|The Terror (DVD, 2003) Jack Nicholson, Boris Karloff A Francis Ford Coppola film|
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The following comments are exclusively for the Blu-Ray edition of THE TERROR released by Cultra/HD Cinema Classics copyrighted by Film Chest, Inc. For years this movie has been available on bargain basement VHS and DVD editions due, presumably, to a public domain status. The quality of the transfers has been, for the most part, poor. Murky, dupey, scratchy and other negative adjectives could be applied to them.
At last, here's an edition that corrects those problems. It's a film done right. This product presents the film in a quality equal to or better than its original 1963 release date. The image quality is excellent - as good as it's going to get. Lots of rich colors (the lighting in the crypt scenes very much resembles Mario Bava's use of color lighting in his Italian horror and fantasy films). The aspect ratio is 16:9. The sound is good but a tad soft so you'll have to crank up the volume on your set.
The film itself was quickly made by Roger Corman using sets left over from THE RAVEN (1963) and Boris Karloff's services while Karloff's contract was still active. Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, Jack Hill and Jack Nicholson directed various parts of the whole.
The story involves a young French Officer (played anemically by Jack Nicholson - no one who saw this film in '63 would have predicted or expected him to have a successful acting career) who encounters a sexy ghost (played by Jack's then wife, Sandra Knight) and follows her to a creepy castle where lives a mysterious baron (played by Boris Karloff - he is enormously fun to watch and lends dignity to the proceedings) who's haunted by the sexy ghost. Ms. Knight is easy on the eyes with a beautiful face and voluptuous cleavage. Corman stock players are on hand: Dick Miller as Karloff's servant and Jonathan Haze as a witch's flunky.
The music by Ronald Stein is superb. Stein's music for THE HAUNTED PALACE, THE PREMATURE BURIAL and THE TERROR are the best musical scores of all of the American International horror films of the 1960s. THE TERROR's opening credits are also memorable with their eerie illustrations setting the mood for what follows.
As a film THE TERROR has been maligned over the decades but, it's not as bad as some have said. In spite of its patchwork filmmaking, it's only a tad below par to Corman's POE films and would have fit in comfortably with them if AIP had slapped on Poe's name over the title and added a quote from one of his works.
Also on the Blu-Ray disc are 'Scene Selection', a Trailer (not the original one - this is a newly created one for this release) and a short before and after 'Restoration Demonstration' clip. As stated at the beginning, I'm only commenting on the Blu-Ray disc. I haven't viewed the regular DVD disc that is included. I'm assuming it's just as good. A movie art postcard of the original one sheet poster is also included.
It's a great deal all around and should please horror fans everywhere - especially Boris Karloff fans. It's moderately priced and worth buying. KARLOFF RULES! 'THE TERROR' ROCKS!
The movie is very good if you like older movies. It is a black and white movie. It is fun to compare this to the terror movies that are made these days with all the newer technology. Jack Nicholson is great in his young years to.
The DVD skipped a few times. The product looked very used. Still, price was right and its a classic movie :)
this is another old movie made like the edgar allan poe stuff,nickolson in the only movie i liked him in to bad the movie is not as good quality as other from this time.