Terror, The

1655.THE TERROR (1963-usa). Color. WITH Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson, Sandra KNIGHT. Produced and directed by ROGER CORMAN. Associate producer FRANCIS COPPOLA. Here is an eerie and, in its modest way, legendary chiller starring a pair of screen giants from different cinematic eras: Boris Karloff, master of the macabre who will be forever remembered for his roles as monsters and crazed scientists in scores of films from the 1930s through 60s; and Jack Nicholson, then near the beginning of his career, who was to become one of the movies’ enduring superstars in the 1970s and 80s. Karloff plays the master of a mysterious castle, located on the Baltic coast; Nicholson is a lieutenant of Napoleon’s army who arrives on the scene in search of a strange girl (Sandra, then the actor’s real-life spouse) who on several occasions has appeared before him – and promptly vanished. He recognizes her likeness in a painting, only to be told that she is the master’s long-dead wife. The story of the film’s production is the stuff of which legends are made. Corman, the cult director-producer and an expert at low-budget filmmaking, shot all of Karloff’s sequences in three days because he could only afford to pay the actor for that amount of time. Incredibly, the filming took place while the SETS from Corman’s previous effort were being taken down around the actors. Nicholson was one of a number of Hollywood talents (among them are Martin Scorsese, Francis Coppola and Peter Bogdanovich) who served their celluloid apĂ‚prenticeships under Corman. Allegedly, Corman allowed the actor to takeover the direction of some of the film. Coppola and Monte Hellman, among others, also reportedly worked on this gem of cinema horror. 79 minutes. Horror