Drive-In Dust Offs: Fiend Without A Face (1958)

In the 1950s, independent film was just as keen to stick its nose in the atomic blender as the Hollywood big boys. Of course, budget restrictions frequently left most of the monsters wanting, be they big or small. But sometimes a shot of quirk was enough to stand apart from the Tinseltown terrors. I give you Fiend Without a Face (1958), a low budget romp content with showing less until it has to show it all, with giddy results.

Produced by British company Amalgamated Productions and distributed by MGM (in the States), Fiend was sent out on a double bill with The Haunted Strangler, a Boris Karloff vehicle. With a combined budget of 130,000 pounds, the double feature brought in domestic and international receipts of over $ 650,000 dollars, filmic diplomacy at its finest.

Filmed in Britain but taking place in Winthrop (?), Manitoba, Canada (never heard of the town, and if I haven’t drank in it,
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Fred Fetes a Fiend Without a Face

Fred Fetes a Fiend Without a Face
By Fred Burdsall

Fiend Without a Face first started out as a story that appeared in Weird Tales (possibly the best fantasy/horror fiction magazine ever) back in 1930 as “The Thought Monster” by Amelia Reynolds Long. The film’s director, Arthur Crabtree, also gave us Horrors of the Black Museum in 1959.

A lone sentry on patrol hears a crunching, slurping sound in the woods and goes to investigate. A farmer out checking on his cows in the early morning is attacked and the sentry arrives seconds later to find a dead man and no sign of the killer. Official cause of death: Heart Failure. The Air Force wants to do an autopsy but his daughter, Barbara (Kim Parker), won’t allow it and hands the body over to the local authorities.

The Adams farm comes under attack and the old couple die as horribly as Farmer Griselle did. The Air
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