Scream Factory's Blu-ray is a gorgeous affair, the norm from films coming out of Columbia. Nary a single problem in sight. 4 Stars

Scream Factory is releasing two beautiful black & white William Castle productions, released by Columbia in 1959 (Tingler) and 1964 (S-J).

While neither are films to which I’d normally gravitate, each have a myriad of fans, and thus, their quality needs to be reported here.

Let’s begin with The Tingler, which used Mr. Castle’s trade-mark publicity to involve the audience with certain gimmicks.

Here we had Percepto, via which audience members were accosted by buzzers mounted beneath certain seats. The gimmick was that if you felt fear, you had to scream in order to avoid the tingler, a worm-like creature. There may have been people planted in various areas of the audience to begin the screaming.

Vincent Price, who had moved from leading man to horror maestro, as he aged, was between his Fly films, and his entire into the wonderful world of Roger Corman in 1959. The female lead, in a non-speaking role was Judith Evelyn, probably best remembered from another non-speaking role, Miss Loneyhearts. The Tingler would be her final film appearance.

Scream Factory’s Blu-ray is a gorgeous affair, the norm from films coming out of Columbia. Nary a single problem in sight.

Strait-Jacket was another odd one, and in some ways, I wish it had not been produced, as aside from Baby Jane, I prefer to remember Miss Crawford in her non-horror roles.

Regardless, the film has many fans, especially Crawford completists, and like The Tingler, Scream Factory’s new Blu, also courtesy of Columbia, is running on all twelve cylinders.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – you betcha!

RAH

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Lord Dalek

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Obviously these films (13 Ghosts aside since Illusion-o was just a form of Anaglyph 3D) lose all their point nowadays since you can't recreate Percepto and Emerge-O at home.
 

J. Casey

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Agree with Stephen....SJ is a Crawford tour de force. Glad to hear that all is well with these Shout! discs!
 
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Trancas

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Why has Sony allowed both Shout Factory and Mill Creek to release Straight-Jacket on August 21?
Mill Creek has Straight-Jacket and Berserk! on one disk (but it will sell for less than half the price of the single feature Shout version).
I wonder if there will be much of a quality difference between the two versions.
Obviously the Shout Factory version will have various extras that the Mill Creek will not have.

Two_Straight-Jackets.jpg
 
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atcolomb

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There is a good documentary on the director "Spine Tingler, The William Castle Story" (2007) and they do talk about the various gimmicks he did to promote his films.
 
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Bob Furmanek

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In the original theatrical release, the scene where the Tingler is loose in the theater was on a separate roll of 35mm magnetic that was played through the surround speakers with Price's voice and screaming.

Has that been restored for this release?
 

Paul Penna

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In the original theatrical release, the scene where the Tingler is loose in the theater was on a separate roll of 35mm magnetic that was played through the surround speakers with Price's voice and screaming.
The surround speakers being part of the special installation, along with the seat buzzers? Are there records of how many theaters were set up for the effects?
 

Bob Furmanek

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No, this was for theaters that already had an existing four-channel magnetic stereophonic sound system.
 

aPhil

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In the original theatrical release, the scene where the Tingler is loose in the theater was on a separate roll of 35mm magnetic that was played through the surround speakers with Price's voice and screaming.

Has that been restored for this release?
It plays that way on the old DVD of The Tingler
 
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bigshot

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Why has Sony allowed both Shout Factory and Mill Creek to release Straight-Jacket on August 21?
Mill Creek has been systematically releasing the Castle films in double features. This is just another in the series. In general, the transfers are great. The encoding is a little less robust since they are double features on a single disc, but they look pretty good and the price is a bargain. The only one I had a problem with was 13 Ghosts, but I may have just been too picky.
 

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I saw this a few years ago on a Turner Classic Movie cruise, introduced by Diane Baker (who spoke very kindly of her treatment by Crawford on set) and was somewhat disappointed that this was not really the all-out campfest that Columbia's lurid advertising campaign suggests. Crawford actually underplays her role throughout, and is quite effective at times suggesting a woman who has doubts about her sanity (given the simplistic script).

Is the movie beneath her? Probably, but she's a total pro giving her all throughout.

Torch Song - now that's prime Crawford camp and far more rewatchable than Strait-Jacket!
 
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