Fiend Without a Face

Tagged: Film

Film (1957). Amalgamated/MGM. Directed by Arthur Crabtree. Written by Herbert J Leder, based on "The Thought-Monster" (March 1930 Weird Tales) by Amelia Reynolds Long. Cast includes Terence Kilburn, Peter Madden, Kim Parker, Kynaston Reeves and Marshall Thompson. 74 minutes. Black and white.

This is one of the two sf/Horror films made by Amalgamated in the UK (the other was First Man Into Space [1958], also starring Marshall Thompson) but set in North America. Fiend without a Face is much more interesting than the other, despite the absurdity of its basic premise. An elderly Scientist (Reeves) accidentally creates, with his new thought-wave amplifier, a number of creatures consisting of pure energy. Invisible at first, they commit a series of murders by sucking out their victim's brains through holes made at the base of the neck; but in the final sequences, when the creatures have trapped the protagonists in a remote house, they gradually materialize as disembodied brains with trailing spinal cords and twitching tendrils. The lunatic climax has a quality of genuine nightmare, with the brains – animated in imaginative stop-motion photography by Florenz von Nordhoff and K L Ruppel – leaping and plopping about like demonic frogs. This is the ultimate in anti-intellectual movies. [JB/PN]

see also: Monster Movies.

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