Fiend Without a Face (1958)

I watched the British, Amalgamated Production, Mayer Goldwyn Mayer’s 1958 horror movie “A Fiend Without a Face” on Svengoolie. Experimenting with telekinetic powers, enhanced by a nearby nuclear power plant, Professor R. E. Walgate succeeds in creating another kind of life form. After escaping his laboratory murders start to occur and Air Force Major Jeff Cummings arrives to investigate. The weirdest thing is that the murdering fiend is invisible!

Amelia Reynolds Long, short story, “The Thought-Monster” was published in the 1930 issue of Weird Tales. This story was adapted for the movie by screenwriter by Herbert J. Leder (he produced the Loretta Young Show and Meet the Press, taught cinematography and Film Theory, wrote Pretty Boy Floyd, Nine Miles to Noon, The Frozen Dead, It!, The Candy Man). “Fiend Without a Face” was produced by Richard Gordon (The Electric Monster, Corridors of Blood, First Man Into Space, The Playgirls and the Vampire, Devil Doll, Naked Evil, Island of Terror, Tower of Evil, Horror Hospital).

 Arthur Crabtree (The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Ivanhoe, Horrors of the Black Museum) was the director after the original choice, screenwriter Leder could not obtain a British work Visa.

He took one look at the script and said that he didn’t do monster films and walked out. So the films star, Marshall Thompson (The Rose Bowl Story, The Caddy, Port of Hell, Cult of the Cobra, It!

The Terror from Beyond Space, First Man into Space, Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion, Around the World Under the Sea, McBain) directed for 3 days until Crabtree changed his mind.

We’re facing a new form of life that nobody understands. I believe it feeds on the radiation from your atomic plant…and that it’s EVIL!

Professor R. E. Walgate (Fiend Without a Face)

The Professor is played by Kynaston Reeves (British actor usually portraying authority figures, such as judges, doctors, professors and clergymen), Michael Balfour (toured in the circus as a clown, Sink the Bismark!, Too Hot to Handle,

Fahrenheit 451, The Oblong Box, Axis Chemicals scientist i the 1989 Batman movie), Kim Parker (Fire Maidens of Outer Space, A Man Without a Body) and Terry Kilburn (Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Swiss Family Robinson, Only the Valiant)

…horrific climax, good special effects.

Leonard Maltin (Reviewer)

The movie was set in Canada but entirely filmed in England. U.S. stock aviation footage was used to lengthen the short runtime of 77 minutes. The movie was rated “X”, at the time, by the British Board of Film Censors.

I liked the movie, for its type and age it is done pretty well. I’ll give it 3 out of 5 stars. For more information read Wikipedia, IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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