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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cult horror classic with a fascinating history
There is a lot to talk about concerning 1963's The Terror, but the most fascinating thing of all is the fact that Roger Corman actually made a creepy, impressive film for once in his life. Of course, I can't help but think he had a little bit of help by a young associate producer named Francis Coppola. As for the film itself, it definitely deserves its cult horror film...
Published on 1 Jun 2005 by Daniel Jolley

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Terrible Terror
I got about ten minutes into the film and abanboned it because the picture was practically unwatchable. I don't know if the film itself is any good or indeed if a different release of it exists in better quality. Shame, as I'm quite a fan of Karloff.
Published on 31 Dec 2010 by R. E. Noller


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Terrible Terror, 31 Dec 2010
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R. E. Noller "fabsman" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Terror [DVD] (DVD)
I got about ten minutes into the film and abanboned it because the picture was practically unwatchable. I don't know if the film itself is any good or indeed if a different release of it exists in better quality. Shame, as I'm quite a fan of Karloff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't speak of the dead anymore. You're with me now., 29 April 2013
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Terror [DVD] (DVD)
In what amounts to a film made to kill time and use up the remaining days on Boris Karloff's contract, The Terror, crafted by Roger Corman and perhaps four other directors, is hardly good but still not as bad as it arguably should be? Plot simply follows a French soldier, Andre (Jack Nicholson), in 1806 who gets detached from his regiment and meets a mysterious young woman named Helene (Sandra Knight). Trying to unravel the mystery that surrounds her, Andre is led to the castle of Baron Victor Frederick Von Leppe (Karloff), from where it becomes apparent that Helene could be Ilsa, the Baron's wife who died twenty years earlier!

In typically Corman style the film has decent atmosphere and the recycled sets from concurrent productions (The Haunted Palace/The Raven) form a good Gothic backdrop. With a number of hands involved in directing and the slim time frame for the production, the plotting is understandably skew-whiff, with some scenes actually serving no purpose, while dialogue is stilted and the delivery of such is sometimes laughable (Nicholson looks like he is reading from auto-cue at times). Yet it's pretty harmless as entertainment, if a touch boring, but Karloff is good value and the theme of past deeds haunting the present gives the film a doom laden edge. 5/10
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3.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric but non-sensical, 9 Jan 2013
By 
Autonome (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Terror [DVD] (DVD)
I won't add to the accumulation of complaints about the quality (or lack thereof) of the DVD: wretched colors, non-existent contrasts, awful soundtrack. However, the whole thing remains watchable and therefore my rating is purely artistic and based on the perceived quality of the movie. At the end of the shooting of "The Raven", there was some time and a little bit of money left so Corman kept Karloff and Nicholson, recycled sets and costumes, and produced this "Terror" in several days.
To be fair, considering the means and the budget available for this production, the results are amazing. Corman switched from "very little money in my budget" to "no money whatsoever". Despite the limitations, the film is quite atmospheric and there is some gothic poetry around it, helped by the casting of the always suave Boris Karloff and the stunningly beautiful Sandra Knight. Jack Nicholson goes through the motions (but his dialogue is totally inept) and if you watch the credits carefully you will notice a young Francis Coppola as Associate Producer.
Despite the "atmosphere" though, the plot is a complete non-sense and, very quickly (i.e, from the moment Nicholson enters Karloff's castle), absolutely nothing comprehensible happens.
The plot becomes contrived and, by the end, you're not too sure as to who is who and is doing what. You're not too sure if Jack Nicholson is staying or is leaving and actually you start wondering why you started watching in the first place.
However, for many movie students, "The Terror" has to rank as one of the most spectacular examples as to how someone can make a movie with absolutely no resource whatsoever. Respect, but this does not make "The Terror" a good movie...just watchable, and certainly not at the level of the Poe cycle that Roger Corman was filming at the same time.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cult horror classic with a fascinating history, 1 Jun 2005
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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There is a lot to talk about concerning 1963's The Terror, but the most fascinating thing of all is the fact that Roger Corman actually made a creepy, impressive film for once in his life. Of course, I can't help but think he had a little bit of help by a young associate producer named Francis Coppola. As for the film itself, it definitely deserves its cult horror film status. It features Boris Karloff, it maintains a wonderfully gloomy atmosphere throughout, boasts some pretty decent special effects, and it actually features a good story with some surprising twists and turns at the end. It also stars a young Jack Nicholson, which certainly helps its popularity - unfortunately, though, this is probably Nicholson's worst performance ever, as he sometimes rushes through his lines without immersing himself in the character.
Nicholson plays Andre Duvalier, a French soldier who has become separated from his unit. You can tell he's French because he wears a fancy uniform but doesn't seem inclined to actually engage in any sort of battle, is rather rude to those he meets, and basically expects everyone to do whatever he commands of them. Andre meets a young lady named Helene as he is wandering along some coastline and apparently falls in love with her - despite the fact she keeps disappearing and just possibly tries to lead him to his death. He ends up being cared for by a strange old woman, who tells him there is no girl in that area. Still, he persists in finding Helene, eventually tracking her to a spooky old castle. There, he meets Baron von Leppe (Karloff) and learns that the girl he saw is the spitting image of the Baron's wife, who has been dead for twenty years. He eventually learns the story of the Baroness' violent death, but he just doesn't believe that the woman he met is actually a ghost. The Baroness' death all those years ago does stand at the heart of the story, but the truth is more complicated than you might think. The film sort of plods along for awhile, but the final twenty minutes play out wonderfully. You may think you know what is really going on, but odds are that you will meet with a surprise or two before all is said and done - I know I did. There is one plot point that is a little hard to swallow for reasons that will be obvious to the viewer, but overall I would declare this film an unqualified success.
The story behind this movie has become something of a legend. It seems that Corman wrapped up filming The Raven a few days early, and so he decided to make another film on the spot. The rush job origins of the film explain some of the anachronisms that crop up, but it seems obvious to me that Corman did his best work when he didn't have time to really think about what he was doing. Some critics have referred to The Terror as a movie without a plot. Apparently, only a partial script was written on the spot - specifically, those scenes filmed on the set of The Raven. The movie was actually finished a short time later (several individuals, including Francis Ford Coppola, were tasked with the job of putting the patchwork of filmed scenes together and actually finishing the whole thing). Despite its unusual and rushed origins, though, I found The Terror to be an impressive, strongly plot-driven film. The story, even more than the actors (in my opinion, only Karloff gave an impressive performance), makes The Terror a must-see horror film that, in my estimation, is in no way cheesy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 13 Aug 2014
By 
Rick "RickAnne :o)" (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Terror [DVD] (DVD)
Love Karloff, but this movie is Pants with a Capitol 'P' . Absolutely bollocks!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good 60's horror film, 16 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Terror [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD came very quick. As it is an old film the picture may not be all that good,but you can still watch it.The acting was very good from Boris Karloff and a young Jack Nicholson.If you like these old horror films,this is one you should get.
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The Terror [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [NTSC]
The Terror [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [NTSC] by Jack Nicholson (DVD - 2004)
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