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FIEND: Limited Collector's Edition (1980) - Blu-ray Review

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Fiend (1980) - Blu-ray Review

And you think your neighbors are weird?!

With an introductory title card that is damn legendary, Don Dohler’s Fiend begins.  Certain legends have mentioned the Fiend.  They talk of its red phantasmagoric presence; its ability to enter the earth and bring forth the dead; its endless bloodlust.  But do they mention of how it begins in the kinda, sorta, modern era of 1980?  They do not.

And so, thanks to this 2K resurrection of the original 16mm print courtesy of Massacre Video, we must watch the schlocky madness that is FIEND and learn for ourselves how one Eric Longfellow (Don Leifert), after being consumed by a mysterious red blob hovering over his grave, returned to live among the living, become a music teacher, and absolutely THRASH young women in the nearby woods with his red, glowing hands.  You see, as a FIEND, Eric must drain the life force out of people in order to remain as a member of the walking dead.

"Largely forgotten and wild as hell, FIEND is a supernatural take on suburbia hailing from the comfort of white America circa 1980"

And, for a dead guy, his life is pretty damn GOOD.  Murdering women and feeding his cats, Eric goes about his routines with precision.  He lives in a cul-de-sac just outside of Baltimore and, under a cloud of anonymity, he carries out his life as a champagne drinking yuppie with nothing better to do then kill, kill, kill, and kill again and play his violin.

Writer/director Don Dohler (The Alien Factor) scores once again with this cheap and sleazy B-movie.  The horror is spot-on and so too is the blood.  Fascinatingly, we have a domestic issue to deal with as Eric’s neighbors in the cul-de-sac are so annoyed by his music playing that they repeatedly ask this possessed and very dangerous man to STOP playing at night.  It’s damned hilarious as, after being accosted by his neighbor, he takes out his frustrations with his undead habit and stalks another woman, marking her as his next target.

And Baltimore will never be the same again.

Competently filmed and full of a great electronic score that sonically blisters the screen with its throbbing and pulses, Fiend is just this side of a trashterpiece of schlock.  There are better films out there, but you cannot go wrong with Don Dohler.  Ever. 

You will howl with laughter as the zombie-fied man monster slaps groceries out of the hands of one innocent victim.  And then, because Dohler is damned good at what he does, find yourself shocked by the rapid close-ups and the edits as he chokes the life right out of her.  Another victim is being taught violin lessons before she is “corrected”; and it is all because she is not holding the bow the correct way.  Hilariously awful at times, it seems that only music can calm the red spirit within him.    

Fiend (1980) - Blu-ray Review

Largely forgotten and wild as hell, FIEND is a supernatural take on suburbia hailing from the comfort of white America circa 1980.  It gives new meaning to the grumpy neighbor, too,  as Eric chucks balls at little kids playing in the street and, as it is full of wonderfully odd moments, gives oomph to the DIY mechanics of Dohler’s self-taught ways.  Horror Hounds are going to gnaw on this bone for a while.

And that scene where Eric meets the little girl in the woods?  Wow.  Frankenstein’s got nothing on what Dohler does here.   Damned chilling, if you ask me.

Co-starring George Stover, Greg Dohler, Steve Frith, and Pam Dohler, Fiend is now on blu-ray thanks to Massacre Video and their 2K restoration of the original 16mm A/B roll.  It is NOT to be missed.

Don’t fuck with the FIEND!

4 beers

Fiend (1980) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
90 mins
: Don Dohler
Don Dohler
Don Leifert, Richard Nelson, Elaine White
: Horror
Dark ... Deadly ... Demonic ...
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Cinema Enterprises
Official Site:
Release Date:
September, 1980
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 11, 2018
Synopsis: After being awakened from the grave, Eric Longfellow (Don Leifert) takes up residence in a sleepy suburban cul-de-sac outside of Baltimore, establishing himself as a respected music teacher while secretly roaming the nearby woods, stalking and strangling young women so as to take over their life force. As residents descend into panic and paranoia, Longfellow’s neighbor becomes increasingly suspicious of his unaccounted wanderings, unaware of his evil powers and unquenchable need for fresh victims.

Fiend (1980) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Limited Collector's Edition - Blu-ray

Home Video Distributor: Massacre Video
Available on Blu-ray
- December 11, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
English: Mono 1.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Newly scanned and remastered in 2K from its original 16mm print, FIEND looks as good as it is ever going to get.  Presented with an aspect ratio of 1.33.1, it is the punched-up color you will notice first.  The reds are delicious and the greens are fertile.  The blues go deep, too.  From clear pools of water to the glint of silver in the moonlight, the transfer has the film loaded with details and fresh-looking life circa 1980.  The sound is presented in a Mono track.



  • See Special Features.

Special Features:

Fiend comes loaded with MORE than just the red globular supernatural beast-thing that enters Eric’s body!  Check it out:

  • Limited Edition Side-loading Slipcase
  • Brand new 2k scan from the original 16mm A/B rolls
  • Brand new audio commentary featuring actor George Stover and cinematographer Richard Geiwitz, moderated by Cinema Arcana's Bruce Holecheck
  • On Fiend: Archival interviews with actors Don Leifert, Greg Dohler and Kim Dohler-Pfeiffer
  • The 8mm Shorts of Don Dohler – newly transferred in HD
  • Mr. Clay, Pursed: Horrors from the ID and TO DIE… OR NOT TO DIE
  • Newly transferred in 2k blooper reel
  • Extensive image gallery
  • Trailers for other Massacre Video releases

Fiend (1980) - Blu-ray Review

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