Don’t You Be Terrorfied

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Y’know that feeling when you’re watching a movie late at night or on a lazy Sunday afternoon where you keep dozing off and missing little chunks…and eventually you wake up and it’s a completely different movie? Well, here’s the movie that gives you that feeling while you’re wide awake. Yep, it’s Roger Corman’s legendarily incomprehensible The Terror, written and shot in 3 days using leftover sets from The Raven and leftover Boris Karloff. Jack Nicholson (early in his career…so he was still serious and hadn’t yet perfected his cool screen persona) is Andre Duvalier, an errant Legionnaire who follows an ethereal (possibly dead?) woman (Sandra Knight) to Karloff’s castle. I know, it sounds simple enough…but you’ve gotta take into account that The Terror  wasn’t just directed by Corman…he farmed out scenes to Dennis Jacob, Jack Hill, Monte Hellman and Francis Ford Coppola…so it was bound to feel patchwork, even though they’re all excellent directors. It’s beautifully shot and spooky…and would’ve made a fine expressionistic silent film. Oh…and there’s a great melting face gag…a good 16 years before Raiders Of The Lost Ark

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