No announcement yet.

The Terror/Little Shop Of Horrors (Film Masters) Blu-ray Review

    Ian Jane

  • The Terror/Little Shop Of Horrors (Film Masters) Blu-ray Review

    Click image for larger version  Name:	cover.jpg Views:	2 Size:	43.9 KB ID:	424018

    Released by: Film Masters
    Released on: December 12th, 2023.
    Director: Roger Corman
    Cast: Jack Nicholson, Boris Karloff, Sandra Knight, Dick Miller
    Year: 1964/1960
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Terror/Little Shop Of Horrors – Movie Review:

    Film Masters offers up a double dose of Roger Corman-helmed goodness with their Blu-ray release of The Terror and Little Shop Of Horrors.

    The Terror:

    Directed by Roger Corman with uncredited assists from Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, Jack Nicholson and Jack Hill, The Terror stars a young Nicolson in the lead role of a 19th century French soldier named Lieutenant Andre Duvalier who, when the film begins, has been separated from the rest of his company. Unsure how he got there, he wakes up on a distant beach where he sees a mysterious and beautiful woman (Sandra Knight) and, being understandably curious, he follows her only to wind up at a massive old castle lived in by Baron Von Leppe (Boris Karloff) and his assistant (Dick Miller of all people).

    Von Leppe lets him in but Duvalier is more interested in finding out what happened to the beautiful woman he saw and figuring out who she is. Von Leppe, however, tells him that no such woman is living in the area, though Duvalier continues to see her out the window and around the castle. Complicating the issue further is a painting in the Baron's castle of a woman who looks eerily similar to the one Duvalier is after. Unsure what's going on, the old witch woman who lives nearby (Dorothy Neumann) might know more than she's letting on - but what's really happening here? Is Duvalier imagining things or is the Baron up to something?

    Shot directly after The Raven (which is how Karloff wound up in the film - Corman simply through more money at him to keep him onboard once The Raven wrapped), The Terror is a pretty impressive little low budget gothic horror film. While it's not always easy to Nicholson seriously in the role of a Napoleonic era French officer, as he neither looks nor sounds the part, Karloff is as reliably creepy as always and Knight makes for a great mysterious ghost woman. The sets, left over from The Raven as well, look excellent and the lighting and use of primary colors throughout the film is consistently impressive and gives the film a weird atmosphere.

    Featuring a really strong build up to a creepy conclusion that takes place in a perfectly morbid location complete with graves and fog and giant spooky trees, making it easy to overlook the fact that the story doesn't really go anywhere for much of its running time and when it does it's relying very heavily on clichés and genre standards. Not a particularly original film, it's nevertheless quite an entertaining one and certainly a very nicely shot one. Flawed or not, it gives Karloff plenty of time to strut his stuff and it's got enough going on that works that you won't mind its obvious missteps.

    Little Shop Of Horrors:

    Directed by Roger Corman in 1960 from a screenplay by Charles B. Griffith, Little Shop Of Horrors revolves around a rundown flower shop in a bad part of town run by Gravis Mushnick (Mel Welles) and his two employees, Audrey Fulquard (Jackie Joseph) and Seymour Krelboined (Jonathan Haze). Business is never good for Mushnick so when Seymour screws up an order for a dentist named Dr. Phoebus Farb (John Herman), he's fired. In hopes of being able to save his job, Seymour tells Mushnick about a strange plant he got from a Japanese man that he's named Audrey Jr.

    Mushnick is intrigued but upon seeing the plant, his enthusiasm wanes as it doesn't look so healthy. He does, however, give Seymour one week to put the plant on display to see if its odd look drums up any additional business. Needing to get Audrey Jr. up to par, Seymour tries plant food but to no avail. When he accidently pricks his finger, however, the blood that drips onto the plant seems to nourish it quite quickly. Soon enough, business is booming as people from the neighborhood show up to see this odd plant.

    Before long, Audrey Jr. starts talking to Seymour, urging him to "feed me" but Seymour knows he can't keep using his own blood to feed the plant, eventually resorting to feeding Audrey various victims to keep the plant alive and his job secure.

    Like The Terror, this one has long been a staple of public domain home video releases, most of which tout Jack Nicholson’s small role as the main reason to see the film. Nicholson plays a character named Wilber Force, a wacky, smiley guy/dental patient who is in the movie for only a few minutes but it’s fun to see him here at such a young age. Jonathan Haze and Jackie Joseph as the real stars here and they do fine work, with Mel Welles doing a good job as Seymour’s sleazy boss.

    The movie was, like most of Corman’s output, made on a modest budget but the effects are fun and the movie is well-paced and quirky enough, mixing humor and horror quite well to result in a very entertaining B-movie.

    The Terror/Little Shop Of Horrors – Blu-ray Review:

    Film Masters bring these two films to Blu-ray each on their own disc framed at 1.85.1 widescreen in AVC encoded 1080p high definition taken from 35mm prints that were obviously in pretty nice shape. The colors on The Terror, which is presented on a 50GB disc look a tad faded in spots but overall, this looks much better than most previous editions have, showing nice detail and solid black levels without a whole lot of print damage to note. Little Shop Of Horrors, presented on a BD25 in black and white, also looks quite good, showing nice detail and a fair bit of depth with good contrast.

    Both films get English language 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono mixes with optional English subtitles. Audio quality is a little flat but for a pair of older low-budget B-movies, they sound fine. Expect a bit of sibilance here and there, but the scores generally sound pretty strong and the dialogue is always easy to understand and follow. Alternate Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono tracks are also provided.

    C. Courtney Joyner and Dr. Steve Haberman offer up a commentary track on The Terror that goes over it's "blatantly commercial origins" and how the movie rises above that with some great cinematography, excellent studio sets and a an intriguing story. He details his thoughts on the performances, details the careers of Corman, Karloff and Nicholson, Chuck Jones' connection to the movie, details on the film's production history and release, the customing on display in the movie, the film's gothic sensibility, Corman's relationship with AIP and lots more.

    Ghosts In The Machine: Art & Artifice In Roger Corman’s Celluloid Castle is a forty-four minute look at The Terror from Howard Berger that goes over Roger Corman's career and what makes him important to American cinema, the cinematic language of The Terror, the abstract qualities of the picture, where Corman's career was at during this period in time and how The Terror compares to some of Corman's other horror efforts, why he came to reuse some of the sets made for The Raven, Leo Gordon's work on the movie, details on the performances and plenty more. It's heady stuff and does a seriously deep dive into what makes the movie as interesting as it is.

    Lastly, there’s a re-cut trailer for the feature included here as well.

    As to what supplements are provided for Little Shop Of Horrors, we get a commentary from author Justin Humphreys and actors Jonathan Haze, provide commentary that covers the illustrations used for the opening credits, how Humphreys first came to meet and work with Corman, how he landed the part in the film, getting to become friends with Dick Miller, his thoughts on the script and the dialogue, where the cast was allowed to get creative, friendships that were made on set, the film's rushed production schedule and low budget, locations that were used in the movie and more.

    Also included on the disc is Hollywood Intruders: The Filmgroup Story: Part Two Documentary, which runs seventeen minutes and picks up where the documentary included on the Beast From Haunted Cave/Ski Troop Attack Blu-ray. This goes over what Corman's relationship with AIP was like, how he came to make movies independently, where the Filmgroup movies are meant to be taken seriously and when they aren't and some of the highlights from this period in Corman's career including Little Shop Of Horrors and Corman's relationship with Nicholson.

    We also get a trailer for the feature.

    Included inside the keepcase alongside the two discs is a full color insert booklet with an some writing inside titled ‘Boris Karloff And The Long Shadow Of Poe’ by Joyner and ‘Faster! Faster!’ by Mark McGee

    The Terror/Little Shop Of Horrors - The Final Word:

    Film Masters’ double feature Blu-ray release of The Terror/Little Shop Of Horrors offers up two public domain staples looking much nicer here than they have in the past and with some interesting extras that contextualize the two films and do a nice job of detailing their history. Recommended.

    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized The Terror/Little Shop Of Horrors Blu-ray screen caps!

    Click image for larger version  Name:	1.jpg Views:	2 Size:	231.7 KB ID:	424019

    Click image for larger version  Name:	2.jpg Views:	2 Size:	393.0 KB ID:	424024

    Click image for larger version  Name:	3.jpg Views:	2 Size:	270.2 KB ID:	424026

    Click image for larger version  Name:	4.jpg Views:	2 Size:	274.0 KB ID:	424021

    Click image for larger version  Name:	5.jpg Views:	2 Size:	397.5 KB ID:	424028

    Click image for larger version  Name:	6.jpg Views:	2 Size:	276.2 KB ID:	424022

    Click image for larger version  Name:	7.jpg Views:	2 Size:	302.9 KB ID:	424023

    Click image for larger version  Name:	8.jpg Views:	2 Size:	273.2 KB ID:	424025

    Click image for larger version  Name:	9.jpg Views:	2 Size:	246.2 KB ID:	424020

    Click image for larger version  Name:	10.jpg Views:	2 Size:	330.3 KB ID:	424027

    Click image for larger version  Name:	11.jpg Views:	2 Size:	500.2 KB ID:	424036

    Click image for larger version  Name:	12.jpg Views:	2 Size:	520.8 KB ID:	424031

    Click image for larger version  Name:	13.jpg Views:	2 Size:	490.0 KB ID:	424035

    Click image for larger version  Name:	14.jpg Views:	2 Size:	468.5 KB ID:	424034

    Click image for larger version  Name:	15.jpg Views:	2 Size:	505.4 KB ID:	424037

    Click image for larger version  Name:	16.jpg Views:	2 Size:	481.4 KB ID:	424030

    Click image for larger version  Name:	17.jpg Views:	2 Size:	490.7 KB ID:	424038

    Click image for larger version  Name:	18.jpg Views:	2 Size:	437.3 KB ID:	424029

    Click image for larger version  Name:	19.jpg Views:	2 Size:	495.9 KB ID:	424032

    Click image for larger version  Name:	20.jpg Views:	2 Size:	470.1 KB ID:	424033
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles


    • Dracula, Prisoner Of Frankenstein (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      by Ian Jane

      Released by: Severin Films
      Released on: January 30th, 2024.
      Director: Jess Franco
      Cast: Howard Vernon, Alberto Dalbes, Anne Libert, Dennis Price, Luis Barboo
      Year: 1971
      Purchase From Amazon

      Dracula, Prisoner Of Frankenstein – Movie Review:

      In a remote European village Count Dracula (Franco regular Howard Vernon of The Awful Dr. Orloff and a zillion others) is roaming the area sucking the blood from some of the local ladies. When
      02-25-2024, 11:23 AM
    • Vile 21 (VHShitfest) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      by Ian Jane

      Released by: VHShitfest
      Released on: January 30th, 2024.
      Director: Mike Strain Jr.
      Cast: Daniel Skinner, Brian Southwick, Ronnie Sorter
      Year: 1997
      Purchase From Amazon

      Vile 21 – Movie Review:

      Mike Strain Jr.’s 1997 shot on video horror/sci-fi opus, Vile 21, is set in the future of 2020 and introduces us to a scientist named Dr. Walter Hall (Daniel Skinner) who, through hard work and research, has created an experimental serum
      02-23-2024, 06:57 PM
    • Contagion (Warner Brothers) UHD Review
      Ian Jane
      by Ian Jane

      Released by: Warner Brothers
      Released on: February 27th, 2024.
      Director: Steven Soderbergh
      Cast: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet
      Year: 2011
      Purchase From Amazon

      Contagion – Movie Review:

      Steven Soderbergh's 2011 film works on a simple and effectively horrifying premise - a nasty virus has been let loose and it's spreading around the world. That's really all there is in
      02-23-2024, 06:45 PM
    • Forgotten Gialli Volume Six (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      by Ian Jane

      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: February 27th, 2024.
      Director: Maurizio Pradeaux, Antonio Margheriti, Antonio Bido
      Cast: Robert Hoffmann, Nieves Navarro, Mark Damon, Eleonora Brown, Lino Capolicchio, Stefania Casini
      Year: 1973/1968/1978
      Purchase From Amazon

      Forgotten Gialli Volume Six – Movie Review:

      Vinegar Syndrome delivers another trio of 'forgotten gialli' in their latest three-film boxed set collection.
      02-21-2024, 04:06 PM
    • Black Tight Killers (Radiance Films) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      by Ian Jane

      Released by: Radiance Films
      Released on: February 26th, 2024.
      Director: Yasuharu Hasebe
      Cast: Akira Kobayashi, Chieko Matsubara, Meiko Nishio
      Year: 1966
      Purchase From Amazon

      Black Tight Killers – Movie Review:

      The directorial debut of Seijun Suzuki protégé Yasuharu Hasebe, 1966's Black Tight Killers opens with a scene wherein a war photographer named Daisuke Hondo (Akira Kobayashi) does his best to capture the action during
      02-21-2024, 03:08 PM
    • eXistenZ (Vinegar Syndrome) UHD/Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      by Ian Jane

      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on:
      Director: David Cronenberg
      Cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Don McKeller, Willem Dafoe, Ian Holm
      Year: 1999
      Purchase From Amazon

      eXistenZ – Movie Review:

      Written and directed by David Cronenberg in 1999, eXistenZ may not hold the same level of critical acclaim as some of the director's other films - Videodrome and The Fly remake both come to mind. It is, however, a very original
      02-14-2024, 03:05 PM