Crappy thriller with a Skull-n-Bones type fraternity. Strangely, membership includes many thirtysomethings.
"You're going to be the slickest chick at that ever lovin' h
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 07/05/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The title of this film, Ring of Terror (1962) conjured up, in my mind, images of a cult of no-goodniks doing nasty things for nefarious purposes...but that wasn't the case...turns out the title was more literal, at least partly. There is a ring, but very little in the form of terror. Directed by Clark L. Paylow, whose primary credits include assistant director on films like Muscle Beach Party (1964), The Time Travelers (1964), and The Silencers (1966), the film stars George E. Mather, who would later work in the capacity of production supervisor: / miniature and optical effects unit on a little film you might have heard of called Star Wars (1977). Also appearing is...well, a bunch of people you've never heard of unless you're related to one of them, so what's the point?
The film opens on a slow pan into a graveyard, to which we find ourselves at the door of the custodian. As we enter his office, noticing the tasteful skull lamp on his desk, he proceeds to impart a bunch of flowery hooey about life and death, talking on about how each marker in the graveyard holds any number of stories...to which he goes outside, looking for his damnable cat (which he ends up accidentally stepping on...smooth move, Ex-Lax), and he comes across a particular headstone, to which begins the story of Lewis B. Moffitt. Apparently Louis is a freshman at college, but you wouldn't know it because the guy looks to be in his mid 30's, as do many of his peers (check out all the receding hairlines)...anyway, Louis, who is studying to be a doctor, is regarded by his classmates as kinda weird, primarily due to the fact that very little seems to frighten him, which he regards as an asset for someone going into the medical profession due to the very real possibility of having to work around blood, corpses, and other gross junk that would give most the rest of us the heebie jeebies...this is illustrated early on as Louis and Betty are necking in her car, and a rattlesnake slithers in the open door...Louis manages to use a stick to remove it, and then proceeds to stomp a rubber snake to death...without even breaking a sweat...see how fearless he is? But there is one thing Louis fears, something that inadvertently comes into play during Louis' fraternity initiation assignment...
Have any of you ever seen that SCTV skit with Joe Flaherty as Count Floyd? The gist was he was a host of a show that would present scary films (phony films made up by the cast of SCTV), with the running gag being none of the films he was given were ever scary, no matter how much he tried to play them up...Ring of Terror would have been a perfect film to have been used in that skit. I've heard this film was featured in an episode of Mystery Science 3000, but I have not seen it, although I can see the riffing possibilities that lie within. For the first half hour of the film I really had little notion where the story was going...I knew things were being set up, but the actual plot kept getting waylaid with completely unrelated, often moronic sequences...here's a perfect example...near the beginning Louis and his girlfriend Betty go to the cafeteria where we're treated to a innocuous ditty played by the `Ye Campus Cool Cats' (they aren't even playing...listen as the sax music comes in, and then a few minutes later the guys holding the saxophones actually begin to pretend to play) along with some comic scenes involving a heavy set couple (the guy is named `Tiny'...har har..get it?) surrounded by empty fountain drink glasses...and the fun doesn't stop there...they get up and dance (they're actually pretty good), while their classmates laugh, you know, because the sight of dancing fat people is a riot, Alice ...and then during the class autopsy (the John Doe corpse sporting a gold ring, which comes into play later in the story), guess whose the first guy to pass out (not once, not twice, but three times)? If you guessed Tiny, you'd be right...oh, and then there's the school/frat Bacchanalian Festival, featuring a beauty contest with all the girls in swimsuits, including Tiny's rotund girlfriend...and get this, Tiny just happens to be one of three on the judging committee (I sense a conflict of interests), the other two being professors. Guess whom Tiny votes for? To which one of the professors asks incredulously, "Are you kidding?!" And be sure not to miss Tiny and his big boned girlfriend ravaging the hotdog cart like a couple of voracious jackals...oh stop it, you're killing me with laughter...during the festival the frat guys pass out the assignments to the pledges, an example being making the nerdlinger pledge dress up like cupid, complete with bow and arrow, and scour the nearby shrubs for couple making out...and when he finds one, he's supposed to kiss the girl on the lips...this was probably the most horrifying bit of the film, a grown man sneaking around in his underpants spying on couples getting it on (were hazing rituals this lame back in the day?)...and then, when we finally get to the end, the payoff, so to speak, its pretty disappointing, especially since you already know the end result, given to us at the very beginning. Basically what you got here is 10 minutes of actual story in a 72-minute film, the rest consisting of pointless filler. The acting wasn't all that bad, and neither was the direction, but there just wasn't anything here to justify a movie, especially not the 10 minutes of actual story.
This Alpha DVD release features a full screen presentation that starts off looking rough and murky, but gets a little better as the film goes on, and the audio is reasonably clear. In terms of special features, there's a rough looking trailer, along with the standard Alpha catalog listing showing the DVD covers of a great number of releases.
Oh, The Agony!...
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 09/14/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I sat through this hunk of brown, stinky matter so that others won't have to. Whewee! This is not good at all, folks! Where to begin? We've got college "kids" who look more like aging business associates, botched attempts at "humor" that fall so hard and so flat you can feel the impact, "fright" scenes that inspire only drowsiness, and an overall story that could cause the most boring person on earth to scream in anguish. The "plot" has been explained elsewhere, so I'll just tell you about my experience w/ this movie. I nearly hurled myself headlong down 3 flights of stairs after it's conclusion! This thing is dangerous! It should be burned, it's ashes sealed in concrete, then encased in lead! Please, stop right now and reconsider this purchase!..."
I fell in to a lousy Ring of Terror
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 12/22/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It's always a bad sign when some pseudo-spooky old character is called upon to introduce a given horror film to the audience - it's not as if viewers need to prepare themselves for the all-consuming thrills that Ring of Terror waits to unleash upon them. You will spot a ring here, but terror is definitely a no-show. Ring of Terror is the story of Lewis Moffett, the world's oldest 22-year-old medical student, a man who stands out among his equally ancient fellow students for his oddly prominent fearless nature. He's not afraid of anything, supposedly, and even his girlfriend worries that his fearlessness will lead him to a bad end. We meet the gang of forty-ish kids as they anxiously await their first autopsy viewing and get ready for their fraternity initiations. Moffett gets through the autopsy like an old pro, even volunteering to wheel the dead body into the classroom. Naturally, the frat elders decide to test young Moffett's bravery in the form of his initiation assignment - and they just so happen to hit on the one thing that terrifies him. That's about it. A comic book could have taken care of this story in about two pages, but director Clark L. Paylow manages to milk this insignificant, easily predictable plot into seventy-one minutes of wasted celluloid. Part of the useless padding consists of a degrading look at an overweight couple eating everything in sight and then going out of their way to make everyone laugh at them.
You wouldn't know this film was made in 1962 by looking at it - it looks more like the low-quality serials made in the early days of cinema with its dark print and horrible sound quality. It stars no one you've ever heard of, fails to work up even the notion of actual fright, and ends rather cheesily. This could have been a decent story (it was supposedly based on a true story, but I'll need to see some documentation before I buy into that claim) - if only it had been made as a short feature included in a group of comics-style horror tales. As a standalone product, Ring of Terror just doesn't deliver the goods."
Ring of boredom
Amaranth | Northern California | 06/30/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
""Ring of Terror" is a hilariously awful movie. One can imagine the Man in Black, Johnny Cash, belting out,"And I fell, fell, fell into the Ring of Boredom, the Ring of Boredom." It opens with a creepy old guy who looks like Peter Cushing searching for his cat in a cemetery. He stumbles upon the tombstone of a fearless young man who died at the young age of 22.... so we go into flashback land...
The young student, Lewis Moffett, has a receding hairline, and his fellow students look like they're probably middle-aged grandfathers. Arthritis, dementia, and Viagra look like more immediate concerns than hittin' it with girls and getting a bachelor's degree. There are jokes at the expense of the Fat Student and his Plump Girlfriend,as well as the Nerdy Student. The med students stand up their girlfriends.... so they can go to an autopsy. Come to your own conclusions. Lewis gets his dare to enter the fraternity... take the ring off the corpse's finger.
"Ring of Terror" is pretty awful. The Mystery Science Theater 3000 version makes this horrifically bad horror movie bearable. It's that bad. There's no real horror. There are hints of terror... but the movie never delivers on its promises. Cast this Ring of Terror into Mount Doom. It's that awful."
Not even so bad that it's good
calvinnme | 11/15/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The other reviewers have said about all that can be said about the plot - a story that should have taken up 20 minutes being an hour long instead, the oldest medical students in history, and a prolonged luau scene whose sole purpose is to make fun of the overw eight. The first time I saw this film I thought it was a riot, so I was surprised at how bored I was the second time. The difference? The first time I saw it was when it was part of the antics of Mystery Science Theater 3000. This proves what a difference a commentary track can make. If you actually want to enjoy this film try out The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 11 (Ring of Terror / The Indestructible Man / Tormented / Horrors of Spider Island). Context and commentary make all the difference, and you will see the humor in the film. I do not know why this film is easily available as a standalone when it is so bad and William Castle's Dr. Sardonicus is out of print and Macabre has never been on DVD at all."