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The cinematography of "The Terror" 1963 Rodger Corman


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#1 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
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Posted 03 June 2012 - 01:40 AM

I had seen The Terror several years ago. I remembered I had been impressed but little else. I saw it again night before last and now I remembered WHY I was so impressed. I'm a HUGH Rodger Corman fan, not so much for most of his movies but there are some. No I'm a fan of his efficiency in the film making process. He shot this, in my opinion, exceptionally good picture in only 4 days (The majority of principal photography, he had 4 other directors, including Jack Nicholson and Francis Ford Coppola, do second unit, pickups and inserts. The second unit did take 9 months to complete their part which technically made it Corman's longest production). The story was decent, not a masterpiece but watchable and interesting. What set this one apart was the beautiful cinematography.

I can't really see how this was accomplished in a mere 4 days! It was stunning. It has many of the qualities I had envisioned for Blood Moon Rising, vivid color, noir style contrast, high saturation, enough grain to give it an unrealistic, ethereal, quality. The beauty of horror. I could compare it to Dario Argento's Suspiria in it's cinematography. I think for pure style, The Terror edges it out although I do believe Suspiria used the it's cinematography more effectively to convey the emotional content of it's storyline. If you haven't seen the Terror, take a look. It's well worth the time. It's in public domain so you can find it online for free:



Another interesting side note, as Corman often did, he shot "The Raven", (another of my favorite Corman films) right before he shot The Terror on the same sets, using the same leads, maximizing the efficiency of his resources and profit. Is there any wonder I LOVE THIS GUY!! B)
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