Sunday, January 17, 2010

Monster of the Week... Fiends!

imagine psychokinetic experiments done with atomic energy... imagine something going really really wrong...

Fiend Without A Face (1958) is a genuinely creepy and eerie and scary movie.  it's even succeeds when the monster finally become visible, due to some excellent stop-motion effects and nice full size props.

of course, the fiends are invisible for the first 2/3 of the movie, attacking people and sucking their brains out with some of the grossest sound effects you could possibly imagine.  I saw the first part of this movie when I was quite young, and since there was no visible monster I wasn't that interested.

probably just as well, since it would have freaked me out to no end at age 7 or 8, especially given the nasty and gory "deaths" of the brains when they finally attack our heroes en masse.

the animation by Ruppel & Nordhoff
really makes the fiends unusual, and helps make the movie stand out.  it's the surrealism that does it, though at the time they thought this was the most "realistic" effect they could offer.  this film has been released by Criterion and is an excellent disc.

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