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directed by Norman J. Warren
UK 1978

 

When producer James Garrick (John Nolan, BATMAN BEGINS) makes a horror film about the witch who cursed his family for burning her at the stake, people connected to the production - and seemingly anyone else willing to be drenched in Kensington Gore - start to die mysteriously sometimes at the hands of a black-gloved assailant. Could the killer be James' cousin Anne (Carolyn Courage) - who he just met last week and is (along with him) the last of the line - who tried to kill him with a word while in a trance? How about Philip (James Aubrey, THE HUNGER), James' long-suffering producer? Delores (Elaine Ives-Cameron, MURDER BY DECREE), the owner of the hostel where actress Anne and her thespian friends are living (she's not really connected with the production, but she swans around like a creepier Norma Desmond). That's about it as far as suspects, everyone else just has "victim" stamped on their foreheads; although, come to think of it, James' whereabouts are also unclear during the killings.

Director Norman Warren has stated that he was inspired by SUSPIRIA to do TERROR as a series of horrific set-pieces goosed with irrational color gel lighting (with an emphasis on green) and a loud soundtrack (albeit not 4-channel like the Argento film) with a hybrid score of processed electronic music, moans, and groans. Warren and screenwriter David MacGillivray were trying to get away from the Hammer horror template, to which they felt their previous film SATAN'S SLAVE belonged, and embraced Argento's rule-breaking visuals-over-plot ; although, it should be said, that
SUSPIRIA's thin story is stronger than that of TERROR (which might have been better with a more focused story that better-connected the various victims). A death by a pane of plate glass does anticipate a sequence in Argento's INFERNO. Actor Michael Craze (SATAN'S SLAVE) had an epileptic fit during the production, so he was replaced by James Aubrey playing a different character in order to preserve the footage already shot (Craze's brother Peter also has a role as the temperamental softcore director named after the film's cinematographer Les Young); however, Nolan's and Courage's characters also disappear for extended stretches of the narrative for extended set-pieces involving barely-related characters (one of these set-pieces is just one lengthy false scare). Mary Maude (CRUCIBLE OF TERROR), William Russell (TV's DOCTOR WHO, which also featured Craze), and Glynis Barber (EDGE OF SANITY) also have small-though-prominent roles.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 26 October 1979 (USA)

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DVD Comparison:

Anchor Bay Entertainment (Norman J. Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL vs. BCI/EclipseEclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katerina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC

 Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Norman J. Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) BCI/EclipseEclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Scorpion Releasing (Katerina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

BCI/EclipseEclipse
Region 0 - NTSC
Scorpion Releasing
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:19:21 (4% PAL speedup) 1:24:27 1:24:18
Video

1.80:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.93 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.25 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.11 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay Entertainment (Norman J. Warren Collection)

 

Bitrate:

 

BCI/EclipseEclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature)

 

Bitrate:

 

Scorpion Releasing (Katerina's Nightmare Theater)

 

Audio English DTS 5.1; English Dobly Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles English HoH, none none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.80:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director Norman J. Warren and writer David McGillivray
• French Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:37)
• U.S. Radio Spot (0:20)
• Deleted Scenes
• - Bathtime with Brenda (16:9; 1:15)
• - Night Club (16:9; 1:32)
• BONUS DISC (disc 5):
• BLOODY GOOD FUN documentary (16:9; 41:05)

DVD Release Date: 22 November 2004
Coffin Boxed Set

Chapters 12
 

Release Information:
Studio: BCI/EclipseEclipse

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Bonus Film: LAND OF THE MINOTAUR (see above)
 

DVD Release Date: 26 September 2006
Amaray

Chapters 8

Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Playable with optional KATARINA'S NIGHTMARE THEATER segments
• BLOODY GOOD FUN featurette (16:9; 40:40)
• Deleted Scenes
• - Bathtime with Brenda (16:9; 1:14)
• - Night Club (16:9; 1:32)
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:41)
• French Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:37)
• Trailers for NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT, DOUBLE EXPOSURE, and THE DEVIL WITHIN HER
• Bonus Film: THE DEVIL'S MEN (see above)

 

DVD Release Date: 24 January 2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

NOTE: The 'Katarina's Nightmare Theater' Double Feature also has DEVIL'S MEN compared HERE.

Anchor Bay's UK DVD of TERROR featured a progressive, anamorphic presentation of a somewhat compromised version. The image is brighter (perhaps too bright with highlights that threaten to clip) and exposes more image on the right side of the frame, but it features less image information on the top and bottom (although this is only a problem during the opening credits where credits near the top and bottom of the frame in a couple title cards are cropped off). Scorpion's DVD features a progressive transfer of the Crown International U.S. version (BCI's transfer utilized the same master but was given an interlaced encoding). The US transfer is darker but still suited to the film's style, and is also longer than the UK version.

The US version features approximately a minute and a half of additional dialogue roughly split between the two "Bathtime with Brenda" studio shooting scenes (additional deleted material from the first of these shoots in the supplements is the same on both the Anchor Bay and Scorpion discs). The stabbing murder of the Tricia Walsh's character features a single additional shot missing from the UK version of a knife all the way through her foot. The X certificate theatrical version ran 87 minutes and 9 seconds, which is almost three minutes longer than the US print. It is possible that the missing footage could be comprised of the supplemental deleted scenes.

As with some other Anchor Bay UK releases of this period, TERROR featured intermittently effective 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS upmixes. The 40-minute documentary, deleted scenes, and French trailer on the Scorpion disc were all ported over from the Anchor Bay release; however, the commentary was either not licensed or could not be synchronized with the longer cut of the film. It's loss is regrettable, but the documentary features input from director Norman Warren, producer/cinematographer Les Young, associate producer Moira Young, writer David MacGillivray, actresses Carolyn Courage, Elaine Ives-Cameron, and Mary Maude, and actor James Aubrey. Exclusive to the Scorpion release is the American Crown International theatrical trailer, as well as the "Katarina's Nightmare Theater" intro and post-script.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(
Anchor Bay Entertainment (Norman J. Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. BCI/EclipseEclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Scorpion Releasing (Katerina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 
 

   

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Norman J. Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BCI/EclipseEclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Scorpion Releasing (Katerina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Norman J. Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BCI/EclipseEclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Scorpion Releasing (Katerina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Norman J. Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BCI/EclipseEclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Scorpion Releasing (Katerina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Norman J. Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BCI/EclipseEclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Scorpion Releasing (Katerina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Norman J. Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BCI/EclipseEclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Scorpion Releasing (Katerina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Norman J. Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BCI/EclipseEclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Scorpion Releasing (Katerina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Norman J. Warren Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BCI/EclipseEclipse (Crypt of Terror Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Scorpion Releasing (Katerina's Nightmare Theater) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Scorpion (uncut)

Sound:

Anchor Bay

Extras: Anchor Bay
Menu: Anchor Bay

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

BCI/EclipseEclipse
Region 0 - NTSC
Scorpion Releasing
Region 0 - NTSC


 

 




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