Moths and Vampires

ANDY BOYLAN looks at how moths have fluttered their way into vampire cinema

When you think of vampires and animals you might think of the wolf or the bat but do you think of the moth? Whilst not as commonly associated with vampires the moth is certainly a paid up member of the vampire club.
Bram Stoker, in the voice of Van Helsing, told us that Dracula could, “…command all the meaner things, the rat, and the owl, and the bat, the moth, and the fox, and the wolf…”
Serbian folklore suggested that a vampire’s souls might take the form of a moth or a butterfly and if a grave were open and a vampire slain the observers would have to look out for a butterfly leaving the grave, capture and throw it onto the bonfire or the vampire’s soul would escape and could find another body. This is the central lore in the 1973 Slavic film, Leptirica.
Perhaps the vampire’s relationship with moths may be centre stage in the Japanese film Kyuketsu-ga – the Vampire Moth? Though the 1956 film has never been released with English subtitles, I understand that models being stalked and killed by a man in a mask is the order of the day, so perhaps not.
The Moth Diaries does, however, have a definite moth connection with the vampire, Ernessa Bloch (played in the critically under-rated film by Lily Cole), seeming to transform into a flock of the insects and her room being filled with them at one point.
Ultimately though, moths and vampires have not had much of an outing on the silver screen and so, ultimately, there is only one king of the vampire moth movies… The Blood Beast Terror, staring Peter Cushing. It was unfortunately less moth and more a turkey of a movie. Turn to my review to see why.

Read ANDY BOYLAN’s other articles and horror film reviews on his blog Taliesin Meets The Vampire, here.


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