Fiend Without a Face

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Fiend Without a Face

Post  BoG on Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:32 pm

What's that sound? Is it, perhaps, the sound of your brain being sucked out? Try to imagine that sound; well, you don't have to imagine it - not if you watch this delightful little film on the possible problems of introducing a new lifeform to our planet.

ABOVE: Townfolk are worried; a Professor Walgate tries to explain his interesting theories; Marshall T. goes exploring
The place is the U.S.-Canadian border; a conflict soon arises between the military personnel of a radar base and the locals. You see, strange deaths have occurred; we, the audience, have the privilege of witnessing these, along with the ghastly sound effects [sort of a 'thump-thump>sluurpp' kind of vibe]. These are invisible creatures, apparently. Initial blame is on atomic fallout and there's even talk of jets flying overhead, causing cows to behave strangely.
But, it's none of the above.  No, instead, a local professor ends up offering a long explanation on his theories of thought materialization. Seems like he, uh, materialized a lot more than anyone would have wanted.


The film is creepy enough until this point - these little killers can't be seen and can therefore sneak up on people easily enough. Then the local nuclear reactor's power is boosted and the things become visible. They appear to be moving brains, with brain stems attached. Their only desire is to fling themselves at people and try to suck their brains out, usually via the back of the neck. The final battle is an intense, early example of bloody, grisly cinema at work. Bullets CAN kill these things, thankfully, and they tend to expire with a lot of blood oozing out. All this cinematic wonder is accomplished with stop-motion animation - not quite up to Harryhausen standards, but effective in its own little, creepy way.
Marshall shoots at Kim Parker as she exits the shower (just kidding). Whatever happened to Parker, anyway?
The most disturbing scene for me, however, was at the midway point, when a local tough guy gets half his brain sucked out (see photo above). He ends up severely mentally deficient - it's a truly unsettling, uncomfortable moment and a further reminder of the dangers posed by radical science and scientists (according to this film, at least). BoG's Score: 8 out of 10. Some of these concepts, sounds and creature FX were copied by the British Sci-Fi Horror film Island of Terror (1966), another stab at science-created monsters.