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  1. #1
    Junior Member Country: UK
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    I wonder what other old horror film buffs think of the Blood Beast Terror which starred Peter Cushing, Robert Flemyng and Wanda Ventham. The reason I ask is that the film gets such a slating from many critics, and Peter Cushing himself is said to have thought it was his worst film. The funny thing is I find it curiously endearing and full of a real atmosphere of late Victorian England, with its policemen in period uniforms, the theme of naturalists discovering new species overseas, biological classification of species, scientific experimentation (obviously of a bizarre kind!) etc etc. So I always enjoy a periodic return to the film for relaxation, albeit that the plot, even by old horror film standards, is pretty preposterous.

    Anyone else out there find things to like in this film?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say it was Peter Cushing's worst film, but it does seem to have been done very much on the cheap. The sets are very cramped and the lighting is flat, not atmospheric. Originally, Basil Rathbone was set to play the Robert Flemying role - it would have been fascinating to see Rathbone vs. Cushing - but sadly his death intervened.

    A longer version of the film (heaven forbid) with lengthier scenes of the students' play used to be shown, but all current copies appear to be minus this.

    Things to like in this film? Well, Wanda Ventham primarily!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England jaycad's Avatar
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    i've seen it once-i was young and quite liked it so it was probably rubbish!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: England markrgv's Avatar
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    The film is definitely not one of the better UK horror films of the sixties, (though it is clearly on a very low budget) but there is still much to like about it. And as usual Peter Cushing gives it his all and makes it a lot more watchable than it would otherwise be.

  5. #5
    GRAEME
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    It has just got one of the most misleading titles ever. I'd see it in the RT and think Wow! Blood Beast Terror! How scary can that be?

    And it's about a human moth.

    That's moth...

    But the title says: BLOOD BEAST TERROR!!!!

    Not: Moth Thing Mild Creepiness

    Bound to be a bit of a disappointment. And it was. Oddly, several times. I just kept forgetting and falling for it again...

    Agh! Get that moth off me!

  6. #6
    Member Country: UK Mustard Pies's Avatar
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    I don't know why everybody and his dog says the Blood Beast Terror is a bad film.

    In my view it's not. In fact it's a cult classic in the Mustard Pies Household.

    I love it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: England markrgv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAEME View Post
    It has just got one of the most misleading titles ever. I'd see it in the RT and think Wow! Blood Beast Terror! How scary can that be?

    And it's about a human moth.

    That's moth...

    But the title says: BLOOD BEAST TERROR!!!!
    And you think that's bad. In USA it was re-titled The Vampire Beast Craves Blood !!!!!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Country: United States wearysloth's Avatar
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    Roy Hudd in Blood Beast Terror

    the film scared me in 1973, lol

    ITV
    10.40 p.m. FILM: "The Blood Beast
    Terror" (1968). Horrible things
    happen in the 1840's and strange
    murders tax the brain of astute
    sleuth Peter Cushing, A witness
    to one crime goes out of his mind
    and one entomologist expires..
    Where will it end, for heaven's
    sake? Or more important -
    when ?
    ~Ian Christie.
    Daily Express
    Friday June 1st, 1973


    Somewhere around that time
    Roy Hudd did a behind the scenes thing on said film on his own show which was fun too

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    I'm a fan of these films but I think it is pretty awful. The script seems to be laregly a rip-off of The Reptile and is very poor. I could never understand why Peter Cushing's charcater travels incognito into the Sussex countryside when he is looking for a man suspected of murder. He then does nothing but hang around the pub instead of doing any snooping and waits for his duaghter to be kidnapped by the villainess. The details of Flemying's experiments are elliptical in the extreme and never satisfactorily explained. The f/x at the end are also dire.

    On the running time (see positng above) original sources from the theatrical release quote 87m but all prints in existence, including the US one with the alternative title, run only 80m.

    Roy Hudd devotes a page or two to his memories of Cushing and Sewell in his autobiography.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    It was originally released in the UK in May, 1968, as the supporting film to another Tigon release, Witchfinder General. After five years, both films made their television debut on ITV in 1973. In those days, a cinema film had to be at least five years old before it could be shown on television.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Spain Rowdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAEME View Post
    It has just got one of the most misleading titles ever. I'd see it in the RT and think Wow! Blood Beast Terror! How scary can that be?

    And it's about a human moth.

    That's moth...

    But the title says: BLOOD BEAST TERROR!!!!

    Not: Moth Thing Mild Creepiness

    Bound to be a bit of a disappointment. And it was. Oddly, several times. I just kept forgetting and falling for it again...

    Agh! Get that moth off me!
    That's how I was tricked (Ay!! Tricked, I say!!) into seeing it as a teenager. I like the title because it's very much got an "extra added bit" feel. The original suggestion may have been "Blood Beast" and someone said "Yeah ... but it needs more terror... How about ...". Or the original was "Beast Terror" and someone said "Yeah ... but how about a bit more blood?" Or someone said "How about "The Blood Terror"?" and someone said "But it doesn't mention a beast of any kind..." And so on.

    Actually, not and so on. It stops there.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: England markrgv's Avatar
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    They could have got in before Jaws and simply named the film Moth

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK Onedin's Avatar
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    You lot discussing this film makes me think I have seen it too, but I'm not sure as it was a long time ago.

    Does the moth die in the end? And slowly too?

  14. #14
    GRAEME
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    Well there's this gigantic light bulb, see, and...

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: UK Onedin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onedin View Post
    You lot discussing this film makes me think I have seen it too, but I'm not sure as it was a long time ago.

    Does the moth die in the end? And slowly too?
    Mixed up my facts with 'The Fly' - I wondered why I kept thinking Jeff Goldblum.

  16. #16
    Member Country: UK Mustard Pies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m35541 View Post
    I'm a fan of these films but I think it is pretty awful. The script seems to be laregly a rip-off of The Reptile and is very poor. I could never understand why Peter Cushing's charcater travels incognito into the Sussex countryside when he is looking for a man suspected of murder. He then does nothing but hang around the pub instead of doing any snooping and waits for his duaghter to be kidnapped by the villainess. The details of Flemying's experiments are elliptical in the extreme and never satisfactorily explained. The f/x at the end are also dire.

    On the running time (see positng above) original sources from the theatrical release quote 87m but all prints in existence, including the US one with the alternative title, run only 80m.

    Roy Hudd devotes a page or two to his memories of Cushing and Sewell in his autobiography.
    But isn't the fact that most of these old British films have cheesey scripts and unexplainable plots, isn't this what makes these films so brlliant? In my view yes.

    Take a look at the British horror movies made around that period 1965-1975. None of them are what you'd call the mark of Shakespeare. In most cases they're pure hokum.

    The Blood Beast Terror is no worse than something like Scream And Scream Again or Night of the Big Heat. They're all equally good in my view. :)

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    What did Wanda think I wonder. It was pretty much her *biggest* movie wasn't it?

    Richard Gere still thought moths were scary all those year later.......


  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: England markrgv's Avatar
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    She is on the dvd talking to Marcus Hearn (DD Video release) about making the film - so she must have enjoyed it. A lot of actresses would have pretended that they had never made it, or simply leave it out of their cv all together.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK frame69's Avatar
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    I rather like this film.


    Frame.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain vincenzo's Avatar
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    I thought it was dire.

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