TITLE: The Blood Beast Terror
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
DIRECTOR: Vernon Sewell
CAST: Peter Cushing, Robert Flemyng, Wanda Ventham, Vanessa Howard
REVIEW BY ANDY BOYLAN
It was 1968 and Tigon Pictures released the Vernon Sewell directed The Blood Beast Terror. An entry in the positively niche sub-genre of moth vampire films this did indeed feature a giant man-sized moth that drank human blood.
A period piece, set somewhere in the 19th century by the looks of it, Peter Cushing plays Detective Inspector Quennell, who comes calling on Dr Carl Mallinger, played by Robert Flemyng, when one of the Doctor’s students is murdered. He is the sixth to have been killed; all the victims are men, they all have damage to the thorax and all have been drained of blood.
As the film moves on we discover that the killer is a creature created by Mallinger who takes, at times, the form of a pretty Wanda Ventham and at other times is a blooming great big moth. It behoves me to warn you just how rubbish the moth looks, delving the depths of the worst “man in a monster suit” films. Perhaps if the film had been played with the tongue in cheek camp of a 50s ‘B’ movie creature feature it would have been acceptable. The film takes itself so seriously, however, that it cannot be forgiven.
The exception to this is the iconic presence of Peter Cushing, a stalwart campaigner, who refuses to let the direction, script, or furry suit get the better of him and provides a sterling performance that drags the film up by the scruff of the neck. It still isn’t very good but without Cushing it would have been utterly unwatchable. Somehow it has not only been released on DVD but now also graces Blu-ray. 2 out of 10.
Read ANDY BOYLAN’s full review of The Blood Beast Terror and other horror film reviews on his blog Taliesin Meets The Vampire, here.