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couldl see this version,an important film given the transfer it so badly needed.
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on 22 September 2014
On the back of the international horror movie renaissance of the late 1950s, Hollywood legend Boris Karloff saw something of a brief career resurgence in the genre; after headlining a couple of decent British-made chillers around the turn of the decade and teaming up with Italian auteur Mario Bava for his highly regarded anthology flick Black Sabbath, in the early 1960s he found himself employed by Roger Corman and American International Pictures on a handful of films, of which The Terror (1963) is by far the worst.
A confusing mess that nominally returns to the necromancy theme Corman had already mined several (increasingly tiresome) times in his numerous Edgar Allan Poe-themed efforts, this has Karloff as an apparently Germanic, castle-dwelling old baron tormented by his `is-she-or-isn't-she-dead?' wife, whilst a young Jack Nicholson plays a French soldier (!) trying to get to the bottom of what is going on. Made on the fly on sets that had been first used for Corman's The Raven, it was apparently pieced together from fragments of footage shot, literally, even as those sets were being torn down, directed variously by half-a-dozen different Corman stooges including Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, and Nicholson himself. The kind of laughable drive-in dreck that gives low budget horror movies a bad name, The Terror is a total dog that is best known today as the basis for Peter Bogdanovich's awesome Targets (1967), which uses several of its scenes to double for what is supposedly the `latest movie' starring Karloff's semi-autobiographical character Byron Orlok. Indeed, the best one can say about sitting through this dross is that it makes you appreciate just how brilliant Targets is by comparison.
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on 5 December 2003
How much you like this Roger Corman double feature will depend, of course, on how much you like Roger Corman in general--the "King of the B's," a producer/director/writer with a knack for turning out inexpensive horror films on a tight schedule. Most often Corman's film were dive-in dreck, lame-brainers like ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS, WASP WOMAN, and CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA. But as his career progressed, Corman did indeed begin to strike gold, keeping to his inexpensive budgets but luring big name stars like Vincent Price and Ray Milland for such films as THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM and X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES--movies that are classics of their kind and remain tremendous fun to watch to this day.
The films on this double feature disk fall somewhere between Corman dreck and Corman gold. According to film lore, Corman created THE TERROR in 1963 for the simple reason that when THE RAVEN wrapped he still had star Boris Karloff under contract for three days more--and not being one to waste a dime he quickly came up with a script that could play out on the earlier film's sets and be shot in less than thirty-eight hours.
THE TERROR concerns a young French solider (Jack Nicholson, who made several films with Corman early in his career) who is separated from Napoleon's army and finds himself drawn to an isolated castle by the charms of a lovely young woman (Sandra Knight)--but instead of finding her in residence encounters the Baron Victor Frederick Von Leppe (Boris Karloff), an elderly and possibly demented man still mourning the death of his wife some twenty years ago. The plot is loose, to say the least, and Nicholson is hardly any one's idea of a Napoleonic officer, but while THE TERROR isn't a great film by any stretch of the imagination it isn't a bad one either--for all its cliches and cheap manipulations, it manages to create an atmosphere that is surprisingly effective.
The second feature, however, is really the more interesting of the two. Starring Dick Miller (who also appears in THE TERROR), the 1959 BUCKET OF BLOOD reads very much like an extended episode from the classic t.v. series THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Walter Paisley (Miller) is a geeky wannabe who scrabbles a living as a waiter in a beatnik coffee shop--but when he accidentally kills his landlady's cat he covers it in clay to create an instant sculpture that makes a hit with the club's ever-so-artsy clientele. Needless to say, one thing leads to another, and before too long Paisley is making a hit with life-size sculptures as well.
What makes BUCKET OF BLOOD particularly interesting are Corman's florishes of black comedy, grotesque humor, and his constant jabs at the pseudo-artistic crowd that admire Paisley's work. In a year or so more, Corman would ravel much the same thread with the comic story of a mousy florist clerk who grows a sinister plant in the better known LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.
The print of THE TERROR (which had Francis Ford Coppola as an assistant producer, no less) is in pretty bad condition: the film is presented in pan-and-scan, the colors are washed out and often fuzzy, and the film is riddled with blips, scratches, and various artifacts. But it is watchable, and I have to say I've never seen a really good print of this film in any release. BUCKET OF BLOOD fares better: while hardly pristine it is fairly crisp in its original black and white. The disk comes with a few lightweight but entertaining extras, including basic information on each movie, trivia, etc.; scene access, however, is extremely limited.
Neither of these films should be classed along side the best of Corman's work, but then again neither are they anywhere near the worst of his worst. If you're a Corman fan, they're must-have, and this two-for-one deal is a handy and fairly inexpensive way of picking up both.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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on 5 July 2012
This is a low budget flick from the early sixties. I love these movies, nonfans might rate them a two or one star. But I say that cheapee horror has it's own rating system that doesn't crossover to a list and other movies. This is probably a three star on that low budget rating system of mine. It's a movie of it's time and the effects were fine for the period. The movie is what it is, a ultra quickie from roger corman and it's fun enough. But the remastering is excellent. THose who complain about a soft image don't see that most of these older movies never had much clarity and this even has lots of stock footage in it. But unlike many a movies which look shredded on blu ray. "little big man" , 'the horse soldiers" and 'rio lobo' , or 'kellys heroes' which has dust and dirt on it. The went frame by frame here and cleaned this movie up, It's been in such a bad state for so many yeats that I could barely watch it. NOw it's in great shape! This needs to be done with all trashed up movies on blu ray. ANd even later movies than this are on blu and look like crap with lines in them. "Time bandits' is one of those. The picture is not so soft nor so crisp because it never was that crisp to begin with. This is from the original master and it's as good as it was back when it first came out.
Of course you get the great Boris Karloff in this one and I would watch anything he was in including 'targets'. I love the guy. Jack nicolson is in here too and he's always good too imo. So hd cinema really did a good clean up. Now if only someone would clean up lots of other movies. Heck even the 70's and nieties has some bad prints on dvd and blu. 'dead alive' and many others. on dvd it's even worse. So for those of us who know this movie and blu rays this is a fine blu ray. Just don't expect a newer type of clarity. This never had that. This is awesome.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 April 2013
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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on 21 December 2014
I personally love old horror and i thought that this is a classic and should be watched for the experience and shows you how far things have changed and improved.
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on 31 December 2010
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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on 9 January 2013
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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on 30 April 2014
Didn't bother watching as picture quality was so awfull I know it's a fairly old film but should't be this bad
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on 15 April 2016
Basically it is a tale about a witch, beautiful girl, hero and a man being driven mad. The acting is stilted however still a fun B Movie WARNING SPOILERS IN Jennifer on 26 Mar. 2016I Jack Nicholson, Boris Karloff and Insanity (she basically tells you the plot !)
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