Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Blood Beast Terror - 1968

Really, just don't know what to say about this one.  You know how some movies have the trailer look way better than the movie, or the poster look amazing, or whatever?  Well this one is kind of like that, except the synopsis is the thing that sounds awesome.  Something is attacking people, draining them of their blood, and leaving their discarded bodies all over the British countryside.  It's up to Peter Cushing as a police detective to find out what it is and stop it.  And what does he find, but a giant fucking were-moth, a girl who turns into an insanely weird moth, and attacks everyone.

Well, that sounds great, you've got 1) good actor 2) giant were-moth 3) a body count.  But is it great?  I don't know.  I guess my point in starting the review this way is that I kind of found it not-so-great.  And not just because of the moth monster lady.  That may have actually been the best part because it was actually a neat little costume, not believable at all mind you, just neat.  The transformation scene sucks of course, they just kind of superimpose the moth costumed thing over the girl as she fades and then wa-bam, were-moth.

There are a few things I liked about this movie.  Number one was Peter Cushing's daughter character, Clare.  She comes along with him to investigate the terror, seemingly just because she can.  It is not really made super clear as to why he'd take her along, other than that he's pretending to be undercover, and she'll help that cover.  But it's really just an excuse to up the character count, and to put her in mild danger later.  But she is written pretty well, she seems very human, and the interaction between her and Cushing seems very natural, very realistic.  Another thing about this relationship is that though he is her father and obviously wants to protect her, he has no issues with her spending time with a local young man.  He's not the typical overprotective police dad.

Another thing I liked was the morgue attendant, played by Roy Hudd.  He is a weirdo, totally off in his own world, talking nonsense, constantly eating food.  There's a great little scene where he's setting up his dinner, and it's literally right next to a dead body's feet, his mug of beer is between the body's legs and the cloth over the body is right by his plate.  He's just a random, quirky little guy, who you have to wonder about because he's just so strange.  He also has one of those really, really British accents, whereas some of the other characters are just regular-British.

But that's mostly it.  The movie moves along at your typical 60's-70's slow pace, the blood is very minimal, and not well done, and the threat from the moth is very under-developed.  One thing that really didn't work was that we see the deaths coming from so far out that you never really are surprised or intrigued when it happens.  The only thing that keeps you watching is that maybe you'll see the moth.

One more thing about the plot, the doctor who is creating these moth-monsters, Dr. Mallinger, is not given a reason really, and he also abruptly changes his mind about the moth monster near the end.  It doesn't really work.  He's not played as crazy, rather he's very sane.  So why did he create a moth woman to begin with?  And when she started to need human blood, that was okay?  And then, when she keeps needing human blood, and kills the gardener, that's the last straw?  Why?  Was the gardener just like, one too many kills?  It's a bit of a plot hole.  He has been working on a second moth too, a cool looking prop that hangs from cobweb-looking things.
So then when he turns into a good guy, he kills this creation by throwing a liquid on it.  A liquid that instantly ignites??  There was not match thrown, no torch, nothing, just instant flames.  Neato.

Well, I won't go on too much more.  it definitely is not a classic, nor is it even necessarily good.  it just is what it is.  I'll give it 2 stars, or something.

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