[re-released by Hemisphere Pictures in 1968 as "Blood Creature"]
Director Gerardo de Leon Producers Kane W. Lynn, “Edgar F.”/Eddie Romero Writer Harry Paul Harber Music Ariston Avelino Cinematography Emmanuel I. Rojas Editor Gervacio Santos Production Design Vicente Bonus
Review by Andrew Leavold
Long before drive-in audiences were used to seeing the
That was until an enterprising American producer Kane Lynn teamed up with Eddie and Gerry to produce a bizarre variation of
Hemisphere’s greatest successes were the so-called “
This deluge of horrors, ridiculous science fiction and women-in-prison features ushered in the country’s Golden Age of Exploitation. Meanwhile, both de Leon and Romero had turned their backs on the export market they had virtually created for Filipino B-films, and from 1975 onwards made smaller, more personal “art” films in the local dialect Tagalog.
But to their first film together from 1959 - de Leon directed, with Romero and Lynn as producers, Terror Is A Man, rereleased in 1968 by Hemisphere as Blood Creature. Its plot is fantastically simple and compact - an American adventurer William Fitzgerald washes up on a Pacific beach on Blood Island (and where else could it be but part of the Philippines?), and stumbles on the clandestine operations of the very European Dr Girard (Francis Lederer) and his platinum blonde hussy of a wife Frances (played by a very flat - performance-wise - Greta Thyssen). Girard, it seems, wants Fitzgerald to witness him playing God, attempting to speed up evolution by transforming a panther into a human being. His scared wife on the other hand has a combination of cabin fever and hormonal overload, and spends most of the monsoon season flapping her impossibly heavy eyelashes at Fitzgerald.
When not killing villagers off-camera, Girard’s creature is kept under wraps - literally - for most of the film, and its final appearance as a strange whiskered thing more like a shrew than a panther man, is so much more effective than it should be thanks to de Leon’s careful camera placements and use of light and shade. In short, a great B-film made by A-grade artists.
Romero later teamed up with Ashley and the king of the
During its 1968 cinema rerelease, theatres installed a warning bell due to go off at the first appearance of the creature. In its absence, please set your mobile alarms for 70 minutes from now, as we witness the birth of