October 22, 2016
Fiend Without a Face.
Review #853: Fiend Without a Face.
Marshall Thompson (Major Jeff Cummings), Kynaston Reeves (Professor R. E. Walgate), Michael Balfour (Sergeant Kasper), Kim Parker (Barbara Griselle), Terry Kilburn (Captain Al Chester), Gil Winfield (Captain Warren, M.D.), Shane Cordell (Nurse), and Stanley Maxted (Colonel G. Butler) Directed by Arthur Crabtree.
This was an independent movie made in England (though set in Canada) based upon the short story "The Thought Monster" by Amelia Reynolds Long, about an invisible life form that feeds upon atomic power...and brains. As hokey as this could have been, there is a sort of enjoyment in watching stop motion effects being utilized with this invisible "fiend", and a plot that moves fairly quick...which does indeed have monsters carried by thoughts. There is something interesting about this invisible monster and that strange sound it makes when moving around and stalking these people, which is slightly amusing but also clever. Thompson isn't too bad of a lead, being as fine as the movie allows him to be. The rest of the cast is alright, though the real fun is the climax, where they battle the monsters. The last 15 minutes is when the movie gets really interesting, in part because of the fact that the monsters become visible...as brains with spinal cords. The movie never comes off as too serious or ridiculous, falling around the middle with enough sense to let itself be and show some wonder and delightful horror, especially when one of the monsters gets hit with a hammer. There's just something weird and wild about this climax that just makes for so much fun, much like good b-movies do. The liquid effects are also pretty clever, in a movie that manages to be nifty and workable in being a serviceable atomic flick workable for anyone.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.