Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Brain that Wouldn't Die (1962)

The Brain That Wouldn't Die

Written by Rex Carlton & Joseph Green
Directed by Joseph Green

Herb Evers .... Dr. Bill Cortner
Virginia Leith .... Jan Compton
Leslie Daniels .... Kurt
Eddie Carmel .... Closet Monster

Bill Cortner is a rebellious young surgeon with a God complex who is tired of following by-the-book medical procedures. When his colleague and father pronounces a patient dead in the operating room, Bill refuses to go along with the diagnosis. By simultaneously massaging the heart and giving the brain electric shocks, the patient is revived. His methods are viewed as miraculous, but also risky and unethical.

Having succeeded, his next step is full-transplantation of both limbs and organs. His colleagues think he's crazy, and maybe he is, but perhaps he's onto something here.

Bill and his fiancé Jan are on their way to his country house for the weekend. Neglecting to pay attention to the warning signs (WINDING ROAD! CURVE AHEAD! STOP!), the car collides with a guard rail. Bill is thrown out of harms way, but unfortunately Jan is killed and her pretty little head is severed. Distraught with either emotion or opportunity, Bill snatches the cranium and makes a football player's B-line to his house, where his friend Kurt is waiting for him.

Together, they attach the head to a massive setup of electrical doohickeys and chemical thingamajigs. And thanks to the marvels of modern medicine, she lives! Good lord, she even talks! But her body was badly burned in the accident, so Bill is just going to have to find her a new one.

He searches high-and-low, focusing mostly on strip clubs, swimsuit competitions and cheesecake photo shoots. He apparently knows the cost of cosmetic surgery these days, and wants to get this right the first time.

Being reanimated turns out to be a painful and harrowing experience, and Jan is none too pleased about her current state. Using her newfound psychic powers (that's right, psychic powers) and teaming up with another one of Bill's experiments, they vow revenge.

I don't know what the fuss is all about. Sounds like a good deal to me. After spending the past 5 years killing myself slowly with a pack-a-day Camel habit, I wake up one morning and… Hey! Look at that! Virgin lungs!

This movie is exactly as it sounds: classic age sci-fi schlock. It's extremely dated but still worth a look, particularly to fans of The Re-animator series who want to see it's onscreen grandpappy.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR: A doctor who smokes?; A family full of physicians; Monster in my closet; Catfighting strippers; Scarface in a swimsuit;

BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW: The final reel of the film was originally planned to be filmed in color, depicting Bill's head being cut off;

ALSO KNOWN AS: The Head That Wouldn't Die;

View the trailer below!

82 minutes
Black & White
United States

The Brain That Wouldn't Die is currently ranked #31,879 in DVDs at Amazon.com. Read more about it at the IMDB, rent it at Netflix, or buy it today!


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