December 12, 1958 [Fiend Without a Face]

I found Fiend without a Face hidden in a beaten-down little joint, last stop for minor notions and damaged goods--and the picture does have a few dents in it, and sags a little--but those faceless fiends make a thumping squish, like an invisible dream-giant, and the victims grab at their napes and widen their eyes and scream and scream--a real horror show, part nuclear jitters, part brain power gone amok--the mad scientist making the monster happen just by thinking about it, more or less.

And the best part is that we're fooled into figuring that the budget was so low we'd never see the monster--and then we do, and how: a shiny brood of tentacled brains, spinal column curving behind like an inchworm, sliding along the ground, up tree trunks--then flying, improbable bats that clamp down on their victims and suck out their brains and spines. And these brain-eating brains are definitely soft as brains: The nuclear flyboys shoot 'em up nicely, each one gushing pudding-thick black goo, sickening and satisfying--what other fate would one wish for such things? Thank God I didn't take the kids--but of course the little voice inside (the one that knows the contradictory passions of childhood) whispers they should have seen it; who was I to deny them what dreams may come?

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