Directed by Edward L. Cahn [Other horror films: Creature with the Atom Brain (1955), The She-Creature (1956), Voodoo Woman (1957), Zombies of Mora Tau (1957), Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957), It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958), Invisible Invaders (1959), The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1959), Beauty and the Beast (1962)]
When I first saw this movie, I thought it was extraordinary slow. Upon rewatching it, I realized I was too kind; this is one of the driest, slowest films I’ve witnessed. And given the fact it’s just an hour and seven minutes, this statement should hold some weight.
The plot is basically a rehash of The Mummy (1932), only with a different setting. The performances are mostly rather stilted, and the melodrama that’s tolerable in most pre-1960’s horror films seems overbearing here. It’s just not that great a movie. There’s the occasional scene that looks decently shot (especially in the black-and-white scheme that was prevalent at the time), and the Faceless Man himself looks moderately threatening (if only he didn’t move so slow), but the movie has little more to offer past that point.
Curse of the Faceless Man, despite it’s short run time, is a dry, plodding film. I wasn’t tired before starting the film – now I feel dead on my feet. While the movie still has a bit to offer, it’s faults far outweigh the positives. As a note, the director of this film wasn’t a lightweight; Edward L. Cahn directed, among other films, movies such as Zombies of Mora Tau (1957) and It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958), both of which were highly enjoyable. Whatever went wrong with this film, I don’t believe it to be Cahn’s doing. Perhaps the writer of the script. Regardless, this is a below average film both for it’s time and horror as a whole.