DVD region 0. Severin Films.
Raven was a former DJ, occultist and horror fan who wanted to
be the next big horror star at the start of the 1970's. His career
started with small parts in Hammer's Lust for a Vampire
and Amicus' I Monster and then he took the lead
in a couple of self-produced efforts (this was the first) before
disappearing as quickly as he'd appeared, dreams of being the
next Christopher Lee sadly crushed by scathing reviews, dismal
box office and the indignity of being dubbed in his Hammer film
(they also spliced in close-ups of Christopher Lee's eyes, just
to compound the insult).
of Terror is a House of Wax variant,
with Raven playing mad artist Victor Clare, who has his privacy
disturbed by gallery owner John Davies (James Bolam) and assorted
hangers on who want to buy his work. Unfortunately, his best piece
- a bronze sculpture - was made by pouring molten metal over the
body of Me Me Lay (who's intriguing career ran from quiz show
hostess on The Golden Shot to a trio of Italian cannibal films),
who now comes back to take her revenge.
supporting cast of capable actors (also including Melissa Stribling
and Ronald Lacey) do their best with the dull story, but Raven
is out of his depth, with his rather weedy voice and lack of charisma
making it hard to accept him as a mysterious and sexually magnetic
villain - he can just about cut it visually, but as soon as he
opens his mouth the illusion is shattered. He's admittedly not
helped by the turgid storyline, where very little happens, and
Ted Hooker's pedestrian direction. The pre-credit sequence has
a certain sense of style, but the following film is rather flat.
is such a wonderfully eccentric character (he was also, at various
career junctures, a 'professional conjurer, flamenco guitarist,
author, photographer, camera operator, interior designer and ballet
dancer' according to an interview he gave to Cinefantastique)
that you really want to like him - there's probably a
fascinating documentary to be made about him - but his films are
DVD is strikingly bare-bones - you get the film and that's your
lot - so there really is nothing worth seeing here I'm afraid.
IT NOW (USA)