• Warning: Spoilers
    Richard Gordon initially kicked off his own production company in 1955 and continued making genre films for 25 years, until costs escalated too much for independents to make a profit, but he enjoyed quite a run while it lasted. It was Boris Karloff who provided a script for a vehicle he very much wanted to do in Britain, and thanks to Gordon that became "The Haunted Strangler," "Fiend Without a Face" shot back to back as its second feature, director Arthur Crabtree ("Horrors of the Black Museum") at the helm. Coming off his horror debut in "Cult of the Cobra," Marshall Thompson had no qualms about headlining genre films, quickly following this Gordon production with another, "First Man Into Space," plus the inspirational "It! The Terror from Beyond Space." Set on an American air base in Manitoba, the picture begins with a precredit sequence where a farmer is killed by an invisible something that sucks out its victims' brains and spinal columns through two puncture holes in the back of the skull. This was hardly a typical science fiction premise, and audiences were left choking on their Chiclets during the murder scenes, until the grand finale where the remaining cast members are under siege by a large number of the creatures, atomic radiation revealing them to be physical manifestations of one elderly scientist's thoughts, disgusting looking brains ('mental vampires') with spinal cords dragging behind them, used to hurl themselves at their intended targets, nicely achieved through stop motion animation by a two man team in Munich, Ruppel & Nordhoff. That final reel almost looks like a blueprint for "Night of the Living Dead," after a slow hour long buildup, but it does not disappoint, bullets effective in killing the mobile brains, expiring in a gruesome puddle of stomach churning ooze (the horrifying sound effects would be copied almost verbatim for a superior Gordon effort from 1966, "Island of Terror" starring Peter Cushing). Richard Gordon's other titles include "The Electronic Monster," "Corridors of Blood" (Karloff again), "The Playgirls and the Vampire," "Devil Doll," "Curse of the Voodoo," "The Projected Man," "Naked Evil," "Bizarre," "Tower of Evil," "Horror Hospital," "The Cat and the Canary," and "Inseminoid." Kim Parker provides provocative sex appeal in a completely gratuitous shower scene, prominently featured in the ad campaign, and it's a shame that this beauty never starred in another movie. All one needs to do is get through an hour of exposition before the fireworks begin, and Gordon later acknowledged that this was his most popular film, if not his best.