Terror Is a Man aka Blood Creature – Philippines | USA, 1959

‘A unique experience in motion picture terror!’

Terror Is a Man aka Blood Creature is a 1959 Filipino-American science fiction horror feature film directed by Gerardo de Leon [as Gerry de Leon] and [uncredited] Eddie Romero from a screenplay by Paul Harber [as Harry Paul Harber]. It is an uncredited version of H.G. Wells’ 1896 novel The Island of Dr. Moreau. The Lynn-Romero production stars Francis Lederer, Greta Thyssen and Richard Derr.

On November 13, 2018, Severin Films released Terror Is a Man on Blu-ray from a new 4K scan from a fine-grain print recently discovered at the UCLA Film Archive and presented totally uncut, including its “bell system for the squeamish and faint-hearted!”

Special features:

  • Man Becomes Creature: Interview with Hemisphere Marketing Consultant Samuel M. Sherman
  • Dawn of Blood Island: Interview with Co-Director Eddie Romero
  • Terror Creature: Interview with Pete Tombs, Co-Author of Immoral Tales
    When The Bell Rings: Interview with Critic Mark Holcomb
  • Trailer
  • Poster & Still Gallery

Severin Films also included Terror Is a Man on Blu-ray as part of their Blood Island Collection of Filipino horror movies along with Brides of Blood; Mad Doctor of Blood Island and Beast of Blood.

Plot:

The survivor of a shipwreck is washed ashore on a small island where a scientist is experimenting on a panther in an effort to make it human…

Reviews:

Terror Is a Man is one of those movies that really benefits from having been shot in black and white; for one thing, day-for-night always looks better in monochrome, and there’s quite a lot of that here. But at least as important is how far all the deep, dark shadows go toward establishing the somber, oppressive mood that director Gerry De Leon endeavors to create.” Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

“Much time is spent dealing with the heated love triangle that unfolds (which is done in a surprisingly mature way) and it’s rather lightweight for a creature feature, with minimal action and violence, but I still quite enjoyed this one. The monster doesn’t really get to do much of what we expect it to…” The Bloody Pit of Horror

“A landmark exploiter with a dark noir mood and some genuine scares!” DVD Drive-In

” …off-beat doesn’t seem like the right way to explain it; it’s not what happens that is unusual, it’s how it is handled. It almost seems like it isn’t trying to be a horror movie; the characters are fleshed out quietly and subtly, and it refuses to make easy moral statements or decisions.” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“Pretty nasty for 1959, but the face-grafting in the same year’s Eyes Without a Face leaves it in the dust. Generally this is much better than your average drive-in monster fare and deserves the attention it has garnered from dedicated late night TV viewers. The beginning is a bit talky, but once things get in gear, this is a lot of fun.” Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

The middle of the film does develop an interesting subplot about the castaway hero engaging in an affair with the Dr Moreau figure’s wife… De Leon also keeps the face of the creature carefully hidden behind bandages for the most part, which creates some build up, although its eventual unleashing is only a routine monster amok climax.” Richard Scheib, Moria

“I wonder if the titles actually refers to the main monster, or maybe to what the mankind can do? Smart and cool, intelligent and far from the usual exploitation.” Ninja Dixon

“The original and best Filipino horror film.” Michael J. Weldon, The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film

” …unlike the original, the focus here is on the terrible burden his work has laid on his wife, her conscience, and on everyone around him. We see little of the creature, and then mostly wrapped up in bandages like a mummy.  Which is probably just as well.” Rivets on the Poster

“There’s some nice, shadowy atmosphere that helps us look past the fact that the picture was obviously made fast and cheap. The cinematography in the film is definitely better than you might expect. The score works quite well, and the movie is pretty quick in its pacing once we get past the slower first reel of the film.” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!

“The first and best Filipino horror film, this grim variation on The Island of Dr. Moreau is better than you’d imagine. Dank photography and good acting beef up this talky flick, which finally bursts into action in the last half hour.” James O’Neill, Terror on Tape

“Thyssen is fetching as Girard’s tormented wife, and Derr is sympathetic as the castaway caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Not to be outdone, Lederer is a hoot as the crazy egghead out to make a name for himself.” The Terror Trap

Cast and characters:

  • Francis Lederer … Doctor Charles Girard – Night Gallery TV series; The Return of Dracula
  • Greta Thyssen … Frances Girard – Journey to the Seventh Planet
  • Richard Derr … William Fitzgerald – Project U.F.O. TV series; The Outer Limits TV series; Lights Out TV series; When Worlds Collide; Tales of Tomorrow TV series
  • Oscar Keesee … Walter Perrera – Brides of Blood
  • Lilia Duran … Selene
  • Peyton Keesee … Tiago, the Boy
  • Flory Carlos … Beast-Man

Filming locations:

  • Corregidor Island, Cavite City, Cavite, Philippines
  • Premier Production Studios, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Some image credits: The Telltale Mind

Related:

The Island of Doctor Moreau – novel by H.G. Wells, 1896

Island of Lost Souls – USA, 1932

Brides of Blood – Philippines, 1968

Mad Doctor of Blood Island – Philippines/USA, 1968

Beast of Blood aka Blood Devils – Philippines, 1970

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