Have you ever woken up and thought to yourself, “I’d love to see a movie where a youngish Jack Nicholson played a French soldier who, while searching for a mysterious woman, comes across a castle that’s inhabited by both Dick Miller and Boris Karloff?”
Of course you have! Who hasn’t?
Well, fortunately, it’s YouTube to the rescue. In Roger Corman’s 1963 film The Terror, Jack Nicholson is the least believable 19th century French soldier ever. However, it’s still interesting to watch him before he became a cinematic icon. (Judging from his performance here and in Cry Baby Killer, Jack was not a natural-born actor.) Boris Karloff is, as usual, great and familiar Corman actor Dick Miller gets a much larger role than usual. Pay attention to the actress playing the mysterious woman. That’s Sandra Knight who, at the time of filming, was married to Jack Nicholson.
Reportedly, The Terror was one of those films that Corman made because he still had the sets from his much more acclaimed film version of The Raven. The script was never finished, the story was made up as filming moved alone, and no less than five directors shot different parts of this 81 minute movie. Among the directors: Roger Corman, Jack Hill, Monte Hellman, Francis Ford Coppola, and even Jack Nicholson himself! Perhaps not surprisingly, the final film is a total mess but it does have some historical value.
(In typical Corman fashion, scenes from The Terror were later used in the 1968 film, Targets.)
Check out The Terror below!