As with The pit and the pendulum I’m going to just briefly touch on the plot and then go into Price’s performance since this Vincent Price week
Vincent Price as Pathologist Dr. Warren Chapin
Patricia Cutts as Isabel Stevens Chapin. Wife of Warren and sister of Lucy. She fools around on Warren and doesn’t seem to be very nice at all.
Darryl Hickman as David Morris. Boyfriend of Lucy, assistant to Warren.
Pamela Lincoln as Lucy Stevens. Sister of Isabel, but unlike her sister Lucy seems alright.
Phillip Coolidge as Oliver “Olllie” Higgins. Husband of Martha, nervous guy with shifty eyes. With his wife owns a movie theater that only shows silent pictures
Judith Evelyn as Martha Higgins. Wife of Ollie, co-owner of the theater although she controls the money. She is a deaf mute and very skiddish.
What’s this about? Okay, this is an odd film. At the heart of it is a woman who eventually wants to do away with her husband and a man who wants to do away with his wife. In the middle of all that Warren discovers that being scared causes something to grew near your spine. If you scream the being won’t form, but it you can’t scream then a rubbery centipede thing the length of your spine forms! A tingler comes into play and causes havok in the area. Add into that a fright scene to scare the mute woman, drug experimentation and William Castle setting up for people in the audience back then to be shocked by their seats. What a ride of cheese, but a fun ride none the less.
This is a different role for Price because he plays a straight role. No transition into madness, no pretending to be normal while really being a fiend. I would say he is the voice of reason here, but he speaks of a multi-legged creepy crawly forming in a person’s back. So maybe not a voice of reason there, but he is level headed in other ways. Despite being low key he still leads the movie and keeps you interested despite the ridiculous premise. Without Price this movie may have become a nearly forgotten relic from the 50’s instead of being the very likable and known B film that it is today.
There you go.