Sunday, February 1, 2015

Terror - 1978

Another film on my awesome Gorehouse Greats collection, Terror is supposedly somehow connected to another 70's exploitation (Seventiesploitation?) I've seen, Thriller: A Cruel Picture.  That movie I saw for one reason:  Christina Lindberg naked.  Yeaaaaah buddy.

This movie, Terror, is actually surprisingly awesome.  It's another example of a horror film where its based around a group of people making a movie, and I do love seeing the film (or in this case, the films) within the film.  The people in this film are a group of actors, actresses, and film makers.  In the beginning of the film we are watching as they make a film about a curse upon a family line, or house, or something vague, and after the film ends, the producer James tells his fellow viewers that the movie's story was true, that there is supposedly a curse on the family/house/something.

An actress, Ann, is hypnotized at this same viewing party and attacks James with a sword.  And though she doesn't kill him, and is quickly stopped by the fellow party-ers, this hypnosis starts a string of kills among the film makers.  The kills in this movie are awesome.  Also, there is so very well done tense moments, some really interesting characters, and a grungy, slimy feel to some of these characters.  It takes us to a weird place that is kind of uncomfortable, but it does it well and in the right way.

The best thing about this movie is the false leads.  At first we are led to believe that James is responsible for the killings:  since when Ann was hypnotized she attacked him, and then later he is conveniently out when another girl gets pinned to a tree with a knife through her throat.  He also watches, uncaring, as a huge light on one of his sets falls onto the cinematographer, killing him.  Then we are led to believe it is Ann, the girl who attacked James.  We randomly see her washing blood off of her hands in one scene and she uses the bland explanation:  I cut myself.  But then also, on the screen we can see characters get killed when there is no attacker.  So it is a mystery.

As I said the kills are super cool.  We see some basic boring knife kills, sure, but we also see a woman attacked by a flying car, we see a guy in a house get attacked by 35mm film, a flaming bathtub, and seemingly everything else in the house that's not strapped down.  We see the aforementioned light fall onto the cinematographer, and I'm glad someone making Terror knew that those those are not only heavy, but HOT.  That shit will burn the fuck out of you.  His charred flesh is done very well.

Eventually it seems the real "answer" here is that the family/house/film shoot/whatever is just haunted, the ghosts are killing people themselves and also taking control of others to do their work for them.  Of course, this is never stated.  In fact, this may be the least explanation I've seen in a movie.  Spoilers here, we get to see a true ghost at the end of the film, when most of the characters are dead.  The ghost attacks the only remaining girl, Ann, kills here with the sword, and the movie just ends on her body pinned to the wall with a sword.  No explanation given.  Well, guess it was the curse then!  Okay!

There's an awesome moment where a girl is stuck in some abandoned cabin because her car won't start (the most cliched thing ever of course) and she is beginning to doubt whether or not she is alone in the house.  Then she sees a shape and lightning strikes outside, revealing her in a mirror.  It may sound like every movie, but in this movie it's just perfectly done.  The movie also has a chilling soundtrack made up of weird voice sounding effects and keyboards, it hits the right level of strangeness to accompany the atmosphere.

So, Gorehouse Greats, you gave me the forgettable but arguably not horrible Prime Evil, you gave me Stanley, which I already know I have to see again, because it did get better towards the end but I was too drunk to be paying attention.  And now you gave me Terror, which may already be the highlight of the boxset.  Next it's either The Devil's Hand, or Madman of Mandoras.

Another last thing:  for a boxset titled Gorehouse this is the first gory film on it.  I think they should've just stuck with Grindhouse or something like that cause Prime Evil had maybe 2 bloody scenes and what I saw of Stanley had basically no blood.  But Terror does pack in the gore.  See it!

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