The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962) – Joseph Green

It’s time for another bad movie featuring a mad scientist as I continue to enjoy the fantastic tome DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies. This time the scientist, Bill (Jason Evers) by name is obsessed with transplants, and brains, and grafting organs, limbs and tissues.

When he receives a call that something has gone wrong at his remote country home, he and his girlfriend, Jan (Virginia Leith) climb into his car and race to find out what is going… and end up in an accident (which the police apparently don’t bother seem to bother to investigate) which tosses him clear and decapitates her.

Only recovering her head, he races to the lab, and works to get her set up, keeping her head alive in a pan. He goes off in search of a body for her, but she simply wants to die, and since he won’t let her, she is going to use some strange new power she has, as well as one of Bill’s other experiments to have her revenge.

While Jan communicates with a deformed person in a cell, Bill is out cavorting, eyeing women in a most lewd way, trying to find one that is most suitable for his needs (not Jan’s needs, because none of this is about her, it’s about what he wants for her).

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From there, the film meanders through its almost ninety minute run time, following Bill from skeezy location to sleazy locale, intercutting with sequences of Jan ruminating on what she is going to do.

This one is so bad, it almost comes around to being badly good, but never quite makes it. It is however, prime material for the Mystery Science Three Thousand group, because I could hear them in my head while I watched this one.

The reveal of the deformed, experimented upon human at the end of the film is no doubt supposed to be a shocker, but it’s an iffy makeup job. Still having said that, I’m sure the kids who were piling into the theater to see this during the Saturday matinee were frightened, and a couple of the ideas probably haunted them for awhile.

And that is one of the other things I like about this book, seeing how the horror genre has changed and grown over the years, and how what is scary has changed. Not to mention who it is marketed to.

Still, the fun continues with DK Books’ highly enjoyable Monsters in the Movies. Pick up a copy and dig up something macabre from the cinema cemetery tonight!

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