Fiend Without a Face: The Criterion Collection
Set a at a remote U.S. military base in Canada, Fiend Without a Face (1958) depicts that age-old story of a scientist's thoughts, enhanced by atomic-powered radar experiments, materializing as invisible marauders that kill character actors by boring holes in their skulls and extracting their brains and spinal cords. Wisely, the monsters don't become visible until the climax, but the payoff is worth the wait as giant antenna-sprouting brains finally materialize and fly around or inchworm themselves along with their spinal cord tails, chasing after human prey and giving new meaning to the term "brain food." It's utterly moronic, but with a tag line like "Invisible monsters suck out your brains!", what's not to love?
This Criterion Collection edition Criterion, fer chrissakes restores the film to its original length and theatrical aspect ratio of 1.66:1. The commentary track offers a spirited dialogue between executive producer Richard Gordon and genre film writer Tom Weaver. Also here are an illustrated essay on British sci-fi/horror filmmaking by film historian Bruce Eder, a gallery of rare still photographs and publicity materials narrated by Gordon and Weaver, theatrical trailers for Fiend and others in its cinematic gene pool, vintage advertising and lobby cards, and liner notes by film scholar Bruce Kawin. Keep-case.