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Curse of the Faceless Man [Import]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Anderson, Elaine Edwards, Adele Mara, Luis Van Rooten, Gar Moore
  • Directors: Edward L. Cahn
  • Writers: Jerome Bixby
  • Producers: Edward Small, Robert E. Kent
  • Format: Black & White, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Cheezy Flicks Ent
  • Release Date: Oct. 25 2005
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B0009MKA0E
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b597dbc) out of 5 stars 70 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b102264) out of 5 stars Entombed for eons - turned to stone - seeking women, women, women! Nov. 29 2005
By cookieman108 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What can be said about Curse of the Faceless Man (1958) that hasn't already been said? Apparently a lot, since I be the first to review it on the Amazon website...written by Jerome Bixby (It! The Terror from Beyond Space, Fantastic Voyage) and directed by schlockmeister extraordinaire Edward L. Cahn (The She-Creature, Dragstrip Girl, Invasion of the Saucer Men), the film stars Richard Anderson, whom most in my generation would recognize as Oscar Goldman from the mid 70s television series "The Six Million Dollar Man" (you're doing that bionic sound effect in your head right now, aren't you? Me too...). Also appearing is Elaine Edwards (Guns, Girls, and Gangsters, The Bat), Adele Mara (Sands of Iwo Jima, The Black Whip), Luis Van Rooten (The Big Clock, Boston Blackie's Chinese Venture), Felix Locher (Hell Ship Mutiny, Frankenstein's Daughter), Jan Arvan (The Sign of Zorro, The Poseidon Adventure), and Gar Moore (Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff).

As the movie begins we see a miniature volcano spewing forth its molten, steamy goodness over a miniature city, supposedly representing a reenactment of Mount Vesuvius destroying the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D., according to the narrator...well, that was kinda fun...now we're in the present, and we see some Giuseppe rooting around on an excavation site. He uncovers a golden jewel box along with man-sized, man shaped, white stone figure (actually, it looks like a man covered in lumpy, crusty gravy). Within the jewel box are some shiny trinkets, along with a bronze medallion sporting a curse of sorts. The find is taken to the museum (not before someone dies mysteriously), run by Dr. Carlo Fiorillo (Rooten) and his hotchie mama daughter Maria (Mara). Dr. Fiorillo calls in his friend, Oscar Goldman ...er, I mean Dr. Paul Mallon (Anderson), to do a preliminary investigation of the stone cold corpse. Mallon is skeptical about the curse mumbo jumbo, that is until he learns his fiancée Tina Enright (Edwards), who's an artist, has had some sort of dream about the events that transpired thus far, including the death I spoke of earlier. Anyway, seems the 2,000 year old, lumpy mashed potato man is alive, and he's got a hankering to go courtin'...and Oscar Goldman's...er, I mean Paul's squeeze seems to fit the bill...on the flipside, Tina finds herself inexplicably drawn to the creature, to which she sneaks into the museum after dark, awakening the beast, and we witness its awesoma power, particularly in smashing through cheap, balsa wood doors, before returning back to immobility. Some other stuff happens, we visit a place called `The Cove of the Blind Fisherman', the scientists perform various tests, and we finally learn that the creature has a name, along with its connection with Tina...all of which leads up to a not so climatic finish (at this point I would have taken any kind of ending).

I think I would have liked this movie better if it hadn't been so exceedingly boring. The science is exceptionally shoddy, the characters plain and lifeless (I never believed for a second Anderson was supposed to be some kind of doctor), performances drab, and the dialog just all around goofy. Below is an example as the men try to wrap their minds around the fact the stony individual is actually alive and has intent...

Inspector: It isn't possible...it has no face, no eyes, and yet it knows where to go.

Dr. Fiorillo: It can only be instinct, something that has survived from long ago to guide it, the way the blind are sometimes guided.

Inspector: But still, it cannot be alive!

Paul: Not the way we know life.

Dr. Fiorillo: It is not dead, as we know death.

What a brain trust...now imagine sitting through 66 minutes of this mind numbing hogwash. I could have dealt with a lot of the inherent faults of this movie if only had the creature been something worth hanging around for, but instead, this Mummy retread just ends up sucking wind. Visualize a man whose entire body is covered in a cast, and then try to picture him as a creature chasing you down the street. You'd probably be able to get away fairly easily, that is unless you're a clumsy clod or prone to bouts of paralyzing fear caused by the most innocuous sights (both of which seemed to be the case in this film). Even at full speed the creature, at best, could manage to move like that of an 80-year-old man shuffling around in his house slippers. The one element that annoyed me more than anything with regards to this movie was the overly expository narration, inserted at various points because either the filmmakers thought their telling of the story not clear enough, or felt the audience would not intelligent enough to pick up on the obvious (I'm leaning towards the latter given condescension is considered an artform in Hollywood). Thing is, the kind of narration present here would have fit a crime/drama type movie, but certainly not a horror film. Also, the story was about as clumsy as the creature...curses, broaches, medallions, it was often difficult to figure out what was supposed to be driving what, and the explanation near the end as for the reasoning why the creature only moved at certain times was about as hokey as one would expect, but certainly not an uncommon plot device in the 50s. I think there was an attempt to create a sense of pathos for the creature, as was somewhat common in the Universal creature features of the 30s and 40s, but it was never fully realized, so, in the end, you neither fear or emphasize with the beast. I did like some aspects about the movie...the women were very attractive, and the music was decent. The sets were okay and the film ran just over an hour (but it felt like two).

This is my first Cheezy Flicks Entertainment DVD, so I really wasn't sure what the quality would be like, but, in general, I found it to be better than expected. The full frame picture looks very clean and sharp and the audio came through very clearly. As far as extras, there are some rough looking previews for other Cheezy Flicks DVD releases like Horrors of the Black Museum (1959), The Headless Ghost (1959), Robot Monster (1953), and The Day of the Triffids (1962). Also included is four or five `Intermission' shorts, the kind theaters and drive-ins used to show to either impart information or tempt you to the snack bar. All in all I'll give two stars for the film, and one extra for Cheezy Flicks Entertainment and their better than average DVD release here.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b1024b0) out of 5 stars Love Etruscan Style Sept. 3 2011
By William Amazzini - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
MGM Limited has come across with a wonderful B movie staple of Chiller Theatre Sixties television- Director Edward L Cahn's 'CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN'- 1957, one of the more unusual Mummy films released up to that period. We Horror fans were already introduced to the ancient love connections of Boris Karloff's IM-HO-TEP and Princess Anck-es-en-Amon and Lon Chaney Jr.s KHARIS and his beloved Princess Ananka. Now we meet Quintillus Aurelius, an Etruscan slave who is woken up after an excavation in Pompeii seeking his beloved Roman princess Lucilla Amorena who is now reincarnated in the body of artist Tina Enright. The film is the product of Producer Robert E Kent who along with Director Cahn released many Horror/Sci-Fi B's throughout the fifties. Cahn has a very uneven career in this genre blending the excellent (IT-THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE:1956) with the ludicrous (VOODOO WOMAN:1958). This film emerges as one of his best as the story moves at a great clip telling its story with the help of actor Morris Ankrum's narration and Kenneth Peach's beautiful ciarascuro black and white photograpy. It also helps that the atmosphere is enhanced with an excellent music score by Gerard Fried which lingers in the mind long after the film is over. The screenplay is by the underrated short story writer Jerome Bixby who also scribed Director Cahn's 'IT- THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE'. The cast is quite good with the beautiful Adele Mara who fans may remember as the tragic airline stewardess sucked out of the door of Robert Ryan's airplane in Director John Farrow's excellent 'BACK FROM ETERNITY'-1956, Felix Locher who also appeared as the elderly scientist in Director Richard Cunha's fun guilty pleasure 'FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER'-1958, and Elaine Edwards as the artist/princess. The only thorn is the hero played by Richard Anderson who is so wooden that he actually slows the film down. He would go on to memorable roles in Director Dan Curtis's 'THE NIGHT STRANGLER'- 1972 and becomes Lee Major's boss in the Seventies TV Series 'THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN'. Quintillus is created by the venerable Charles Gemorra who graced many an ape costume throughout the thirties and forties B-movies and actually suspends disbelief as the stone character actually comes to life. The makeup and costume is excellent for the zero budget this film had. The endeavor emerges as a great, tragic love story climaxing at the bay of Naples as Quintillus brings his beloved princess to the ocean believing he is still escaping the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, this sequence resembles the climax of Director Reginald Le Borg's 'THE MUMMY'S GHOST'- 1944 where Chaney's Kharis carries reincarnated Princess Ananka played by Ramsey Ames into the the nearby swamp. Highly recommended for fans of B-movie Fifties Horrors, MGM has released the definitive version in a crisp DVD-R transfer in full screen for all you perfectionists out there, alas, there are no extras or chapter breaks but it looks beautiful and really shows off the talents of Director Edward L Cahn who always came across with the goods no matter what he made.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b102474) out of 5 stars B-movie in the truest sense of the word July 9 2011
By DVD Verdict - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Judge Gordon Sullivan, DVD Verdict--The Curse of the Faceless Man is a B-movie in the truest sense of the word. Made on the cheap to screen with another feature (supposedly It! The Terror From Beyond Space), Curse is a 66-minute blast of so-so effects, random stock footage, bizarre voice-over, and sketchy acting. This is the kind of film that appeared in a few drive-in theaters, amused necking teens, and was banished to the realms of Saturday afternoon television.

Those willing to look beyond the film's obvious faults--the less-than-stellar plot, acting, and effects--will find a document of another era, a scant thirteen years after we dropped the bomb, a culture still trying to understand its relationship to history now that we possessed the power to eradicate history. It's probably a bit much to lay all that on a film like Curse, but the film is undeniably a product of its time. In the same way that it deals with issues (like history) that are very serious, the film can't help but be a part of cinematic history at the time, when these B-movies were needed to fill out double and triple bills. It's easy to see how fans could get nostalgic about an era that seems so much simpler. Even the film's faults seem more charming (or perhaps laughable) today than our own box office flops (if only because Curse only wastes 66 minutes of the viewer's time instead of 100). Although no one was convinced they were making Shakespeare, everyone involved is committed to the film, and given the constraints of time and budget, the film displays strong technical competence.

Despite the film's history, it's easy to get caught up in the flaws as well. Those looking for anything like today's level of polish and professionalism from The Curse of the Faceless Man will be disappointed. It's a curio from an almost-forgotten era of moviemaking, something to be put on for a kick of nostalgia.

Despite its relative obscurity, The Curse of the Faceless Man has had a decent life on home video. It received a VHS release, and later a DVD before this one. Now the film is available from MGM Manufactured On Demand (MOD) service. That means we get a barebones disc with an unremastered transfer and minimal audio enhancements. The film's crisp black and white photography is surprisingly strong here. Contrast is pretty good, and black levels are fairly consistent. Print damage is occasional, and grain is a bit heavy at times. The monoaural soundtrack sounds a bit thin, but dialogue is mixed well, with less hiss and distortion than I expected.
Full review at dvdverdict.com
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b10296c) out of 5 stars Sometimes Cheaper Is Better Aug. 20 2011
By Michael Chiaro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Let me cut to the chase: if you like this film, if you want this film, buy the version from Cheezy Flicks. It's mastered from the laser disc, has chapters and all the standard dvd features. Also, this is a standard silver disc NOT A DVD-R, like the MGM release. I wouuld take one half star off for the cover, one thing the MGM version has in its favor. The Cheezy Flicks version is anywhere from $10 TO $14 cheaper, depending on where you buy it. It can be had directly thru their website as well. In any event, I'm glad I found this: I hadn't seen it in years and it's a great little flick.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b102c60) out of 5 stars DOUBLE BILL TO DIE FOR! April 21 2015
By Richard J. Oravitz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Co-billed with Cahn's other low budget sci-fi classic IT, THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE, this most certainly would have been an afternoon in theater heaven. The MGM DVD here is nothing short of excellent and although CHEEZY's version is said to be mastered from a laser disc I can't imagine it to be anywhere near as good as the MGM Studio presentation. The image is crisp and clear, probably better than when the film appeared in the theaters, the sound excellent.
Lots of pluses here. Cahn directs in his simplistic, no-nonsense fashion, that is, direct and right to the point which is great for a double bill quickie. His Westerns from the same period are also well worth catching, short and sweet, filling the requirements of a double feature yet maintaining a solid, well-filmed structure. So, am I a Edward Cahn fan? Well, yes. I love seeing low budget fare having a professional sheen about it, or at least a workmanship quality that strives to be the best it can. That's why I'll most likely watch CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN or IT, THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE far more times than a CITIZEN KANE or a LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. With zillion dollar classics, one viewing is usually more than enough, and besides, it better be good, it certainly cost enough.
CURSE OF THE FACELESS is kind of like an old 1930s-40s Mummy movie, except that this time the mummified creature was a gladiator of old Pompeii who got buried alive when the volcano erupted and now that he's been revived he seeks to protect the reincarnated princess who just happens to be the hero's girlfriend. Believe me, it's Cahn's masterly direction that keeps this old chestnut working. You don't even mind that somehow the "mummy" shambles all over modern Pompeii at night without even being seen. Gerald Fried's EXCELLENT score (he did IT, THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE for Cahn as well) keeps us glued to our seats in anticipation, truly one of his best musical offerings.
So, if you like low to no budget 1950s sci-fi/horror that delivers on quality and thrills then by all means this is one to get. I can recommend the MGM Studio version because it looks soooo good and will be a welcomed addition to any collector's DVD library.