Fiend Without a Face (1958)

fiend without a face poster 1958 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun monsters

Convoluted story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Fiend Without a Face

Studio:  Producers Associates/Amalgamated Productions

Genre(s):  Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  May 29, 1958

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

fiend without a face marshall thompson kim parker

Hey…a little monster fighting has me wanting to ask you out on a date!

A creature is hunting the U.S. Air Force Interceptor Command Experimental Station No. 6 at the border of Canada and the United States.  While the people of the nearby town suspect radiation from the base, the military find themselves the target of the angry town member who blame the military for the deaths.  Air Force Major Jeff Cumming (Marshall Thompson) begins to investigate the potential killers…and prime suspect could be Professor R.E. Walgate (Kynaston Reeves).  Teaming with Walgate’s assistant, Barbara Griselle (Kim Parker) seeks the truth…no matter how horrifying it may be!

Directed by Arthur Crabtree, Fiend Without a Face is a British science-fiction horror B-Movie.  The film is an adaptation of “The Thought Monster” by Amelia Reynolds Long which was published in Weird Tales (March 1930).  The movie was released as a double-feature with The Haunted Strangler.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #92).

fiend without a face brain monster attack

If I only had a brain!!!

Fiend Without a Face was kind of tricky to track down since unlike a lot of other Criterion titles, it isn’t a “classic” nor is it very well regarded.  Fortunately, I did find it and though it is rather simple, I enjoyed it.

The story is pretty classic science-fiction horror blend.  It features an unseen monster that is murderous and kills arbitrarily.  The problem of the movie is that the science fiction gets a little jargon-y as the explanation of the creature (or it turns out creatures) is revealed.  It leads to an almost Night of the Living Dead battle against brain creatures.

The cast is very average.  Marshall Thompson is a strange lead and the movie introduces multiple characters that kind of diffuses him as the lead.  As the only lead woman in the cast, Kim Parker becomes a bit of a scream queen, but her character actually is smarter than most of the other characters in that she can follow the professor’s experiments.  Kynaston Reeves is the generic professor who spits out garble (and has possibly the lamest death in the movie).

fiend without a face brain attack kynaston reeves

For being a genius professor, he sure went out like a chump

The movie features some rather innovative effects in the last act.  The creature is finally revealed to be a brain with stalk eyes and a prehensile tail that it strangles with.  The creature is done in stop motion and there are surprisingly a lot of scenes with them.  The movie exceeds in its effects.

Fiend Without a Face is a fun short under-seen movie.  With some clever effects, it lifts itself above the humdrum story and stock characters.  The movie shows origins for other movies like The Evil Dead and Equinox which also went the low-budget but visually intensive route.  The Fiend might take your breath away…but probably not.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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