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The Blood Beast Terror (1967) | Horror hokum with Peter Cushing and a giant moth

1967’s The Blood Beast Terror is a schlocky gothic melodrama from Hammer’s horror rival, Tigon Pictures, starring the iconic Peter Cushing and TV’s UFO star Wanda Ventham (better known today as Benedict Cumberbatch’s mum).

The mystery, which actually feels like a Sherlock Holmes adventure, finds Ventham playing Clare, the buxom daughter of entomologist Dr Carl Mallinger (Robert Flemying), who can transform herself into a giant bloodsucking moth. Peter Cushing plays vacationing Scotland Yard DI Quennell who cuts short his holiday to investigate the deaths of young men found drained of blood. And it’s not long before Quennell starts putting two and two together…

Thanks to the film’s sterling performances (despite Cushing and Flemying hating the movie), Paul Ferris’ creepy sound score (he also did the brilliant Witchfinder General) and period setting (most of which is shot at Grim’s Dyke House in Harrow, North London – a location which also saw Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price film there in the late 1960s), I have a real soft spot for this 1967 piece of horror hokum.

Courtesy of Odeon Entertainment (aka Screenbound) the film has been remastered on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK, which is a welcomed improvement on my old VHS copy and way better than the prints currently showing on TV. Also included on the release is an interview with Wanda Ventham, theatrical trailer and stills gallery.

A might see. This really is only for Peter Cushing completists or those wanting to see what Benedict’s mum looks like.



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