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The Terror

The Terror (1963) starring Jack Nicholson, Boris Karloff, Sandra Knight, Dick Miller, by Roger Corman

Synopsis of The Terror

A young officer in Napoleon’s army pursues a mysterious woman to the castle of an elderly Baron where he discovers that she is the pawn of an old witch bent on driving the Baron to suicide.

Reviewed by: The Masked Reviewer

The Terror (1963) starring Jack Nicholson, Boris Karloff, Sandra Knight, Dick Miller, by Roger Corman

Lt. Andre Duvalier (Jack Nicholson) has been separated from his platoon when a mysterious young woman saves his life. After learning her name she vanishes. He seeks shelter for the night in a castle where he sees Helena (Sandra Knight) looking out of a window. After the Baron (Boris Karloff) lets the young man in, Andre asks about his daughter. The Baron is confused as he never had any children, and never remarried after his wife’s death twenty years ago. Why does Helena look identical to the Baroness? Is there something to what the witch was saying about the baron? Watch for yourself, and find out.

Cast of characters

  • Baron Victor Frederick Von Leppe (Boris Karloff, The Black Room): A heartbroken man tormented by the local witch over a crime he can’t remember.
  • Lt. Andre Duvalier (Jack Nicholson, The Raven) : A young soldier that discovers a bizarre mystery surrounding Helene.
  • Helene / Baroness Ilsa Von Leppe (Sandra Knight, Tower of London) : The mysterious woman that enchants Andre with her beauty. Sandra also plays the baroness with an air of dignity, and loneliness.
  • Stefan (Dick Miller, Gremlins) : The baron’s faithful butler who knows more than he says.
  • Katrina (Dorothy Neumann, The Undead) : The local witch that torments the Baron for his past crime against her.
  • Gustaf (Jonathan Haze, The Little Shop of Horrors) : Katrina’s servant that helps Andre solve the mystery.

The Terror was filmed  in four days, by six directors one of them being Jack Nicholson. All of the directors do a great job, and the film has a constant heavy atmosphere. The scenes are well shot, and help tell the story.

The characters are well thought out, and have interesting backstories even if some are only hinted at. Everyone one has a reason for their actions. All of the actors, and actresses are giving good performances.

The story is interesting, and surprises the audience with a shocking twist. The plot twist isn’t insultingly stupid either. This isn’t a perfect movie, but it is enjoyable.

I rate this film 4/5