Thursday, October 27

Fiend (1980) - 1983 Prism Entertainment VHS

Don Dohler's second feature, Fiend, strikes the best balance of the positive attributes I've seen from the late regional Maryland filmmaker. His sci-fi/horror mash-ups were often high on ambition and low on budget with the latter obviously cramping the material. Ambition certainly isn't a negative, but instead the aspirations of this example are kept within the budgetary spectrum (around six grand) and the result is better for it.

The best way to describe Fiend is that it's an unmistakeably average B flick; however, there's no aspect that's "bad" or embarrassing in finding a watchable middle ground. The cast is serviceable with Don Leifert as the titular fiend with glowing red hands delivering a supremely arrogant, murderous performance. Dohler's skill at editing wards off boredom and his camera tinkers with interesting angles more than in his debut The Alien Factor. Due to the strangling and beating kill method of the resurrected vampiric thug who requires blood to stave off rot, the red stuff is kept to a minimum. Fiend was also released later on VHS as Deadly Neighbor (see here).


Craig Edwards said...

I remember reading about this movie in Famous Monsters while it was in production - then I never managed to see it on VHS - finally catching up to it on DVD this century. I appreciate Dohler's efforts - they may not be great cinema, but they have *something*, and if I'd have been lucky enough to see one of those local/regional TV airings back in the day I would have been in heaven! Great post, Jayson!

Burl said...

Ha ha! Hi, Burl here! This picture seems to be getting quite a bit of attention lately! I just reviewed it myself, in fact, over on my Hi It's Burl movie review blog! I have quite a bit of admiration for Don Dohler, even if his movies aren't always completely successful! Nightbeast is a pretty good one too, as I recall! you dare tread upon the staircase?

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