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Friday, May 11, 2012

The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962)

Ever since science became a common place practice, the idea of mad scientists have existed- always there to serve as a warning about playing God.  And ever since movies became common place, there have been bad movies- to serve as a warning about directors playing director... and also to make us reviewers suffer at the hands of our readers...

Dr. Cortner is a very successful surgeon whit a beautiful fiancee named Jan.  While driving, and accident leads to Jan's death... and Dr. Cortner is determined to find a body for her severed head...

With a total of 13 votes, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" was declared this week's, "What Movie Wednesday" winner.  Now the question is: did I win?

Well, let's just say that I found this movie amusing because of it's B-grade quality.

The story is rather silly, and the execution is as well.  I also found the characters to be rather amusing as well because of the acting used to portray them.  Jason Evers as Dr. Bill Cortner isn't bad- he's able to make you dislike his arrogant, conceited character... a character so brazen that he even cracks a few jokes about his intentions with his potential victims.  At the same time, you kinda shake your head at how he's going about trying to gain a body for his fiancee's head- rather slapdash and unprofessionally done in my opinion.  Watching his plans get spoiled constantly was quite amusing.  Leslie Daniels as Kurt was fun to watch as he spouted soliloquies with an almost Lovecraftian art to them.  His speeches about the horror that resided in the closet made me WANT to see this unspeakable monstrosity!  Quite enjoyable and almost Shakespearean in tone.  Of course, when taken with everything else, this rather theatrical character was more chuckle inducing than fear inducing.  It had to be hard being Virginia Leith playing a head in a tray.  She had to do all her acting with her voice and her face.  I have to give her credit for doing an almost decent job of it.  Too bad I just couldn't accept that she was a head in a tray.  I also found her maniacal laughter to be a little corny... cornier than my pop corn, actually.

And then, there's the horror in the closet that Daniel's speeches built up to be some unimaginable abomination spawned from the darkest recesses of the human soul- the result of Dr. Cortner's obsessive search to be able to reanimate dead tissue.  I really wanted to see how they did the monster.  Sadly, when I did see it, I wondered if it had been the inspiration for the make-up of "Sloth" from "The Goonies."  Seriously!  It had the same shaped head, the out of place ears- even the eyes were in same general places on both of them.  At least, this monster had the decency to rip Kurt's arm off- which lead to a nice scene of Kurt smearing his blood on the walls as he stumbled from the lab.

Oh, and another sign that this is truly a B-movie?  The opening title and the closing titles are different.  In the opening title, it reads, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die," while in the closing, it reads, "The Head That Wouldn't Die".

If you're looking for a B-movie with cheese in it for a night of friends, drinks and laughter, then I would definately include, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die."  That's the ONLY way I'd sit through it again, though.  I'm placing it solidly in "The Bad"

Special Shoutout:

I want to thank everyone that participated in my "What Movie Wednesday" feature.  I'll be doing it again May 16th.

Big thank you to the following people who voted for "The Brain That Wouldn't Die":

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out! This movie is in the so-bad-it's-good category for me! Part of why the movie is so funny is that no one looked it over for mistakes. The title in the beginning credits differing from the title in the end credits takes the cake! I just learned that the movie was recently turned into a musical. Oh, I would love to see what kind of songs were written for this one. Not to mention the dance numbers! Maybe I can find some clips of the musical on Youtube...