Wednesday, August 13, 2014


FIEND (Deadly Neighbor) Directed by Don Dohler, Starring Don Leifert  (1980).

The opening score by Paul Woznicki (the other WOZ) effectively sets the morbid tone as a red spectre (that looks kinda like a stop motion lobster at first) possesses the corpse of a pasty faced fellow resting in his grave. The creature looks like Bruce McGill if he dunked his head in a vat of chemical sludge! 
   The red cartoon lighting effects are hokey and yet inspired. Baltimore's own Don Dohler (1946-2006) is quickly becoming my new favorite director! 
I ate a traffic light for you, can you please Stop already?

   Out in suburbia Eric Longfellow (Don Leifert), the lumbering "Fiend" is strangling women over and over again while his hands glow red. After he kills, his appearance changes and he gets his memory and features back.  
He comes home, feeds his cat, then has a conniption fit and stabs a picture of a mystery woman. Longfellow, who's a music teacher, plays a violin (that sounds like a keyboard) and pisses off his neighbors. 

Stover residents, home of the wuss

   Last I saw George Stover he was having blood sex orgies and killing prostitutes. Since Blood Massacre was my entry into the crazy world of Donny Dohler I had a different perspective on Stover's character. Usually that actor is timid and wimpy, here he plays a music teacher named Dennis Fry. Leifert who plays Longfellow was also in Blood Massacre as the videostore clerk. When Longfellow's features start to regenerate, he looks like he dyed his hair and beard with shoe polish. After he starts to get a few more scabs, he goes out and stalks more victims, his all black outfit reminds me of Frankenstein. For some reason he drinks cheap beer out of a goblet (he's kind of a snob)! He pets an evil cat like a James Bond villain and prefers to live in a cold unfinished basement with a cryptic altar.

Deposit 10 cents to connect with horny ladies? Hell Yeah!

   Gary (Richard Nelson) the next door neighbor who's a likable Pabst swilling average guy with news anchor hair, starts to suspect something is going on. He picks up a book on demonology and unravels the mystery that Longfellow is a Fiend. What's the difference between a Fiend and a Zombie, lots of red lighting and satanism. Zombies don't regenerate or get their memories ever, once they've eaten someone.

Is my mustache on crooked?

    This movie has tons of sweaty close-ups of everyone, guys with droopy staches, oily faced girls--here's where I see a Lucio Fulci influence (or coincidence). Gary stupidly keeps his cute wife Marsha in the dark about the creepy neighbor, who tricks her into coming over to give him a painkiller. Scotty (played by the director's son) confides in Gary about a victim he saw murdered in the forest. These films just get better and better in my opinion, Nightbeast was amazing too! I can't recommend these films enough! Dohler just filmed what was around, using his kids, his neighborhood and slapped whatever money and special effects he had lying around and turned it into trash gold, it's very inspirational!

I'm gonna strangle the shit outta you, Dean Wormer!



  1. Very good movie, as he usually does great Dohler. I never tire of seeing their work as well say, highly recommended.
    Greetings !!

  2. Don's movies are fun and well-made considering his tiny budgets. FIEND plays well as a small-scale pseudo-Lovecraftian story in the Baltimore 'burbs of 1980.


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