And don't forget to SCREAM!! SCREAM FOR YOUR LIVES!!