Fiend Without A Face
The early days of Criterion DVDs were the wild west, where canonical art film classics like The Seventh Seal and The 400 Blows coexisted peacefully with B-movie masterpieces like Equinox. That’s not to say their modern catalog isn’t diverse, just that they hadn’t quite solidified into the art-house, top of the line entity they are now, known far and wide to every movie buff. Their release of Fiend Without A Face- an incredibly weird, surprisingly gory for the time sci-fi/horror cheese-fest- is a product of them testing the waters in a new form of media and a new era of movie watching. Not that I’m complaining (heck, I’d love more b-movie oddities like this or the ones on the Monsters and Madmen boxset), as it’s a wonderful and strange little thriller about invisible brains with legs who feed on or are made from radiation assaulting an American town. The creature effects are really cool, and the tone is serious enough that people being choked out by the brainstems of sentient cerebellum monsters actually registers as frightening and not goofy (ok, it’s a little goofy, but enjoyably so). For anyone into the atomic terror subgenre of classic b-movies, it’s a can’t miss proposition. For anyone not into that, what’s wrong with you?