TV Cream

Films: F is for...

Fiend, The

It’s missing an exclamation mark, is the title of this film, along with a luxuriant Edwardian moustache on the upper lip of the gentleman exclaiming it. But never mind, for this is a rancid slice of bottom-feeding horror, and all the better for it, if that’s possible. It’s a production of World Arts Media, a grand-sounding company title that of course instantly signals the two-bit, back- office nature of the operation, in the same manner as Global Kebabs or World Books. Pulling the kettle out of the filing cabinet in this particular office is schlocketeer Robert Hartford-Davis, whose Incense for the Damned (you know, Patrick Macnee on a donkey etc.) has been on a loop in these environs before. Anyway, this has rogue priest Patrick Magee heading a murderous cult round lovely old widow Ann Todd’s place, with her son, aka Camp Freddie off of The Italian Job, doing most of the doings-in, and taping the screams in a Hindley stylee. Lovably tatty gospel music comes to the fore on the soundtrack, and there’s a bit where Freddie goes to see Scars of Dracula, but yet again we don’t know whether a clip of Dennis Waterman’s y-fronts is on offer. As ever with a Hartford-Davis, the accent is on untrammelled norks and shoddily-photographed fag-ends of the Golden Age of Military Jacket Wearing, so any fans of both will be on a reasonably even keel.

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