It’s our horror season but you simply can’t have one without a film or two with the legend that is Peter Cushing. This ones from 1968 by a company called Tigon. Time for The Blood Beast Terror Blu-ray review.
- The Blood Beast Terror (1968)
- Genre: Horror
- Directed By Vernon Sewell
- Written By Peter Bryan
- Music By Paul Ferris
- UK Film Rating 12
- Released By Odeon Entertainment
- Stars: Peter Cushing, Robert Flemyng, Wanda Ventham, Vanessa Howard, Glynn Edwards
Set against the backdrop of 19th century England, a series of murders occur. However the murders appear to be by an animal or bird like creature.
Peter Cushing plays Inspector Quennell, the man charged with bringing the killer to justice. The latest victim leads to the house of professor Carl Mallinger (Robert Flemyng).
He lives there with his daughter Clare (Wanda Ventham) along with his butler and staff.
Dr Mallinger specialises in entomology (insects). He arranges for a man to collect some samples in Africa and bring to his home. Shortly after the man arrives with the samples he too is found dead, sporting the same wounds and marks and drained of blood.
With plenty of deaths mounting up it’s up to Inspector Quennell to find out who or what is responsible.
With Dr Mallinger and his daughter acting very odd the Inspector has his suspicions but no evidence.
You would be forgiven for thinking this all sounds like the work of vampires but not so. In a slight twist it turns out to be a different creature.
Acting / Characters
The acting is hit and miss to be honest with only Peter Cushing exempt from this criticism. The delivery can be a bit cringe worthy but to be fair the dialogue is not great.
Wanda Ventham seems a little too distant when she is supposed to be seducing the next victim. But the worst acting and dialogue comes from Vanessa Howard who plays Meg, Inspector Quennell’s daughter.
To be fair she has by far the worst lines in the whole film, they are crying out for a rewrite.
Fans of the classic British TV series Minder will spot Glyn Edwards playing the role of Sergeant Allan. In Minder he played Dave owner of The Winchester Club.
A interesting fact emerges from one of the Blu-ray extras, it is claimed the Basil Rathbone was due to play the Professor instead of Robert Flemyng. The reason for change is a sad one, Basil Rathbone suffered a heart attack in 1967 and died.
I’m sure he would raised the quality of the films acting against the the great Peter Cushing. Alas we will never know…
Direction / Style
It looks pretty good for the most part but you get the feeling Peter Cushing elevates this film to a higher level than maybe it deserves.
The creature is not that great, but it’s a tough job to really pull this off in 1968. To try and mitigate this they try not to show too much of it unless they have to, which was definitely the right choice.
The music is very good and does a good job of covering some of the films deficiencies. It strikes the right balance and reminds you of the Hammer films, which is no bad thing.
Conclusion: The Blood Beast Terror (1968) Film Review
Make no mistake this is no classic, that said it’s of its time and clearly made on a small budget. In the end Peter Cushing makes this a worthwhile watch. He is the star and takes his role seriously and in doing so draws you into the story.
The story is basically the same type of thing you have with vampires only they have swapped the vampire for a ….?
No point in holding back, the script could have done with some more work to knock it into shape.
But what a fabulous title for a film, The Blood Beast Terror, it raises the hairs on the back of your neck just reading the title.
A great title, a great score, a great actor in Peter Cushing let down by a poor script/dialogue and small budget.
That said I kind of like it in many ways but I think that’s more because it stars Peter Cushing more than anything else.
Conclusion: The Blood Beast Terror Blu-ray Review
The picture looks terrific so I have no problems recommending you upgrade to the Blu-ray. Extras highlights include a nice interview with Wanda Ventham.
- Interview with Wanda Ventham
- Picture Gallery
The Blood Beast Terror (1968) blu-ray is available now from Amazon.co.uk.
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Popcorn Cinema Rating:
The Blood Beast Terror (1968)
MOVIE RATING: WORTH WATCHING
BLU-RAY RATING: VERY GOOD
The Blood Beast Terror (1968) Film Trailer
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster with trailer…
Note the trailer is not representative of the Blu-ray picture quality which is excellent.
The Blood Beast Terror blu-ray review (1968) is part of our Halloween Horror Season.
Summary: The Blood Beast Terror (1968) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: The Blood Beast Terror (1968)
Duration: 87 mins
Director(s): Vernon Sewell
Actor(s): Peter Cushing, Robert Flemyng, Wanda Ventham, Glynn Edwards
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Rating
A terrific name for a horror film, only Peter Cushing saves this from being a mess.