Wednesday, September 18, 2013


"Entombed for eons - turned to stone - seeking women, women, women!" - Curse of the Faceless Man Ad

A prime example of a monster carrying off a swooning girl can be found in Edward L. Cahn's 1958 B-beauty, CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN. Shot on a shoestring, it nevertheless embodies all the elements of a classic period shocker: ancient remains discovered in a dig, specimen brought back for a curious -- but unwitting -- scientist to study, monster comes to life, monster kills, monster fixates and grabs for the first hunk of female it can find and carries her off (this time into the ocean!), monster is destroyed just in the nick of time (this time the salt water dissolves it's crusty body), the world is spared further destruction.

Much like Tom Tyler was cast as Kharis in THE MUMMY'S HAND, the monster in this case is reanimated Mt. Vesuvius disaster victim Quintillus Aurelius, played by cowboy and stuntman, Bob Bryant. He is suited up, rubber creases and all, as a human lava lamp with the aid of makeup and special effects man Charlie Gemora (the same guy who created the shrunken heads in FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE). Elaine Edwards is the unwilling participant of the monster's amorous advances and is carried off through the sand dunes of Malibu Beach for her troubles by a frustrated Quintillus (wouldn't you be, too if all your parts were encased in dried lava?) before being dragged in for a dip in the Pacific Ocean.

While Miss Edwards may be the object of the monster's desire, for my money, the real eye candy in this flick is the professor's daughter, Maria Fiorello, played by the very fetching Adele Mara. The Spanish-American beauty was born Adelaide Delgado in 1925. She was a young singer/dancer in Xavier Cougat's famed orchestra before being discovered by a Columbia Studios executive and signed to a contract at the age of seventeen. Miss Mara's first role in a horror film was in THE VAMPIRE'S GHOST (1945), an obscure Republic Pictures thriller. She also had roles in THE CATMAN OF PARIS and TV shows THRILLER and THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR. She died in 2010.


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