October 23, 2014

Films

The Blood Beast Terror – 1968 | 88 mins | Horror | Colour

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Plot Synopsis

The Blood Beast Terror

Tony Tenserís Tigon produced the horror oddity The Blood Beast Terror (1967), which was a piece of Grand Guignol gothic that actually stands up rather well to the test of time. The film was originally titled The Death’s Head Vampire and intended to star 75-year-old Basil Rathbone as Professor Mallinger, but the actor passed away a month before filming was scheduled to commence. Directed stiffly by b-movie veteran Vernon Sewell and written by Peter Bryan, the uncertain script struggles to build suspense and the low budget ensures the death’s head moths arenít particularly terrifying, resulting in a film that moves along more like a thriller than a chiller. Thereís the usual superb performance from Peter Cushing as a charmingly idiosyncratic police inspector and a wonderful cameo by comedian Roy Hudd as a blackly comic mortuary attendant.

In Victorian England, the rowdy students of entomologist Professor Mallinger (Robert Flemyng) are being clawed to death by an unknown assailant. The deaths are investigated by Inspector Quennell (Peter Cushing) who, calling at the widowed professor’s house, finds both the professor and his daughter, Clare (Wanda Ventham), gone and the butler dead. Tracing the professor to a small fishing village, Quennell follows him there accompanied by his own daughter, Meg (Vanessa Howard). Mallinger, meanwhile, in a continuation of his experiments, has created a giant moth as a mate for Clare, who is not his daughter but a creature in the form of a woman who can metamorphose herself into a giant death’s-head moth.

Production Team

Vernon Sewell: Director
Alfred Woods: Art Direction
Stanley A. Long: Cinematography
Marie Feldwick: Costume Design
Howard Lanning: Film Editing
Henry Montsash: Makeup Department
Rosemarie McDonald Peattie: Makeup Department
Paul Ferris: Original Music
Tony Tenser: Producer
Arnold L. Miller: Producer
Peter Bryan: Script
Alan Hogben: Sound

Cast

Roy Hudd: Smiler
Russell Napier: Landlord
John Paul: Mr. Warrender
Kevin Stoney: Granger
William Wilde: Frederick Britewell
Glynn Edwards: Sgt. Allan
David Griffin: William Warrender
Vanessa Howard: Meg Quennell
Wanda Ventham: Clare Mallinger
Robert Flemyng: Dr. Carl Mallinger
Peter Cushing: Detective Inspector Quennell



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