The Terror Review.
Aw shit we’re going old school boys. This movie actually has a rather interesting history, after filming the 1963 movie “The Raven,” a few days earlier than scheduled, Roger Corman decided to try and make a new film in the short amount of time he could, with all the same actors props and sets. Every single scene with Boris Karloff was filmed in just four days, and he stars in a rather large chunk of the movie. Almost all of the movie was improvised, and the whole process only took 9 months from beginning to end, most of it being post production. The end result is, “The Terror.” Does the 9 month production time show? You bet your ass it does
The film starts with Boris Karloff sneaking around through his castle, when suddenly he opens a door and BOOM skeleton! Anyways moving past that scene that is never referenced again, the film starts with Jack Nicholson, in one of his earliest film acting roles, riding down a beach as a soldier. He looks at a compass that is very clearly not working, throws it to the ground, then falls off his horse due to, I assume heat stroke.
After waking up he sees a very beautiful lady just kinda, standing there. He goes over and tries to flirt with her before asking for some water, explaining he’s a soldier who got lost from his regiment on the way to poland from france. She gives him some water in a weird cave, before walking right off into the ocean to drown. Jack tries to save her, but gets distracted with punching a bird, before almost drowning.
He wakes up again, this time in the shack of an old woman, who nurses him back to health before pointing him in the direction of a baron’s castle he could go to for shelter for the night. I guess she’s just a bitch and doesn’t want him staying there. He goes off to the castle, gets acquainted with the baron, played by Boris Karloff, and he allows him and his horse to rest there. However, he notices a painting of the lady he met at the beach that doesn’t look anything like the lady at the beach, and he starts to be suspicious.
His suspicion rises the next day, however, when he finds out that his horse has mysteriously gone missing! The butler, the only man in the castle aside from the baron, tells him he’ll have to wait while he gets him a new horse from the nearest town. Jack does some more sleuthing around, he finds that the painting of the lady is gone, and has been moved to some secret remote area of the castle. Jack decides to start questioning what Boris knows about the lady. Boris explains that when he was younger he was engaged to a woman, but found her in bed with another man, so he killed them both. But, what about the lady at the beach? Well for answers stay tuned, because we’re gonna talk about something else now for a bit.
As terrible as the movie is, it at least has characters that actually do progress, at least a little bit, but honestly I think that just has to do with the acting, again most of it was improvised. Boris Karloff is great in his role as an old man who is slowly going insane, Jack is also great, slowly getting angrier and angrier as the film goes on, trying to find out what the hell is going on.
However, everyone else is clearly just phoning it in. No one seems to be giving it their all in any part of this film. The acting is, alright I guess, at least for the time, but as for characters themselves, none of the other actors really have one, they more have, roles that they fit into, if I had to put a word to it. They’re just going through the motions, not changing or progressing, but hey at least we got Boris and Jack.
After getting a new horse, Jack decides to just get the hell outta there before anything else weird happens. But before he can something else weird happens. He notices the butler getting attacked by the same bird he tried to punch, and he falls off a fucking cliff onto rocky ocean land below!
Some fucking how he’s not only alive, but not really that beaten up, as him and Jack decide to go to the old woman, who apparently owns the bird. She finally spills the beans that she’s actually conjured up the spirit of the barons fiance in order to drive him to suicide for revenge of killing her son, Eric, who was the one cucking the baron. However, plot twist in 3, 2, 1, the Boris isn’t the baron! Apparently Eric killed the baron and the lady he was sleeping with, then somehow got it in his head that he was the baron. This is told to us by the butler, who was apparently around also, jeeze how many people were cucking the baron?
Anyways, they all realize that Eric is about to kill himself in the crypt below the castle by flooding it with water, so everyone runs off to try and stop him. However in the scuffle, the old woman gets struck by a bolt of lightning and catches on fucking fire! This, by the way, is the worst struck by lightning then caught on fire effect I have ever seen, it tops troll 2! Anyways Jack and the butler try to save the baron, fail, and instead Jack carries out the, spirit of the lady, who he then sits down next to a rock, kisses, then she decays into a skeleton. The end! WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT.
Man this film was bad, like even on a technical side! I don’t know if its just the version we watched, but for some reason the audio just kept cutting out, for up to 3 minutes sometimes! That being said though it is rather funny sometimes, with how clearly shotty the production was, but it was also really fucking boring for most of the film. So, I guess if you wanna find those few really funny moments through the mostly boring swamp that is this film, I guess give it a try, but to everyone else, stay faaar away.