- Format: Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
- Language: English
- Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Massacre Video
- DVD Release Date: 11 Dec 2018
- Run Time: 92 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B07J33Q55T
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
24,967 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #17568 in Movies (Movies & TV)
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FIEND - Don Dohler's supernatural ghoul-fest, for the first time in HD!
After being awakened from the grave, Eric Longfellow (Don Leifert) takes up residence in a sleepy suburban cul-de-sac outside of Baltimore, establishing himself as a respected music teacher while secretly roaming the nearby woods, stalking and strangling young women so as to take over their life force. As residents descend into panic and paranoia, Longfellow's neighbour becomes increasingly suspicious of his unaccounted wanderings, unaware of his evil powers and unquenchable need for fresh victims.
The second feature film directed by Baltimore's best-kept filmmaking secret, the legendary self-taught auteur Don Dohler, FIEND is a meticulously made supernatural suspense thriller. Massacre Video proudly presents this under-seen 1980 ghoul fest in glorious HD, newly restored in 2k from its original 16mm A/B rolls, featuring rare archive interviews with the cast plus much more!
Brand new 2k scan from the original 16mm A/B rolls.
Brand new audio commentary featuring actor George Stover and cinematographer Richard Geiwitz, moderated by Cinema Arcana's Bruce Holecheck.
On Fiend: Archival interviews with actors Don Leifert, Greg Dohler and Kim Dohler-Pfeiffer.
The 8mm Shorts of Don Dohler - newly transferred in HD.
Mr. Clay, Pursed: Horrors from the ID and TO DIE… OR NOT TO DIE.
Newly transferred in 2k blooper reel.
Extensive image gallery.
Massacre Video trailers.
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THE STORY: The shuffling zombie & bloodthirsty vampire tropes collide head-on in this tepid tale. Going the 2-for-1 option one better, writer Dohler also posits that a wormy whatsit from outer space has reanimated the crumbling corpse, forgoing the traditional magic spell and/or demonic spirit angle. The newly resurrected crusty creep moves into a nearby suburb and quickly sets up shop posing as a violin tutor(!?) in order to tempt tasty young tarts into his ghoulish grasp. And even though this FIEND drains a victim's life force instead of her blood, a dead body is still the end result... and local residents soon become understandably miffed when their friends & family members start turning up strangled to death.
THOUGHTS: A mostly bloodless movie (originally shot in the hopes of selling it for late night TV consumption), FIEND is a quaint throwback of sorts and star Don Leifert does a pretty good job as nefarious necro-musician Eric Longfellow; a juicy role which would've fit Boris Karloff to a "T" - had this film been shot in the mid-1940's. The acting on display here is strictly at the high school drama class level for the most part, but that's to be expected when cast & crew were friends & family of the personable but penniless director, and who were working essentially (often literally) for free. The usual cash-starved look of Dohler's 'Homemade Hollywood' product is disguised slightly better this time around by keeping his suburban sets simple and his cast small. For those curious about old school handmade F/X there are a couple of crude stop-motion bits (in the opening & closing scenes), plus several nifty hand-drawn cell animation sequences peppered throughout the film.
THE BLU-RAY: Massacre Films put forth a yeoman effort to give this ultra low budget charmer a real first class release. First off, the transfer is really quite nice. A 2k scan taken directly from the original 16mm film elements results in a surprisingly sharp, clean picture. No washouts, burn throughs, jump splices or tattery edits to be found… although there are a handful of shots bedeviled by vertical lines & a few small stains, (found on the elements themselves most likely, and probably not the fault of the technicians nor the transfer process). Sound is clean, clear and mercifully level. Extras start with a cardboard slipcase cover, featuring different artwork than the inner snapcase box sports. Next up is a fun & informative full-length moderated audio commentary track with go-to Dohler acting regular George Stover & FIEND's cinematographer, Rich Geiwitz. There's also a genuinely amusing blooper reel lasting about 10 minutes, a brief promo stills gallery and four of Dohler's early super-8mm short subject films (which run around 40 minutes total). For diehard Dohler-ites, his infamous BLOOD MASSACRE is included here as an Easter Egg bonus. A twisted take on "The Last House on the Left", BLOOD MASSACRE is a dark, ugly, depressing tale. The underhanded behind-the-scenes a-hole tactics of Dohler's financial backers on BLOOD MASSACRE so soured the man on film making that he turned his back on the business for almost a decade. BM is... well, it IS worth checking out, but it's rather gory, even by no budget/Dohler standards, so don't say you weren't warned! Last (and most certainly least) on this loaded disc are a couple of trailers for two other movies in Massacre Films' library, neither of which are by Dohler.
Now if only someone out there would do an equally top flight restoration & remaster of my favorite Dohler flick: THE GALAXY INVADER. Please, please, please Massacre, Retromedia or Shout!Factory... are you reading this??? ;-)