There’s a particular streak of fun mixed in with the requisite thrills and chills in talented and prolific writer-director Dustin Ferguson’s Moon of the Blood Beast; and how could there not be a little wink and guffaw from the filmmakers to their audience with such a delicious title, I ask you? The film easily stands up with other genre films of Days Past such as Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Werewolves on Wheels. These are all films that ask you to turn off your brain power, grab a cold one and sit back and relax to a story that requires absolutely no mental gymnastics. After all, not every film can be – or needs to be – The Last Emperor, Out of Africa or (gulp) Yentl. Sometimes it’s just enough to watch a movie and have a fun time doing it. If that’s the sort of experience you crave Gentle Reader, then Moon of the Blood Beast is your new obsession.
Set in a tiny coastal town (shades of John Carpenter’s The Fog), Moon of the Blood Beast deals with townspeople besieged by an awful secret: Every ten years the town must offer up blood sacrifices in order to appease and placate a dark entity known as the titular Blood Beast. Of course, we all know about the potential downsides to deals with the devil and Ferguson’s gory fright-fest is almost presented here as a cautionary tale: Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. “It” in this Joe Williamson produced gem is the longstanding understanding between the villagers and the nigh mythical creature that, in exchange for their sacrifices, they and their town will fall under the protection of the Blood Beast who sees to it that the provincial people are not bothered by the so-called outside world.
Moon of the Blood Beast boasts an electric and eclectic cast: Alan Maxson (known for his directing and acting skills) here pulls acting duty as the Blood Beast, hitting many high notes and proving why he’s a talented force to be reckoned with. Ditto Dawna Lee Heising, Mike Ferguson, Vida Ghaffari, Julie Anne Prescott and a veritable solid actor’s ensemble that lack of space precludes me from listing completely off. Suffice it to say that everyone involved with this feature is playing at the tip top of their respective games and having a great time doing it.
More than anything else, the film is a wonky and fun throwback to the halcyon days of Roger Corman and William Castle and serves as a reminder of all the beautiful things that certain movies of the past were even as it promises a fresh and unique take on a genre staple that some of us fretted was getting rusty. Moon of the Blood Beast says otherwise and does so with flourish and mucho aplomb.
So grab a cold Billy Beer pardner, turn down the Funiculi table lamp and settle back for a rip-roarin’ rollercoaster of a seventy minute ride and enjoy Dustin Ferguson’s scary-fun Moon of the Blood Beast…It’s a howling good time!
Moon of the Blood Beast is available on DVD courtesy of the fine folks at SoCal Cinema Studios. Tell ‘em Vents sent ya!