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FIEND WITHOUT A FACE (1958) – Episode 166 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“I’m a doctor, colonel, not a detective! There’s nothing like this in the books!” No, this isn’t Star Trek’s Bones talking, but it is from a 50s sci-fi/horror classic. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Doc Rotten, and Jeff Mohr along with guest host Dave Dreher – as they try to keep their brains from being sucked out by the Fiend Without A Face (1958).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 166 – Fiend Without A Face (1958)

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A scientist’s thoughts materialize as an army of invisible brain-shaped monsters – complete with spinal cord tails – terrorize an American military base.

The Grue Crew welcome Dave Dreher as guest-host to review the sci-fi/horror 50’s monster flick, Fiend Without a Face (1958). The tagline promises “New Horrors! Mad Science Spawns Evil Fiends!” and the stop-motion animation of the fiends – a brain with antennae and a spine – delivers the goods. The script is based on Amelia Reynolds Long’s 1930s short story, “The Thought Monster,” originally published in Weird Tales magazine. A modern remake has been promised in recent times but remains as invisible as the fiends in the first two-thirds of this British B-movie classic. 

At the time of this writing, Fiend Without a Face is available for streaming from the Criterion Channel, AMC+, and PPV on Amazon and AppleTV. It is also available on physical media as a DVD from the Criterion Collection. 

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule, as chosen by Jeff, is The Frozen Dead (1966), written and directed by Herbert J. Leder and starring Dana Andrews and iced Nazis. Yes, it’s back-to-back Leder!

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To each of you from each of them, “Thank you so much for watching and listening!” 

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.