The Body Beneath (1970)
Genre: Horror
Country: UK | Director: Andy Milligan
Language: English | Subtitles: English (Optional, embedded in mkv file)
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 | Length: 82mn
Bdrip H264 Mkv – 1280×720 – 23.976fps – 1.58gb

Reverend Alexander Algernon Ford returns to England to reopen the Old Souls Church near Carfax Abbey. But, Reverend Ford turns out to be a vampire disguising himself as a minister. With the help of three green faced ghouls and a hunchback assistant, named Spool, Reverned Ford begins to make some plans for the descendants of the Ford family. Reverend Ford gives the vampire bite to his granddaughter Anna Ford and he makes Anna drug her husband Graham Ford so the green faced ghouls can suck his blood. Reverend Ford’s cousin, Susan, is taken captive used as a breeder for vampire babies, while his quiet wife, Candace, is used as a private blood bank. Trouble starts when Susan’s boyfriend Paul tries to set her free which leads to more complicated matters for Reverend Ford.

Writer/director Andy Milligan, whose movies are usually hopelessly cheap, static and inept, here shows a surprisingly substantial amount of flair and finesse. The rough, grainy, but still fairly polished cinematography in particular is occasionally impressive. The neatly varied score alternates between lush orchestral film library music and wonky, droning, atonal synthesizer noises. The gloomy British countryside adds considerably to the spooky and decadent Gothic atmosphere. The solid acting from the competent cast rates as another sterling asset: Reed truly excels in the lead, with sturdy support from Skarvellis, Kaler, Jones, Richmond Ross as Susan’s brave, likable boyfriend Paul Donati, Susan Heard as Algernon’s fetching, reticent wife Alicia, Felicity Sentence as brassy maid Jessie, and Judith Head as fiery vampiress Elizabeth. In addition, this film takes some interesting liberties with the standard vampire lore: These bloodsuckers don’t have fangs, can walk around in the sunlight, and take regular blood transfusions to keep themselves strong. The climactic vampires’ ball is both pleasingly lavish and appropriately gruesome. Nice dark surprise ending, too. A nifty vampire horror picture.

The Body Beneath (1970)