Pyro… The Thing Without a Face (1964)

Pyro... The Thing Without a Face (1964) movie poster

director Julio Coll
viewed: 07/08/2017

Pyro… The Thing Without a Face, no matter how it was marketed or what it looks like, is no horror film. In fact, it’s ill-served by the pretense of being one. Expectations will be sorely met. But as a cheap thriller, in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock with no budget or too much talent, it’s actually half-way decent.

Produced by Sidney W. Pink (who deserves more investigation for his interesting and odd filmography), Pyro was set and shot in Spain, and follows Barry Sullivan, an engineer inspired by Ferris wheels, who falls into an affair with Martha Hyer, the real “pyro” in the movie. She was about to commit arson when he met her. Is it little wonder when scorned after the affair ends that she sets fire to Sullivan’s house and kills his wife and child?

The film then turns to revenge and Sullivan does become a “thing without a face”, but not so monstrous as all that. He also takes up with a young Soledad Miranda as the whole thing tips toward gruesome vengeance and tragedy.

Really, not half-bad. But no horror picture.

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