Fiend Without A Face

Rating 3

Directed by Arthur Crabtree

Written by Herbert J Leder, based on a story by Amelia Reynolds Long

Starring Marshall Thompson, Kim Parker, Stanley Maxted, Terry Kilburn, Kynaston Reeves, Peter Madden and Robert MacKenzie

When the inhabitants of a small Canadian town start to suffer horrible deaths, attention is directed towards a nearby American airbase, where secret experiments are being conducted to harness atomic power for use in a new radar system. Major Jeff Cummings (Marshall Thompson) is given the task of investigating the events, aided by Barbara Griselle (Kim Parker), the sister of the first victim of the mysterious killer, and he begins to suspect a connection to Professor R E Walgate (Kynaston Reeves), a retired atomic scientist.

This 1958 sci-fi movie was shot in England, although many of the cast and crew were American and Canadian. It bears some comparison to ‘Forbidden Planet’, although it certainly does not share the ambition of that great film. The stop-motion special effects are at once both laughable and endearing – and, truth be told, strangely effective.

Generally speaking, the acting is what might be expected in a b-movie like this one, clearly intended for the American drive-in circuit. However, the performance of Robert MacKenzie as the local constable stands out as being hilariously bad.

Anyone who likes 1950s sci-fi / horror films won’t go too far wrong with ‘Fiend Without A Face’. It gets the job done.

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