Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fiend - 1980

Fiend is traveling back to the known and loved director Don Dohler of The Galaxy Invader, Nightbeast, and The Alien Factor fame.  I'm on my fourth helping of Dohler sci fi, and I will be coming back for more in the way of Blood Massacre and Alien Factor II.  Check out his IMDb page here.  Dohler is definitely not a household name, but I do wonder about what his notoriety in Maryland back in the 80's.  I wonder if people knew about him there, he might've been a local celebrity or something for all I know.

Backwoods creativity is Dohler's trademark.  It's this type of thinking that I do love, the minimalism and the direct approach.  Having next to no budget and not a lot of real actors didn't stop Dohler from directing his films, he plodded on and made 'em anyways, and you can see the love here.  You know by watching these that these were made by someone who loved the idea, who was committed to the film, and who wasn't in it for any reason other than pure love.  That's pretty cool I think.

I guess I've always appreciated the DIY approach, and that's why I can see a 50's movie that a lot of people might hate, and I rate it highly.  Again, this movie has no conventional attraction.  If your favorite movie is The Lord of the Rings, if you love modern summer blockbusters, you probably will not get one stitch of entertainment out of this one.  I'm not saying I have a better taste than other people here, I'm just stating that the tempo and the type of movie this is isn't gonna appeal to everyone.

Fiend is a lot slower than most of the Dohler films I've seen.  It's a murder mystery with a sci fi twist, and the kind of "murder mystery" where we the audience know whodunnit but the movie character don't.  Suffice to say that the movie was decent, and I think it was paced well enough.  It was the weakest link in the chain of Dohler films I've seen thus so far, which I will definitely attribute to the change in pacing.

In the beginning, which I loved, a weird orange alien being flies into a graveyard and raises a mustachioed dude from the grave.  He kills a nearby girl, and we see that it revitalizes him, makes him heal.  He also glows orange while doing this.  So basically, he kills people = he stays alive.

Then comes the biggest problem with the movie and a major plothole.  The character raised from the grave, Mr. Longfellow, is next seen living in a neighborhood with his own music academy, employees, and piano lessons, and all.  So exactly how much time has passed here?!  He gets a house, his own business, he makes anough money to live alone, he has a very successful business all in what, a few days?  Keep in mind from what we see, it looks like he has to kill someone every single day just to stay alive himself.  And it's pretty much only women that he can get energy from.  So where are the 300 or so women that he had to off in order to establish himself in this situation?

Well as it turns out, the bodies of a few local women do turn up, and Longfellow's neighbors Gary and Marsha Kender are freaked out.  Gary begins to quietly suspect Longfellow when a dead girl turns up right behind his house.  Also, Gary goes to an occult bookstore and picks up a book on witchcraft, which he reads and discovers the entry on fiends, which sound a lot like Longfellow's traits.  It also points him towards a recently deceased music teacher a few towns over who might have something in common with Longfellow.

Eh.  It was ok.  Like I said, a lot slower, and it's not the first Dohler film I'd show to anyone.  It isn't enough blood, effects, or interest to keep the casual viewer interested.  It's for completionists only.  The beginning is good, the actors are good, even the music is fine, it's just the mystery never exists, so mostly it's watching very badly written Gary Kender trying to put together the pieces about Longfellow, who constantly drinks wine and sits around looking wannabe scary.

I'll give in 2 stars for trying.

No comments:

Post a Comment