“Terrified” (1963)


Studio: Crown International Pictures
Starring: Rod Lauren, Steve Drexel, Tracy Olsen
Directed by: Lew Landers
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 80 min.

Synopsis: A masked killer is terrorizing some college kids at an old ghost town.


Chris Woods

When you’re watching a movie and you can’t wait for it to end, it’s not a good sign. Terrified was terrible and they were many times when I was watching the film I was looking at the counter and seeing how much of the movie was left. The film was only 80 minutes, but it was a very long 80 minutes. Those 80 minutes I wish I had them back now. When you feel like fast forwarding through the film or just want to turn it off in the middle, you know that this movie gets no stars for its rating. I actually sat through this horrible film all the way through and I don’t recommend anyone do so. Please avoid this film with all caution.

From reading the brief description of the film I thought it was going to be about college kids studying about fear and students would be doing different things to terrify each other, but it wasn’t about that. Not sure if that would have made the film better though. What the film was about was there’s a man in a ski mask that starts off frightening people by playing chicken on the road and then trying to bury someone alive and then starts to actually kill people. The premise does sound very interesting, but most of the film is one guy wandering around this old western ghost town and this masked killer chasing him.

It starts off with an older couple almost getting run off the road by the crazy guy in the ski mask. They go to a bar and tell everyone what just happened. It seems like something like this has happened before. At the same bar are some of our lead characters, David and Marge. Minutes after the old couple comes in, Marge’s boyfriend, Ken, enters and tells them he was almost run off the road as well. Marge then mentions that she wants to go up to the old ghost town to talk to the caretaker up there. Months ago, her brother, Joey was found up there almost buried alive. He went crazy and now is in a mental hospital. Marge wants to talk to the caretaker again to see if he knows any more information on who did that to him. David and Marge go to the ghost town and find the caretaker dead. Ken arrives at the ghost town as well and stays there to look for the killer as David and Marge go phone the sheriff.

The rest of the film has Ken playing a cat and mouse game with the killer at the ghost town. One word to describe this film is boring. Most of the parts are very slow and I like films that build suspense and pace it out, but this film lacks that. It starts off slow and never at any point speeds up. Most of the time Ken is locked in rooms by the killer to only be let out a few minutes later. Then there are scenes where the two struggle, but then the killer just runs off. It’s also funny that it takes David and Marge forever to phone the sheriff and get back up there when it took them no time to get there at the beginning of the movie. You almost forget about them because most of the time the scenes are with Ken. There’s even a point in the film where he wonders what is taking them so long to get back here.

The story is very vague and the characters are unlikable. All we know is Marge had a brother who went nuts because he was frightened to death and now they think he escaped from the hospital and that he is the killer. The description I read about the college student studying fear is just one line from Ken in the beginning of the film where he states that he’s study the psychology of fear in one of his classes as he was telling Marge and David about how he was almost scared to death about the driver trying to run him off the road. At the very end when the killer is revealed, it’s someone you didn’t expect, but it’s also someone not important as well, making it a very lack luster ending.

Crown International is responsible for putting out this trash, but it doesn’t surprise me since most Crown International films I’ve seen and reviewed have been very disappointing. The company has made such awful films like, Nightmare in Wax, Beach Girls, Chain Gang Women, and They Saved Hitler’s Brain, just to name a few. Terrified is not a must see and not even worth a look. It’s a film to avoid unless you like boring dull trash.