More has written about the production of "The Terror," than the actual film itself. The production was inspired by Roger Corman who realized that Boris Karloff still had some time on his contract and the sets from "The Raven" had not been demolished. Both Corman and costar Jack Nicholson discussed how, in 2 days, Karloff and Nicholson shot exposition scenes out of order. The ensemble of actors changed costumes and kept walking up and down the same stairs. Scenes that were not used in "The Terror" were used for Peter Bogdonvich's "Targets," starring Karloff in his last quality role.
With the interiors completed, the exteriors were shot in California, a process which took approximately thee months to achieve. Legend has it that Frances Ford Coppola (he owns an Associate Producer credit) some of it and Jack Nicholson took over the reigns.Given Corman's success with the Edgar Allen Poe series, "The Terror" is on automatic pilot and follows many of the plot lines of "House of User" and "The Pit and the Pendulum."
There is an effort to make "the Terror" to appear as a prestige motion picture. As the butler Stephen, Dick Miller is billed as "Richard Miller." Nicholson portrays a lost soldier of Napoleon who visits Baron Von Leppe's (Karloff) castle. Creepy cliches ensue and identity crisis of Edgar Allen Poe proportions are explained.