Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you, chews you
up, spits you out and then stomps on you just because it can.  Some
days, the beat can be a real dick.  That was the past several days
of my life.  Laid low as I was, the only rational treatment was to
sit back and watch a bunch of monster movies.

The Blood Beast Terror (Tigon; 1968) concerns murder most horrific
in 19th century England.  What makes it a monster movie is that the
blood-sucking killer is a were-moth.  By day, the man-made creature
appears to be the beautiful daughter of a scientist.  By night, she
is a humanoid Death’s Head moth who preys on young men smitten by
her charms. 

Tigon was Tigon British Film Productions, a film distribution and
production outfit.  They did TV movies, sexploitation films and a
bunch of horror movies. The company was founded in 1966 and, save
for a sexploitation film in 1977, seems to have released its final
movie in 1973.

The star and shining light of the film is Peter Cushing, who plays
a police inspector investigating these murders.  He’s very proper
and determined and thoughtful.  The only time he loses his cool for
even a moment is when his daughter is in jeopardy.  Of course, even the
villainous members of the cast - Robert Flemyng as the mad science
guy who creates the were-moth and Wanda Ventham as his “daughter” -
are well-mannered and well-dressed.  Watching this movie at a time
when salaciousness and sensationalism are the key components of our
entertainment, I rather enjoyed the gentleness of the era in which
the film was set.  A bit of all right there.

The were-moth is about as terrifying as a Mexican masked wrestler.
It’s a silly looking monster, crippled by what I assume was a very
low budget.  The transformation scenes, few in number, are all done
with a quick dissolve.  The were-moth attacks are glimpsed and not
clearly seen.  The carnage is modest in screen time and severity.
No surprise the movie has a “G” rating.

The script skips over how the scientist created the were-moth and
requires the audience to simply accept that he did.  In more than
a few places - such as when the scientist exhibits amazing powers
of hypnotism - I felt as if I had missed scenes.  Maybe the budget
didn’t allow them to be filmed, maybe they got left on the cutting
room floor, maybe they didn’t fit the 87-minute running time.  I’ll
have to leave that for more knowledgeable monster movie buffs than
myself.  Your comments would be most welcome.

The bottom line...The Blood Beast Terror fits nicely into my insane
passion for often-cheesy monster movies.  It entertained me and it
could have been one of the Ghoulardi-hosted monster movies shown on
Cleveland televsion when I was a lad.  I’ll probably look into acquiring
and/or borrowing other Tigon films in the future.

Side note.  Every freaking time I tried to type “Tigon,” it would
initially come out “Trigon.”  I blame Marv Wolfman and George Perez
for that...and I remember fondly the years when Teen Titans comics
weren’t the utter pieces of shit they’ve been in more recent times. 

Missing three days of work has thrown my schedule into chaos-mode,
so I’ll be continuing in short-form bloggy things for the rest of
this week.  That means no “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” tomorrow.  On the
plus side, I have received a communication from Larry Lieber, the
creator of so many great Rawhide Kid stories.  I hope to add my old
friend’s comments to future “Rawhide Kid Wednesdays.”

I’ll be back tomorrow with more monster movie mayhem.

© 2013 Tony Isabella


  1. Trivia for you: Wanda Ventham, the Weremoth, in addition to playing Col. Virginia Lake in the 1970 British TV Seriex "UFO," has gone on to become the real-life mother of "Sherlock" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" star Benedict Cumberbatch.

  2. More trivia Wanda Ventham has made three appearances in Dr Who 67, 77 & 87.

    Robert Flemyng was also a genuine WWII hero... During the war he was commissioned into the Royal Army Medical Corps and served with great distinction, reaching the rank of full colonel at the age of 33. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1941, Mentioned in Despatches, and was appointed OBE in 1944