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Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Terror: 1963

  Rodger Corman was, and still is known as, “The B-Movie King”.  He was the director of many horror flicks, most of which were made fast and inexpensive.  Around the time this movie came out, Corman was working on, "The Raven", an adaptation of the book by Edgar Allen Poe.  He must have been fond of Poe's work, because he made many more film adaptations like it, including, "The Pit and the Pendulum", and, "The Black Cat".  Anyway Rodger Corman finished, "The Raven" two days before its expected release, so instead of just making an audience wait two days to see a movie, he decided to make another film entitled, "The Terror", the film I will be reviewing today.  "The Terror", was filmed in the two days left over from the early release of, "The Raven", and it used the same props, sets, cast, and crew left over from, "The Raven".  Why not?  

   If you know the cast from the raven, then it won't be a surprise when I tell you the cast of this film are Boris Carloft and Jack Nicholson.  I bet you never would have thought these people would have crossed paths ever in the history of cinema, but there it is!  Wow!  You've got the famous older Boris Carloft with younger-soon-to-be-star, Jack Nicholson, while directed by the B-Movie master, Rodger Corman!  How could this movie possibly go wrong?  Francis Coppola worked on the film a little bit after Rodger Corman gave up the production.  Okay, you might think that this is the time that I go into the movie review like I normally do, but today we're going to do something different.  I'll be moving on right into my conclusion, but instead of labeling it, "In Conclusion", I'm not going to be making any separation from the back story and the actual review of the movie.

   This was a sad film, but not for the acting or the story or the characters.  It wasn't any of those things.  It was simply the fact that it was a clash of actors in the same year.  Boris Carloft and Jack Nicholson both have had their share of horror films, only, for one it was the beginning of a career, and for another the end of one.  But as for the story, it went everywhere with its twists and turns and changing of roles.  It never stopped!  My guess is that Rodger Corman made it this way, because of the lack of time.  He may not have known that his idea for, "The Terror” needed more separation between each possible explanation to a mystery.  To space out the twists until it was appropriate to use them.  There were some confusing parts too, like the very first scene, where you watch Boris Carloft travel down into the castle to open a door to find a skeleton.  This had no purpose to the story whatsoever.  It’s even in the beginning of the movie, so it seems as though it was meant to be paid attention to.  

   Ronald Stein composed the music for the film, and I'm sure that it was meant to be a powerful piece, but it ends up being redundant and forgetful.  Not only was this rushed, but the dialog and timing are sub-par, making for mediocre conversations, and since there is a twist every three scenes, you end up becoming unattached to the plot.  The performances were standard; however, Nicholson   interacting with Carloft was very interesting.  If you'd like to see what Jack Nicholson's career was like before he became famous, you should check this out.  However, it comes with a price.  In the climax its shown clearly, That Boris Carloft cannot do hand to hand combat at all, and you reflect upon the time that has gone by with his career, you now know his former way of life has come to a close.  The turning point of film has arrived with Nicholson, and ended with Carloft.  Out with the old and in with the new, I suppose.  Out with the old and in with the new... 

Verdict:  I give this film 3 unexplained skeletons out of 5

         Next Review:  The Vampire Bat 1933


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