The Terror/Fun Facts
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
- Roger Corman made this picture in the midst of a cycle of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations and considers it an "honorary member" of that cycle. The previous Poe pictures had ended with the castle or mansion being destroyed by fire (Corman's crew had some to look forward to "fire day") but with this one, Corman decided to change the formula and have the castle destroyed by a flood instead. Noting the abundance of second-unit directors who had worked on the film--four, to that point--Jack Nicholson requested and received permission to direct the climactic flood sequence himself.
- Having finished The Raven (1963), Roger Corman immediately shot this film using the same sets and the same two lead actors. All of the scenes involving Boris Karloff were filmed by Corman in four days, but the finished film, which was largely improvised, required nine months to complete, the longest production of Corman's career.
- Roger Corman shot the castle scenes with Boris Karloff so quickly that he didn't even bother to use slates to mark the beginnings of shots. Once he just had the actors walk downstairs one after another in succession, figuring he could later cut the single shot into separate shots that he could probably use somewhere.
- Jack Nicholson claims to have nearly drowned while filming in the surf of Big Sur.
- Roger Corman shot the bulk of the film in four days, but the second-unit work was filmed over a nine month period by five directors, Francis Ford Coppola, Dennis Jakob, Monte Hellman, Jack Nicholson, and Jack Hill.
- The original theater poster warned its patrons: "No one will be admitted while the coffin is being opened!"
- Francis Ford Coppola took eleven days to shoot his second unit footage, only ten minutes of which wound up in the finished film.
- Dennis Jakob doubled for Boris Karloff during the climactic castle flood.
- Sandra Knight who was married to Jack Nicholson at the time was pregnant while filming.