In Victorian England, Inspector Quennell (Peter Cushing) of Scotland Yard is assigned to investigate a spate of grisly deaths in the countryside where all the young male victims have had their throats torn open and their blood drained.
His investigations lead him to Clare House – the country mansion home of renowned entomologist Dr Carl Mallinger (Robert Flemyng). It transpires that the doctor has been conducting a series of experiments to breed a gigantic carnivorous Deathshead moth, which has been killing the young men to feed on their blood.
The moth can transform into the form of a beautiful woman, who Mallinger passes off as his daughter, Clare (Wanda Ventham).
Roy Hudd makes his screen debut as the local undertaker. Glynn Edwards (later to find fame as Winchester Club barman Dave in Minder) appears as Quennell’s local plod backup, Sgt Allan.
This ultra-low-budget affair from Tigon (a low-rent Hammer wannabe) suffers from a ridiculous plot, a poor script, wooden acting (Cushing excepted, of course) and terrible special effects. Peter Cushing considered it to be the worst of his films. He took the role to help pay for medical treatment for his wife, Helene, who died of emphysema in 1971.
John Scott Martin