Harold Haxton: A Life In The Can
Early Years
Hollywood: 1947-1953
Toga! Toga!
Poster Gallery

Haxton In Hollywood: 1957-1959

Under Schmikler Pictures, Haxton began to knock off all the "big" movies at a rapid pace -- with half the time and less than a third of the budget of the originals. The 52-Foot Woman (1958), Mantis From Atlantis (1959), Eight Legged Evil (1959), The Gob (From Uranus)(1960) were all part of this phase. Eight Legged Evil was an unexpected (and inexplicable) smash hit in Italy, released as Devil On Eight Legs. It was this success that funded Haxton's next crazy venture in 1961.

It Came From Beneath The Seats
Admiring the work of William Castle and his film The Tingler (1959) featuring the ingenious Percepto technology, Haxton and Schmikler set out to outdo the famous novelty-horror producer with a gimmick of their own.

Developed by erstwhile inventor Eldo Tinkler (actually Winston Schmikler's lawn guy) and rolled out for Haxton's 1961 sea-monster epic The Wet Ones, the "Tinkler" effect involved dozens of tiny lawn-sprinkler heads installed beneath random seats in Hollywood's Orpheum theater. At key points in the film the sprinklers turned on, spraying movie-watchers with a jolt of icy water. Boy howdy, were they surprised! And annoyed, as they left the theater with soggy skirts and embarrassingly damp pants.

The review in the next day's Los Angeles Sentinel began: ''It Came From Beneath Thse Seats: Harold Haxton's 'Tinkler' flick is all wet." Haxton never again tried such splashy effects. Eldo Tinkler went on to achieve minor success in Yuba City, Arizona as a local politician. NEXT

wet theatergoer

A theatergoer experiences "The Tinkler" (LA Sentinel photo)

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