An astronaut is killed on reentry to Earth, but his body is seeded with rapidly gestating aliens.
“No girl was safe as long as this head-hunting thing roamed the land!”
As anyone who knows me can attest, I am a fan of Roger Corman. He was the executive producer of Night of the Blood Beast (1958), but it was his brother, Gene Corman, who wore the main producer’s hat. They made a number of films together. If memory serves me correctly, Roger brought his brother Gene into the business. Roger, of course, would go on to produce more than 500 films. Gene only did about 36, but that’s still more than most of us will ever do.
I don’t tend to think of Night of the Blood Beast (1958) as a Roger Corman film, even though he was involved on some level. I think of it as a Gene Corman movie. And while I don’t want to say anything disparaging about Gene Corman, I feel that Night of the Blood Beast is a cut or two below most of Roger’s films.
Don’t get me wrong. Gene produced some fine films in his time, including Paul Bartel’s Private Parts (1972), which I find irresistible. He also produced Cool Breeze (1972) which features one of my favourite soundtracks of all time.
Night of the Blood Beast (1958), however, does not really distinguish itself it any way (although I did find the organ music on the soundtrack quite listenable). It’s a very short movie, at about 62 minutes, and still it feels a little long. This could be because it’s mainly talking.
Again, don’t get me wrong. I love many talky movies, like My Dinner with Andre (1981), which is essentially all talking. But it’s brilliant, fascinating talking. Night of the Blood Beast, however, is… well… Let’s just say it’s no My Dinner with Andre (1981).
Night of the Blood Beast does contain many elements that I love about #NotQuiteClassicCinema. It’s a combination of science fiction and horror, it features a monster, it seems to predict movies like Alien (1979) in a very basic way. It could easily have been one of the movies that I watched many years ago on Not Quite Classic Theatre. I don’t think it was, but it could have been. I can’t really say that anyone should go out of their way to watch it – and I doubt very much that I will again – but if you stumble upon it late one night, and you’ve got nothing better to do, you might want to consider giving it a shot.
It wouldn’t be a good opener, and I wouldn’t suggest ending your movie marathon with it, but it certainly wouldn’t be the worst way to pass the time between two better movies on a #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn.
— Angus Kohm (@AngusKohm) June 10, 2023