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Ropey old British horror...

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Posted 22nd April 2009 at 05:31 PM by Sam@Cult Labs

The Blood Beast Terror





A shaky but fun slice of British Schlock from the Tigon studio, who brought such classics as Witchfinder General and Blood On Satan's Claw to the screen. Although this cheap programmer isn't in the same league as those movies, it's still a good watch for fans of the ropier end of Brit horror thanks to the ridiculous concept of a "were-moth" on a killing rampage, combined with Peter Cushing, as ever remaining quietly dignified despite the stupidity going on around him.

When a series of grisly murders starts taking place in the English countryside, a police inspector has to deal with more than he bargained for, as the killings are being carried out by something altogether not human, a fact that is born out by the finding of scaly skin fragments at the crime scenes. It turns out that the local mad scientist has a daughter that can't help turning into a great killer moth with a thirst for human blood. Poor lamb!

Prepare yourself for one of the maddest looking movie monsters this side of 50s trashfest 'Robot Monster'! This film is more of a footnote in UK horror than a classic but for Hammer film fans looking to explore 60s British horror from other sources, this is an enjoyable piece of B movie hokum.

Island of Terror





A small island community is plagued by blob-like monsters with sticky tentacles which turn a victims bones into liquid. After the alien fiends have feasted on the marrow, the bodies are left looking like rubbery husks. The local policeman is baffled and calls in an eminent pathologist from London (Peter Cushing) to try and help.

It turns out that those pesky scientists have been at it again. A cancer researcher and his team have met a terrible fate after accidentally creating a new life form during their experiments, from a silicon atom. This bone sucking horror dealt death to its creators and then headed off to feed on the islanders.

This low budget sci-fi horror yarn was directed by long-term Hammer man Terence Fisher, who had left the company to work freelance. Among his project were a trio of alien invasion movies for Planet Films that included this movie alongside Night of the Big Heat and The Earth Dies Screaming. Although Fisher worked best in the gothic horror genre his Sci-Fi efforts are still worth a look. The slimy beasts move a little slowly to feel threatening, a fault in many so called scary movies and the plot and dialogue can get a little silly on occasion but for fans of Quatermass and other low budget British fantasy cinema will enjoy this.

The Devil's Men



A group of foolhardy kids go missing in a complex of caves beneath a ruined pagan temple while holidaying in Greece. Donald Pleasence plays the local priest who, concerned because several other people has gone strangely missing in the past few weeks, enlists the help of a Private investigator friend of his to find the youngsters. The hunt uncovers the twisted schemes of a powerful landowner who heads up a powerful demonic cult who kidnap and sacrifice tourists before a statue of a man eating Minotaur.

Truly woeful mid 70s dreck, this wastes the talents of Pleasence and Peter Cushing as the devilish landowner in a hodge podge of diverting satanic drivel. A typical low budget effort enlivened by a great cast, it doesn't hang together but dumb movie fans will love seeing the hero blowing up Satanists by flinging holy water over them! Aficionados of trashy flicks will have a field day with this cheesy movie but lovers of more professional, tightly scripted, quality horror films might be disappointed.
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