Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Fiend Without a Face


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WAR OF THE UNDEAD # 1 - 3 (IDW)
Release Date: January 1 - April 1, 2007 (Set in April 1945, following Hitler’s death)
Horror Crosses: Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde; Invisible Man (Universal); Dracula (IDW); Frankenstein (IDW); Hellboy (Comics); Fiend without a Face
Non-Horror Crosses: Spider-Man; Forbidden Planet
The Story: Nazis are trying to raise Hitler to lead an army of the undead.
Notes: The story opens with Jekyll a captive of the Nazis who want his secret formula. They also had a scientist with the secret of invisibility but he escaped and died of exposure. Griffin died in 1898 (per League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), but there have been stories that feature Geoffrey Radcliffe (from the sequel) posing as Griffin. It may be that it was Radcliffe that they had captured. I doubt claims of his death in this story though. The Dracula of this story would be the IDW version, brought in by this story. IDW also published Spike vs. Dracula, but that is the Dracula of the Buffy series, who is not the same. LIkewise this is the IDW Frankenstein being brought in here. Both Dracula and Frankenstein fit into the Nazi plot. There is also a gorilla with a brain visible in a glass dome, a reference to Hellboy. One of the brain monsters from the Fiend Without a Face also appears. Another monster is an SS officer made of bugs, perhaps referencing Spider-man’s foe Swarm. Finally, Robby the Robot appears. Robby is from one of the possible future timelines of the Horror Universe. Despite that, Robby tends to show up several times in the 20th century, likely thanks to time travellers.

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1958--THE FIEND WITHOUT A FACE--Invisible atomic monsters attack a U.S. Armed Forces base and the local residents.  This film has been referenced in IN DARKEST HOLLYWOOD: CINEMA AND APARTHEID, THE IRON GIANT, LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, and CINEMASSACRE'S MONSTER MADNESS:  THE BRAIN.  It has been featured in IT CAME FROM HOLLYWOOD, BLODDY NEW YEAR, INVASION EARTH:  THE ALIENS ARE HERE, MONSTERS FROM THE ID, and CINEMASSACRE'S MONSTER MADNESS:  THE FIEND WITHOUT A FACE.  It has been spoofed in DEAD END and CHICK FLICK:  THE MIRACLE MIKE STORY.  

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LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION (FILM)
Release Date: November 9, 2003 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Looney Tunes
Horror Crosses: Scooby-Doo! (See Notes); This Island Earth; Fiend without a Face
Non-Horror Crosses: Doctor Who (Peter Cushing); Forbidden Planet; Robert the Robot; The Jack Benny Program
The Story: When Daffy demands his own movie, he’s fired by Warner Bros. Daffy ends up causing a security guard to be fired also, and follows him home to make amends. The fired guard is the son of a famous action star who turns out to be a real secret agent, and the guard and Daffy get involved in a mission. Meanwhile, Bugs refuses to work unless Daffy is hired back, so he and the vice president of comedy head out to find Daffy.
Notes: First, let me apologize to serious horror fans. However, the appearance of the Metaluna Mutant brings this film into the Horror Universe. The hard part for me was to explain how it could fit. Luckily, I have great friends who brought to my attention the film Evil Toons. Though some cartoon animals have been explained away as experiments of Doctor Moreau, in the case of this film, the Looney Tunes characters are clearly cartoons, but ones living in the “real world”, working for Warner Bros. and elsewhere in the world. In Evil Toons, which is in the Horror Universe due to the crossover relevant to this entry, the Necronomicon ex Mortis (from Evil Dead) is used to bring cartoon characters to life, in order to serve the spell caster. Warner Bros. must have performed such a spell to bring their creations to life to serve as actors (because it’s easier?) I presume the fact that people don’t freak out when encountering living cartoons is an effect of the spell as well. It should be noted that likely all fully animated Looney Tunes cartoons are fictional within the Horror Universe, but these living cartoons take on the characteristics and memories of the fictional characters they resemble. Scooby-Doo and Shaggy appear, as animated characters at the Warner Bros. cafeteria, complaining about their portrayal in the live action films. This can’t be the same Scooby and Shaggy from the 1970s and 1980s cartoons. Those cartoons feature a real person and dog (albeit a talking dog). In the 1980s, there was an animated movie called Scooby-Doo Goes Hollywood. Since the 1980s films are in the Horror Universe, we can use that film as evidence that Mystery, Incorporated, and particularly Scooby, became famous. Evidently famous enough to have a cartoon and live action film based on them. The cartoon Scooby and Shaggy of this film must be the 21st century series of new Scooby-Doo! animated films, brought to life just as the Looney Tunes figures were. Based on that, we must assume those 21st century animated films, as well as the live action films they were complaining about, must be fictional within the Horror Universe. In one scene that takes place in a lab, the film’s heroes encounter the Metaluna Mutant, a pair of Daleks, Robbie the Robot, the Fiend without a Face and Robert the Robot. The Metaluna Mutant is the basis for this film’s inclusion in this guide and within the Horror Universe. The Metaluna Mutant is from This Island Earth. Though the film is more sci-fi than horror, the Metaluna Mutant was included in Scary Monsters Magazine’s Universal Kombat Series, thus placing him among the ranks of the classic Universal Monsters. The Daleks are an alien race that are enemies of the Doctor from Doctor Who, but these specific Daleks were an enemy of the Doctor’s alternate universe counterpart, Doctor Who, played by Peter Cushing. Robbie the Robot is from Forbidden Planet, which takes place in the future, but as seen in Gremlins, he seems to get around through time and space. The Fiend without a Face is the creature from the film of the same name. Robert the Robot was a toy of the 1950s, though the version here is life size, as the toy was meant to be imagined as, thus this is a crossover with the fictional world that the toy lived in. Finally, the car used in the film by the security guard and Daffy is the same talking car (voiced by Mel Blanc from archived footage) from the Jack Benny Program, thus bringing that television program of classic TV into the Horror Universe.

FUTURAMA (ANIMATED SERIES)
SEASON 7 EPISODE 1 “THE BOTS AND THE BEES”
Release Date: June 20, 2012 (Setting is 3012)
Horror Crosses: The Fiend Without a Face
Non-Horror Crosses: Jetsons; Forbidden Planet
The Story: Bender becomes a father!
Notes: The “fiend without a face” is now a pet. Bender takes his child to the Rosie D. and Robbie T. Robot Teen Center.

ALTERNATE REALITIES:

TVCU-2: On 22 March 2010, Roy Frumkes confirmed to Fangoria magazine that he would produce a remake of the film in 2011.[11] The online website Dread Central offered an October 2013 update from Frumkes on his Fiend Without a Face remake: "I’ve wanted to do this film for 40 years, so I already had it all in my head, and it wasn’t hard to write. What I didn’t have was the technical information; I’m no science buff. Now I’m interviewing scientists, getting the technology straight. It’s set in a think tank in the Berkshires, and it’s not about young people. It’s a mature film, but it has a Street Trash sensibility, so the people who like my work will not be disappointed." The website also posted a still from a fund-raising trailer Frumkes had shot for the remake with director Franco Frassetti.

Les Jaunes (2014) Poster

TVCU-3:  Rémi Fréchette, a Montreal-based filmmaker, produced, co-wrote and directed a Web series (2013) and a feature film (2014) called Les Jaunes, in close resonance with the themes and images of Fiend Without a Face, including its military aspects, rural setting, and energy-based brain creatures.[12][13]

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