Fiend (1980)

John Waters is from Lutherville. Don Dohler was in the next neighborhood over in Perry Hall. Together they made some astounding movies on a small scale that remain influential within their very specific genres. Waters is the Pope of Trash. Doehler was more on the side of comix, horror and science fiction.

Writer, teacher and film historian Donald Leifert plays the dead body of Eric Longfellow, which has been brought back to life by an evil spirit — that’s all the reason the movie gives — and starts roaming suburban Baltimore and choking the life force of people into his body.

Fiend stayed unwatched for years, which is a shame. It’s a blast with basically no story to get in the way, just a monstrous force out to kill everyone.

Doehler didn’t just shoot this in his hometown. He shot it in his house. This is lo-fi regional horror, which is pretty much all we love around here. At one point, people made movies because they wanted to, not because Amazon monetized content. Watch this and dream back on better days, like, well, 1980.

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