The Blood Beast Terror (1968)

THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR (1968)
Article #1670 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-10-2005
Posting Date: 3-9-2006
Directed by Vernon Sewell
Featuring Peter Cushing, Robert Flemyng, Wanda Ventham

Police investigate a series of killings that may be the result of some flying monster.

If I remember correctly, I read somewhere that Peter Cushing had a very low opinion of this movie, and I can see why. Still, the movie does serve as an excellent example of how the British acting style and its practitioners can compensate for any number of problems. Cushing, for example, has one of those roles that is so cliched (the police inspector investigating the crimes) that it must have been tempting to just walk through the role, but his attention to detail fleshes out the character tremendously, he manages to remain in the moment and involved at all parts of 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. Cushing even manages to find the right tone in the scene in which he encounters one of those comic-relief morticians (you know, the kind that have lunch in the room where the dead bodies are kept). Nonetheless, the movie is pretty lame, with an uninspired cliche-ridden script as the primary culprit. I find the ending of this one particularly bad, despite the fact that there is a certain logic to it; in fact, if I had been writing this script (about giant killer death’s-head moths), I would probably have come up with the same idea for the method used here in destroying the monster – and then, hearing in my mind the groans it would elicit, would immediately have tried to come up with something better.

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