Film: Ring of Terror
I Feared NotA 1962 "Horror"/"Suspense" movie, about the dangers of college fraternity hazing rituals, which is pretty much notable only for its appearance on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (along with an episode of the Film Serial The Phantom Creeps).Lewis Moffett is a 42-year-old — er, fresh-faced young medical student who wows his college classmates with his amazing fearlessness. He watches an autopsy unflinchingly even as the others are fainting and getting sick, and he effortlessly kills a garter snake which threatens his nookie time with the girlfriend. But Lewis is harboring a Dark Secret: his bravery is a complete fraud. See, when Lewis was a little boy, he was forced to sleep in the same house with his just-deceased grandfather's casket, and as a result developed a secret fear of the dark and/or dead bodies.Coincidentally enough, the leaders of the fraternity Lewis wants to join have decided to base Lewis' Initiation Ceremony around his supposed bravado: Late at night, Lewis must sneak into the masoleum where the body from the autopsy has been interned, and return with the corpse's ring. Unfortunately for Lewis, a screeching cat and a dead hand hanging up on his coat prove too much for him, and the middle-aged guy with the weak ticker — I mean, the fit young man promptly dies of a heart attack.There's also some sort of subplot about a couple of overweight college lovers; this quickly devolves into an Overly Long Gag and eventually degenerates into Dude, Not Funny!, and really isn't worth going into here.For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode see here.
—Epitaph of Lewis Moffett
—Epitaph of Lewis Moffett
This film uses the following tropes:
- Acceptable Targets: Fat people. In-Universe, and presumably out as well.
- Cat Scare: Subverted, in that it's the cat scare that actually does Lewis in.
- Played straight with a tree branch.
- Dawson Casting: Exaggerated with the "22"-year-old Lewis; actor George Mather was twice that age. The other students don't look to be much younger themselves.Servo: Son, can you get that-? Oh, right. I'm a college student.
- Framing Device: The creepy caretaker.
- Fearless Fool / Miles Gloriosus: Zig-zagged; Lewis seems genuinely fearless, even watching a (purportedly) gruesome autopsy without flinching; but it turns out that due to a childhood incident involving his dead grandfather, he's deathly afraid of the dark.
- Initiation Ceremony: Based upon Lewis' Fearless Fool persona, his fraternity sends him to collect a ring from a recently interned corpse.
- Lost Aesop: Lewis' soliloquy about "They".
- Overly Long Gag: see Acceptable Targets.
- "Pu-ma? Pu-ma!"
- Satellite Love Interest: Pretty much all of them, but Lewis' girlfriend stands out (mainly because she's given the most attention in the film).
- Vomit Discretion Shot: Plenty of 'em during the autopsy.
- Gypsy has one during the MST3K autopsy segment.
- ..."Youth" Is Wasted On The Dumb: College hazing is bad.