‘The blood lust of a frenzied vampire’
The Blood Beast Terror is a 1968 British horror film about a series of gruesome killings in which the victims are all young men.
Directed by Vernon Sewell (Burke & Hare; Curse of the Crimson Altar; House of Mystery; The Man In The Back Seat; Ghost Ship) from a screenplay written by Peter Bryan (The Plague of the Zombies, The Brides of Dracula).
The Tigon production stars Peter Cushing, Robert Flemyng (The Horrible Doctor Hichcock), Wanda Ventham, Vanessa Howard, David Griffin and Glynn Edwards (The Playbirds).
In 19th century England, a series of grisly murders take place in the countryside near London. The victims are all good-looking young men, between the ages of twenty and thirty, and all have had their throats torn open and their blood drained. The witness of the latest murder, a coachman named Joe Trigger (Leslie Anderson), is driven insane when he catches a glimpse of the mysterious killer.
Investigating the deaths are Detective Inspector Quennell (Peter Cushing) of Scotland Yard and his assistant, Sergeant Allan (Glynn Edwards). Because Joe keeps ranting about a horrible winged creature with huge eyes, Quennell hatches a theory that perhaps a homicidal eagle is on the loose. At the scene of the latest killing, several shiny scales are discovered…
Buy Blu-ray from Amazon.com
“There’s simply not enough happening to keep it going for eighty-six minutes, and the fact that they start over from scratch in many ways and introduce a whole slew of new characters halfway through is painful. Sewell’s film has decent production values and a hokey – in a good way – creature, but that’s nowhere near enough to hold anyone’s attention.” Bloody-Disgusting
“The plot echoes that of Hammer’s The Reptile (1966) released a couple of years earlier but isn’t a patch on John Gilling’s film. It wastes the talents of too many people, suffers at the hands of a tight-fisted producer and never succeeds in making its monster anything other than utterly laughable. Without Cushing, who gives it a lot more than it really deserves, it would have been unwatchable.” The EOFFTV Review
” … [Cushing] manages to remain in the moment and involved at all parts of the story, and he manages to deliver with a certain authority and believability dialogue that, in other hands, might well have netted nothing but horselaughs. This does make up somewhat for the pedestrian direction, the ridiculous premise and the shoddy monsters.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
“The Blood Beast Terror isn’t particularly terrifying, there isn’t much blood, and the beast is unsurprisingly silly. Yet thanks to steady direction from Vernon Sewell and the dignity of star Peter Cushing this is a reasonable sub-Hammer production, lent a certain cuteness by the passing of time.” Film4
“In the end, this largely forgotten, atmospheric creature feature is a decently fun watch though the idea of a were-moth is laughably silly. Then again, it is a large part of the film’s charm, making it worth revisiting just for its failed attempt to transform the notion into something scary.” Hi-Def Digest
” … a dismally cheap affair even by the standards of the day, with scenes taking place around the same two buildings, and all external shots lensed tightly to disguise the fact that they seem to be different parts of the same building. In line with its cheapness is its dearth of imagination that gives every indication of being the result of Tigon producer Tony Tenser blurting out “Have we done a giant moth yet?” over a boozy lunch.” SciFiNow
“The Blood Beast Terror is a good title, but don’t expect a lot of blood, beasts, and terror. Peter Cushing and Robert Flemyng make this film infinitely better. They have formatted performances; they’re cold and collected […] Anyways, all the good stuff is crammed in the last act, and that’s too late.” Tales of Terror
“The excellence of Stanley A. Long’s photography with its gentle colours and vivid sense of light gives the film a distinct atmosphere […] The finale is a little goofy as Quennell and Allan literally draw the moth to the flame and the threadbare special effects budget is finally exposed. The Blood Beast Terror isn’t a classic or even a ragged gem, but it has a likeable streak hard to deny.” This Island Rod
“This silly mad scientist drama is undone by an incompetent production team which utterly fails to persuade an audience to suspend their disbelief of the outlandish concept. Poor Cushing gives it the old college try, but even he can’t overcome the film’s fundamental flaws.” TV Guide
“The flick is extremely slow-moving and filled with clichés (yes, there is a wise-cracking morgue attendant who eats his lunch right next to a corpse). It also suffers from a weak-looking, briefly seen monster […] It should be said that Cushing delivers a great performance despite the schlocky surroundings.” The Video Vacuum
Cast and characters:
Peter Cushing … Inspector Quennell
Robert Flemyng … Doctor Mallinger
Wanda Ventham … Clare Mallinger
Vanessa Howard … Meg
David Griffin … William
Glynn Edwards … Sergeant Allan
William Wilde … Britewell
Kevin Stoney … Granger
John Paul … Warrender
Russell Napier … Landlord
Roy Hudd … Morgue Attendant
Leslie Anderson … Coachman
Simon Cain … Clem the Gardener
Robert Cawdron … Chief Constable
Kenneth Colley … James
Beryl Cooke … Housekeeper
Roy Evans … Second Porter
Joan Ingram … Cook
David Lyell … Second Student
John Scott Martin … Snaflebum
William Maxwell … First Porter
Michael Mundell … First Student (as Mike Mundell)
Norman Pitt … Police Doctor
Malcolm Rogers … Doctor Elliott
Drew Russell … PC Smith
Honor Shepherd … Senior Housemaid
Robin Wentworth … Starkadder
Arnold L. Miller … Policeman
Paul Vernon … Medical Student
Goldhawk Studios, Shepherd’s Bush, London, England (studio)
Grim’s Dyke House, Old Redding, Harrow Weald, Middlesex, England (Clare House-exterior)
7th August 1967 to 16th September 1967.
1 hour 28 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.66: 1
Released in the UK in January 1968 on a double-bill with French/Italian production Castle of the Living Dead.
In the USA, the movie was retitled as The Vampire-Beast Craves Blood by Pacemaker Pictures and released on a double-bill with Italian import Slaughter of the Vampires (with the latter retitled Curse of the Blood-Ghouls).
Full film free to watch online [1080p HD]:
Donate to MOVIES and MANIA