Today’s film had the benefit of my never having heard of it before. I came across the film, and seeing Boris Karloff was in it made sure to watch it for this 31 Days of Horror movies for Halloween series. I went in to the film without any knowledge of the storyline, the history of the film, or it’s creators.
Sometimes that is a good thing. It gives the viewer an unbiased beginning for the film. Then there are times like these…
31 Days of Howl-oween
A Review of Films Filled with Frights
~ The Terror ~
Director: Roger Corman
Cast: Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson, Sandra Knight, Dick Miller, Jonathan Haze
Country: United States
Specs: 81 mins. / Color / OAR 1.85:1 / MPAA Rating: PG
French soldier Andre Duvalier (Nicholson) awakes on a beach, lost and confused as to his location. He meets a beautiful young woman, who suddenly disappears into the castle of Baron Von Leppe (Karloff). He soon learns she is the ghost of the Baron’s long deceased wife, and begins a quest to learn why she is haunting the castle, and why she is trying to kill the Baron.
Jack Nicholson as a French solider?!?!? And with no accent at that?!?!? I couldn’t help but wonder why this film was so disjointed and felt like a cobbled together bit of trims left over from another horror film until I began to do my research.
Roger Corman, schlockmeister himself, was breaking down sets from other films he had recently wrapped, when he decided to spend 3 days with Boris Karloff walking around on those sets to be filmed and used at a later time. Enter Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, and a few other gents. Corman gave them the opportunity to film each individually other scenes to be edited together to make what would become this film. Boy does it show.
The film features little in the way of suspense, horrible casting (even Karloff comes across as a shell of his former self), and a story better fit for a brief back story in an EC comic. Nothing in the film makes sense, ESPECIALLY the too crazy to even begin to be believable twist ending.
For this viewer, The Terror was the fact that such talented people were involved in this film. I have to wonder how any of them became the stars they are today after this film.
Just proves the old adage. It’s not what you know, but who you know…
My Rating: ** / D
Available on Amazon: The Terror
Or if you want to view this film right now from your own computer
Amazon Video on Demand: The Terror VOD