The Blood Beast Terror

The Blood Beast Terror

aka The Vampire-Beast Craves Blood

Written by Peter Bryan
Directed by Vernon Sewell

Blood Beast Terror
Who you calling a bird brain???

It’s Commander USA! Legion of Decency, retired. Yes, we’re gonna have us a horror host for The Blood Beast Terror, which we desperately need because this film plods along so slowly like so much British cinema and so much American film in the 1970s. There is no way anything like this could be made now, because the audience would be asleep by reel two. Heck, I was almost asleep by reel 2, luckily Commander USA and the retro 80’s commercials also on this tape kept me awake enough to finish the review. You would think a movie where there is a female were-moth that drinks blood would be more exciting. Then you would be wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. As usual, the Commander USA’s Groovie Movies sections will be in blue, so you can easily skip them if you aren’t into awesome things. Amazingly, I have this flick on DVD, so enjoy the higher quality film screencaps mixed in with the retro VHS rip screencaps. It’s called inconsistency, baby!

Blood Beast Terror
Won’t it look weird when one hand is more tan than the other…?

Tigon British Film Productions was a smaller production company that mainly put out low budget horror films to compete with Hammer Studios. They were formed in 1966 and didn’t last much past the late 1970s. Their legacy is classic horror like Witchfinder General, The Creeping Flesh, The Sorcerers, and this masterpiece of were-moth entertainment. And, no, Mothman came to Earth to harass Americans before this film was made. And Mothman is totally real…like Owlman

Blood Beast Terror
Oil can! He said Oil can!

So what we got here is Peter Cushing fighting another monster that drinks blood, but this time it’s a were-moth. What we also have is a villain so identifiably evil it’s weird that he wasn’t arrested the second we were introduced to him. Instead, we’re supposed to believe Dr. Carl Mallinger is a pillar of the community. Maybe that community was hurting for pillars?

Blood Beast Terror
Every time I leave the door open, interpretive dancers burst in and start busting moves…

Now I bet you are wondering if female moths drink blood. The answer is no! But the Death’s Head moths (Acherontia spp.) do have a pattern on their backs that looks similar to a skull, thus the species have become associated with death and the macabre. Oddly enough, these moths attack beehives to get honey! So they’re more like honey badgers in that they don’t care, instead of vampires in that they drink blood. So suck on that, superstitions!

Clare Mallinger does drink blood. The blood of young men, young men that she often seduces, but not to the point of sexual intercourse. Instead, the men are lured off alone, or even just attacked while in a vulnerable location. The Blood Beast Terror is also a period piece, set in the not so distant past. Just set at the right time to do some Frankenstein allegories, up to and including a Frankenstein like play in the actual movie. It also helps quantify the pseudo-puritanical subtext of the Jezebel woman running around seducing all these nice young men who totally wouldn’t want to have the sex…with a girl…unless they were seduced by this temptress! The only thing missing was a giant letter A branded on the were-moth’s chest. Temptation and sin is probably why her demise is the way it is, spoiled below the fold in the recap portion. The setting in the older days help magnifies the sexual undertones.

Blood Beast Terror
Jolly good fish, sir! Right-o!

When The Blood Beast Terror was released in the US, it was retitled The Vampire-Beast Craves Blood and paired with Slaughter of the Vampires. Which I hear may involve vampires being slaughtered. But maybe not.

Inspector Quennell (Peter Cushing) – Famous and proper British police inspector who can solve any case, even bug-infested ones! His daughter is Meg Quennell
Dr. Carl Mallinger (Robert Flemyng) – Notable village eccentric, which means he has enough money that his weirdo obsessions are passed off as charming instead of creepy. Is the local scientist who lectures young lads on proper moth identification.
Clare Mallinger (Wanda Ventham) – Dr. Mallinger’s daughter, who totally isn’t secretly an evil were-moth who lures men to their doom. DOOM!!!!
Sgt. Allan (Glynn Edwards) – Quennell’s facial haired partner in crime who helps him bust crimes.
Were-moth (Herself) – Got blood?
Blood Beast Terror
Commander USA’s Groovie Movies forever!

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