THE TERROR —–familiar heavy Leo Gordon co-wrote this daft 1963 quickie for producer Roger Corman, who took director credit but only worked on it for four days: he then gave some of those chores, which went on over several months, to pupils Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, Jack Hill (the co-writer) Jack Hale, Dennis Jakob and co-star Jack Nicholson. To save money, Corman re-used sets from The Haunted Palace and The Raven.
“In Paris, they are doing wonderful things to discover the nature of the mind.”
Starring is Boris Karloff (soldiering through with his professionalism intact), who plays a baron living in a castle visited by Napoleonic officer Nicholson (uh, not very good yet, to be generous). A strange woman, who may be a ghost, figures into the mix. At 91 minutes, it offers Sandra Knight (sexy, and at the time, Nicholson’s wife), Dick Miller and Dorothy Neuman.
Noteworthy mainly for its goofiness and for the name-drop people that worked on it, it does conclude with a flood-the-crypt sequence that gives testimony to the valiant work ethic of the 72-year old Boris, up to his chest in water, getting doused in the face with gallons of it while wrestling with Knight (low-cut ghost-girl blouse gets sopped in the meantime). As they try to strangle each other, the cascade knocks down the walls, and the chunks of ‘stone’ float, much like the sinking icebergs in the 1961 movie Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.