Fiend Without A Face Remake In The Works

Remakes are something we as movie fans have come to expect from Hollywood. Why think up something original when you can use a tried and true story that has name recognition and an already built in audience? This time though, a classic Criterion release is getting the remake treatment. Arthur Crabtree’s Fiend Without a Face (Spine #92) is getting the chance to shine again on the big screen by none other than genre filmmaker Roy Frumkes, who made the fantastic documentary Document of the Dead, about the making of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.

Frumkes has been friends with the original producer of the classic sci-fi/horror hybrid, Richard Gordon and struck a deal with him to remake the film, but he isn’t going about it in the typical fashion. ‘…I set my own deadlines: The option started January 1, and I gave myself two months to write the first draft of the script, which is done, and one month to research it. 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.’

The original film took place at a scientific installation where telekinesis has been experimented upon and through it all have created brain creatures which leap and literally suck out the minds of their victims. It’s known as a high-water mark in genre filmmaking in England, with its advances special effects and it’s slow build until the thrilling climax. But Frumkes notes that while he loves the original’s pace, he might be changing it up a bit.

‘I believe that since so many people have seen the original, I can’t wait for the third act to show the fiends,’ he says. ‘They’re going to come in in act two, and then the third act is something completely new; it goes in a different direction there.’

He’s planning on not helming this film, looking for an able minded director to call the shots while he takes a backseat and does what he loves best, which is writing and producing and getting the money together from various sources to get the film made.

Frumkes has also been busy on a sequel to Street Trash, his famous schlock horror film about a poisonous booze that the homeless drink and die horribly when drinking it. Sadly, we shall probably never see the original Street Trash amongst the prestigious Criterion Collection.

Source: Shock Till You Drop and Fangoria

4 Comments

  • “So many people have seen the original”? Um, sure. Not a day goes by at the office without one of my co-workers making a “Fiend Without A Face” reference. Movie people really don't live on the same planet as the rest of us, do they? At any rate, this actually looks like a good candidate for a remake: a good story that MOST PEOPLE ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH, that could be made considerably more effective with current visual effects techniques. You could even wind up with a remake that surpasses the original, a la James Mangold's “3:10 To Yuma”. Screw it up, and we'll have another shitty “Carrie” remake on our hands.

  • Considering myself and my colleagues are film fans and so have our respective families, I understand where he is coming from when saying “So many people have seen the original.” It's an assumption of course, that the 'common' movie going public wouldn't have seen this film, but come to think of it, this film was played plenty on weekend sci-fi extravaganzas that today's youth don't know about. Remember those, with the mad scientist who, while making corny banter with an Igor type character, would present a film and break it down into commercial breaks?

    Again, any film in this regard is a great candidate for the remake treatment then. Even great filmmakers can suffer from a horrible remake as well. Just ask Van Sant how he's doing. Oh wait, he wants to remake Psycho again, doesn't he?

  • “So many people have seen the original”? Um, sure. Not a day goes by at the office without one of my co-workers making a “Fiend Without A Face” reference. Movie people really don't live on the same planet as the rest of us, do they? At any rate, this actually looks like a good candidate for a remake: a good story that MOST PEOPLE ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH, that could be made considerably more effective with current visual effects techniques. You could even wind up with a remake that surpasses the original, a la James Mangold's “3:10 To Yuma”. Screw it up, and we'll have another shitty “Carrie” remake on our hands.

  • Considering myself and my colleagues are film fans and so have our respective families, I understand where he is coming from when saying “So many people have seen the original.” It's an assumption of course, that the 'common' movie going public wouldn't have seen this film, but come to think of it, this film was played plenty on weekend sci-fi extravaganzas that today's youth don't know about. Remember those, with the mad scientist who, while making corny banter with an Igor type character, would present a film and break it down into commercial breaks?

    Again, any film in this regard is a great candidate for the remake treatment then. Even great filmmakers can suffer from a horrible remake as well. Just ask Van Sant how he's doing. Oh wait, he wants to remake Psycho again, doesn't he?

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