Friday, April 15, 2016

Fiend Without a Face, Brains!

Ahhh, Manitoba!  Where the men are men and the moose...well....are a hockey team.  Today we look at a film set in Manitoba (filmed in England), "Fiend Without a Face" from 1958.  Originally Rated X in Britain (Prudes!), our movie today has slimy brain creatures and a beautiful damsel in distress (almost a gratuitous shower scene), atomic and radioactive scares, and some great clay-mation and stop-motion f/x.
The U.S. Air Force has set up a base in northern Manitoba where radar, boosted with atomic power, can keep an eye on Russian guided missiles.  Uh oh, the locals (judgmental Canucks!) are mad.  They believe the air traffic and atomic activity is hampering their milk cows. But wait, local farmers living near the base start dying. The farmers are convinced a mad G.I is responsible, but Major Cummings (Marshall Thompson) knows that isn't the case.  As the atomic activity increases, more residents assume room temperature,  Cummings is assisted by the shapely Barbara (Kim Parker), who's brother is one of the deceased.
Cummings must find out what is killing the Canucks before they shut down the base.  Cummings is introduced to Professor Walgate (Kynaston Reeves), an eccentric old chap experimenting on mind control and atomic activity (something we've all dabbled in at one time or another).  When Cummings catches Walgate breaking into a cemetery crypt (we've all done that at one time or another), he realizes that the weird professor has created something monstrous.  When the creatures do appear, they are indeed icky and scary and put the fair Barbara in much peril.  Can the good Major save Canada from a most gruesome fate?  Can his heroism get him Manitoba's only pretty woman? I'm only kidding, Manitoba is filled with sultry babes.
This is a classic B movie from the 1950s.  It capitalized on everyone's fear of radiation and atomic power.  A mad scientist is thrown in, some grave robbing, and great monsters....Perfect!  Available in great quality on YouTube, see "Fiend Without a Face."

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