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Terror (1978)

R | | Horror | 26 October 1979 (USA)
The descendants of a witch hunting family and their close friends are stalked and killed by a mysterious entity.

Director:

Norman J. Warren (as Norman.J.Warren)

Writers:

David McGillivray (screenplay), Les Young (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Nolan ... James Garrick
Carolyn Courage ... Ann Garrick
James Aubrey ... Philip
Sarah Keller Sarah Keller ... Suzy
Tricia Walsh ... Viv
Glynis Barber ... Carol Tucker
Michael Craze ... Gary
Rosie Collins Rosie Collins ... Diane
Chuck Julian Chuck Julian ... Phil the Greek
Elaine Ives-Cameron Elaine Ives-Cameron ... Dolores Hamilton
Patti Love Patti Love ... Hannah
Mary Maude Mary Maude ... Lady Garrick
William Russell ... Lord Garrick
Peter Craze Peter Craze ... The Director
Peter Attard ... Curtis the Actor (as Peter Atiard)
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Storyline

Royal descendants feel the wrath of the curse of condemned witch Mad Dolly, who spews forth her prophecy while she is burned at the stake. The victims suffer death by having their heads removed in various fashions, getting their limbs caught in animal traps, knife wounds, and other methods of medieval torture. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It was buried a hundred years ... but never laid to rest! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De repente, llegó el terror See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Dolores Hamilton was specifically written for Elaine Ives-Cameron to play. See more »

Crazy Credits

L.E. Mack ... Mad Dolly is after the Dolly Grip that pushes James Aubrey down the stairs See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to edit brief closeup shots during the staircase stabbing of Viv. Later UK video and DVD releases were uncut and the transfers supervised by Norman J. Warren though the prints were slightly edited, missing a shot of the knife cutting through Viv's foot and some dialogue during the 'Bathtime With Brenda' sequence, which are intact in US and German releases. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Norman J Warren Does Dario Argento
15 October 2004 | by smudged68See all my reviews

If the casual film fan has ever heard of or seen a Norman J. Warren film, chances are that film is 'Inseminoid', one of the first films to be a big hit on sell-through video in the early 80's.

However, 'Terror' is not as obscure a movie as you may think. It was the top grossing film in the UK for one week and in the States it actually made No. 19 in Variety's Top 50 grossing movies for 1979.

'Inseminoid' is usually referred to, perhaps a little unfairly, as a cheap rip-off of 'Alien'. 'Terror' is definitely a cheap rip-off of Dario Argento's 'Suspiria'.

The story involves a witch who is burnt at the stake. She curses the family responsible for her plight and promises to wipe out their line. Flash forward a couple of hundred years and we discover that what we have been watching is a movie. Then...everybody gets killed. There's very little plot for the rest of the film. Some characters arrive for no apparent reason...and then get killed...for no apparent reason.

What's this all got to do with 'Suspiria' then ? Well, here's a little checklist.

Suspiria - Terror

Supernatural story involving witches - Check

Film made with emphasis of style over narrative - Check

Scenes lit in lots of bright reds and greens - Check

Soundtrack full of atonality, clanging and wailing voices - Check

Film set in ballet school - The girls live in a school but they all seem to work at a 'Gentleman's Club'.

Lots of blood and girls dressed in white - Check

Death by disembodied hand through a window - Death by disembodied hand through a wall

Running through a storm pursued by a killer - Check

Knives entering flesh in jagged close-up - Check

Strange, overly made-up, androgynous-looking older women - Check

A hulking giant who may or may not be involved - Check (Peter 'Chewbacca' Mayhew)

A nightmarish masterpiece of a horror movie - Erm...

But the really interesting one that's made me think is when one of the characters dies by decapitation due to a broken window. There is a scene exactly like it in Argento's 'Inferno'. But 'Inferno' was made after 'Terror'. This is pure speculation but I wonder did Argento see 'Terror' at some point and say (in Italian, obviously) "Well, this bloke nicked so much from me. I'm going to nick this from him". Or was it just a weird coincidence. I am intrigued.

However, while 'Suspiria' is undoubtedly one of the greatest horror films ever made - a real experience - 'Terror' is unfortunately not. It is interesting to watch someone try to copy Argento but there is no real understanding here of what makes his films work. 'Terror' lacks a decent script, decent actors and decent direction. Of interest to Argento fans only.


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