|The Mental Vampires of Fiend Without a Face (1958) d. Arthur Crabtree|
The Fiend Without a Face (1958)
d. Arthur Cabtree
Criterion Collection #92
I think it's a mistake to just assume that the current situation with streaming films and ebooks represents some kind of end state from which there is no advance or retreat. Already since I've been writing this blog, Ebooks that I "purchased" for free on my Amazon Kindle now cost a dollar. I've only been watching Criterion Collection titles on Hulu Plus for a little over a month, but I've already been through one major app. update that brought additional titles online and created sub-collections (Chaplin, Bergman, Cult Classics, Samurai Movies.)
When it comes to payment for music, movies and books we are clearly in a Wild West type of ecosystem: You can grab whatever you want but consuming it all takes effort and discipline. The main ways that people seem to have adopted to this new reality of cultural consumption is the "binge" typified by watching 20 tv show episodes in a row on Netflix, and becoming a cultural grazer- flitting from artist to artist and work to work without a concern for deep and lasting attachment.
It occurs to me that there is a third route which is what I'm trying to do, essentially being an auto didact without regard to assembling a like minded community. All you have to do is have the minimum level of financial stability and aptitude to do something like read all 1001 Books Before You Die or watch all the films of the Criterion Collection, and I'm sure this is something more people will begin to do over time.
Fiend Without a Face is actually a UK production, adapted from a Novella that appeared in an American horror/sci fi pulp magazine in 1930. It's about these crazy Mental Vampires that consist of a pulsing brain and spinal cord. What they do is eat your brain and spinal cord. Oh and they are powered by Nuclear energy. Fiend Without a Face is really about enduring an hour of passable horror/sci fi B Movie set up for 13 minutes at the end when the monsters become visible and you get an "Oh shit" moment as you realize that yes, this movie does belong in the Criterion Collection because the monsters are so off the chain.