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The finale is a siege of a house by the fiends, which swarm en masse making unsettling brain-sucking sounds, and are bloodily done away with by the heroes. Using excellent stop-motion animation, this climax goes beyond silliness and manages to be genuinely nightmarish. The orgy of splattering brains stands proud among the cinema's first attempts at genuine horror-comic glee, setting a precedent for everything from The Evil Dead to Peter Jackson's Braindead. Marshall Thompson is a bland, stolid uniformed hero and most of the rest of the cast struggle with "anadian" accents, but Kynaston Reeves is fun as the decrepit lone researcher whose fault it all is.
On the DVD: Fiend Without a Face on disc comes with a montage of scenes from other films in this batch of releases (The Day of the Triffids, The Stars Look Down) that plays automatically when the disc is inserted, but otherwise not even a trailer, much less the commentary track and other material found on the pricey but luxurious US Region 1 Criterion release. The print has nice contrasts but is pretty grainy. --Kim Newman