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