“Terror” (1978)


Studio: Crown International Pictures
Starring: John Nolan, Carolyn Courage, James Aubrey, Sarah Keller
Directed by: Norman J. Warren
Rated: R
Running Time: 84 min.

Synopsis: Strange murders start to pop up over London that could be linked to a filmmakers distant relatives.


Chris Woods

Here’s another disaster from Crown International, which continues to disappoint me as I watch films that have been released by them throughout their existence. Terror, not to be confused with Roger Corman’s The Terror, is a forgettable horror flick that has potential in the beginning, but just completely falls flat. Not one of Crown’s best, but in my opinion they don’t have any best.

The film starts off with this cool open credits sequence that reminded me of the trailer to Mario Bava’s Twitch of the Death Nerve, where the scenes are still images of the characters and they are kind of embossed in different colors. Well, the opening was like this and looked very promising. The start of the film took place in the 17th century at a witch burning. As the witch was about to be burned alive, she used her evil powers to harm the angry mob. Some fought back and were able to burn the witch, but she survived and went after the woman who wanted her dead. The witch grabs a large sword and beheads the woman. Then suddenly, end credits appear on the screen and we’re actually watching a horror film being screened at a London mansion in present day.

The man screening the film, James, is a producer and the film is actually based on his distant relatives from three hundred years ago. James and his cousin Ann don’t really believe in the legend, but then strange murders start to happen and many believe it could be Ann, James, or the ghosts of their witch relatives.

The problem with this film is that it can’t decide if the killings are supernatural or done by a crazy maniac. An unknown murderer wearing black gloves who stabs his victim with a blade does some of the killings. Other killings happen in a supernatural way, with things flying through the air and then just randomly falling on people. When watching it, I first thought that a killer was on the loose and pretending to be some sort of ghost, but then it’s clear later on that it is a ghost, but they keep going back and forth with the method of killing, which is very confusing.

The beginning of the film was the best part of the movie and the rest was terrible. Kind of like Satan’s Slave where the opening credit sequence was strong and the beginning had some type of sacrifice or supernatural twist, which were very well done scenes, but at least Satan’s Slave was a decent film and not awful like Terror. The story structure was all over the place and the cast was awful. I didn’t care for any of the characters, which were mostly Ann’s friends and Ann herself I didn’t care much for. The climax of the film was lackluster and didn’t deliver, but pretty much the whole film didn’t deliver, so I wasn’t expecting much at the end. I just couldn’t wait for it to be over.

Terror is only worth checking out for the opening credit scene, the witch hunt, and some of the atmosphere that is great, but poorly used throughout the film. So, watch at your own risk and be warned that Terror won’t terrify you. It will just bore you to death or put you to sleep. I would pass on the film because it’s not worth anyone’s time.