TERRIFIED (1962) Reviews and overview

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‘How much shock can the human brain endure before it cracks’

Terrified is a 1962 American horror film directed by Lew Landers (The Boogie Man Will Get You; The Return of the VampireThe Raven) from a screenplay by producer Richard Bernstein (From Hell It Came). It stars Rod Lauren, Steve Drexel and Tracy Olsen.

Composer Michael Andersen’s only other horror soundtrack score was for Roger Corman’s Tower of London, made the same year.

US distributors Crown International Pictures promoted the film for its 1963 release as Terrified!

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Terrified certainly has its moments, mainly the cat and mouse game that plays out between Ken and the masked killer, but on the whole has little to be desired. The acting is often stiff, save for Rod Lauren who tends to overact but in an almost appropriate fashion. Tracy Olsen in particular is quite dull as the sexual interest of both teenager and killer alike.” Jason McElreath, DVD Drive-In

“Visually the movie is pretty poor. The ski-mask killer is kind of modern, but the lighting and the Ghost Town sets are too dark to take advantage. A good chunk of the movie is spent in a restaurant set that looks like it came out of a ’50s or ’60s sitcom.” JP Roscoe, Basement Rejects

“Wonderfully bad dialogue full of nonsense, at times reaching close to Ed Wood levels, will either leave you smiling or shaking your head. It has a fairly weak ending and the acting is terrible, but those things almost add to the enjoyment of the film.” Josh Mogan, Quick Horror Movie Review

“The biggest weakness in Terrified is the script. The whole thing feels padded, like the film could take place in the span of about 30 minutes, but writer Richard Bernstein (From Hell It Came) drags it out into a feature length screenplay. The resulting script is uneven, with too much dialogue in some places and long stretches without dialogue in others.” James Jay Edwards, Film Fracture

“The identity of the killer is painfully obvious; I knew who it was ten minutes into the movie, but the movie actually works itself up to an effective ending once the unmasking occurs and we get some insight into why he’s doing what he’s doing. In short, this is one very mixed bag, but it has its moments…” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

Main cast:

Rod Lauren (The Black Zoo; The Crawling Hand), Steve Drexel, Tracy Olsen (The Couch), Stephen Roberts, Sherwood Keith, Barbara Luddy, Denver Pyle (The Legend of Hillbilly John), Lee Bradley, Ben Frank, Danny Welton, Nona Carver, Michael Fellen, Robert Towers.

IMDb | Image credits: Basement Rejects

Related: Hellgate

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