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The Terror
Lady of the Shadows / The Castle of Terror / The Haunting

USA 1963
produced by
Roger Corman, Harvey Jacobson (executive), Francis Ford Coppola (associate) for Filmgroup/AIP
directed by Roger Corman, and uncredited: Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, Jack Hill, Dennis Jakob, Jack Nicholson
starring Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson, Sandra Knight, Dick Miller, Dorothy Neumann, Jonathan Haze, Rick Dean
written by Leo Gordon, Jack Hill, music by Ronald Stein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD!

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France, the early 1800s: A French officer, André (Jack Nicholson) has lost his regiment at a coast somewhere in the middle of nowhere but has stumbled into young Helene (Sandra Knight), a girl he almost immediately falls in love with, but who disappears into the sea before his very eyes, and when he tries to go after her, he is attacked by a bird and almost killed. Later, he wakes up in the hut of an old hag, Katrina (Dorothy Neumann), who quite simply denies the existence of the girl. However, a villager, Gustav (Jonathan Haze) directs him to the castle of Baron von Leppe (Boris Karloff) to find some answers and maybe the girl ... but all André really finds at the Baron's place is a mystery that somehow involves the girl - only the girl is not called Helene here but Ilsa, the Baron's wife whom he killed 20 years ago when he found her with another man, Erik. But for the last two years now, the Baron has been seeing Ilsa's ghost, and it's only now that someone else, André, can see her too. The Baron's manservant Stefan (Dick Miller) grows suspicious about the whole affair, and soon he stumbles upon the ghost and finds out she's a mere girl from the village who has been mesmerized by the old hag Katrina to play an evil trick on the Baron. André and Stefan now try to find out the truth, but the more they find out the more confusing and macabre the whole affair gets ...

 

Legend has it that Roger Corman, finding the locations he had for both The Raven and The Haunted Palace a bit underused, decided to make a film on the quick, with a quickly cobbled together screenplay and directing duties taken over by whoever was on hand (hence the six directors, of whom only Corman was actually credited) - and frankly, the resulting film The Terror seems a bit hodgepodge in story, with many a plothole, lacking in character motivation, underdeveloped caracters, and several story elements directly contradicting one another. So don't by any means expect a perfect movie.

 

But that all said, and despite all the nay-sayers who just like to bash low budget horrors, The Terror isn't a half-bad movie, in fact it's a very decent genre effort. Sure, the story doesn't make much sense, but much of that is balanced out by atmospheric filmmaking, with perfectly used sets and locations, and while the characters might be a bit on the empty side, the small ensemble that includes the likes of heavy-weights Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson and Dick Miller makes more than up for it with their powerful performances, and the film's slowburn approach is just mesmerizing. And despite the directorial sextet, the film has a very homogenous feel to it. It's really a film that has defied the odds and turned out to be pretty cool horror entertainment despite everything stacked up against it.

 

A film historical anecdote on the side, too: It was this film, actually, that made the creation of Targets, feature film debut by later Hollywood great Peter Bogdanovich, even possible.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

Amazon

Amazon UK

Vimeo

 

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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