AerykAeryk is a delicate fondue of Cajun and Viking stock, with all the subtly, grace and refinement of a high colonic. He indulges in all night orgies of sex and violence with the likes of Sex With The Headless Corpse of the Virgin Astronaut. His iTunes library is named Bad Mother F***er despite the fact it has the Bangles Greatest Hits. He reads comic books, writes incessantly and he fancies himself The Lovable Rascal.

Probably most disturbing is his propensity to write about himself in third person, needlessly.

and now Lost Highway is proud to present on a silver platter Aeryk’s review of “The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.”

Tagline: Alive … without a body … fed by an unspeakable horror from hell.

Year: 1962 Runtime: 82 mins

Director: Joseph Green

Writer: Rex Carlton (original story) & Joseph Green (original story/screenplay)

Starring: Jason Evers, Virginia Leith, Leslie Daniels, Adele Lamont

What You Expect:

Science, the kind with a capital S, and not just ‘cos it’s at the beginning of the sentence.

What You Need to Know:

The science side of sci fi is usually worse than the fiction, but this is exponentially more the case when one is talking about 50’s – 60’s movies. In these stories anyone who wears a white coat majored in Science. Back in the Way Back When there wasn’t the specialization that has killed the Scientist today.

What [The Brain That Wouldn’t Die] Delivers:

The movie begins black. A woman’s voice pleads, “Let me die. Let me die.” This flooded me with sweet memories of the day I was born. No, I don’t mean to suggest I remember my birth, ‘cos I don’t. My father filmed the birth, or, more correctly, he thought he was filming it. Actually, he was filming the inside of the lens cap. He did manage to get some beautifully haunting audio of the miracle. Watching it years later, I believe I was 7 or 8, it was much like the beginning of this film.

Unlike my birth, the filmmaker removed the lens cap. It’s to an O.R. with two doctors (father and son) working feverishly to save a patient. Sadly, the operation doesn’t work. Dr. Father says, “I should have known the instant we wheeled him in this wouldn’t work.” This was completely obvious ‘cos there wasn’t any equipment in the O.R. Even Unga Bunga Cavemens™ had incense and herbs and leeches. What did they expect? Where they going to “look” him back to life?

Since the operation was a bust, the son asks if he can do it his way. Uhm, mysterious, but ok. To seal the deal Dr. Son says, “He’s dead. I can’t do any harm.”

To which, Dr. Father sighs, “Fine. Do whatever you want.”

HUH?!? I know people tend to turn a blind eye to things when it’s family, but “do whatever you want?” It’s a good thing the guy died.

After the surgery Dr. Son gets a frantic message that he’s needed at the weekend cottage. Dr. Son and his fiance rush off. The road to the cottage is treacherous, full of slow curves and rolling hills. Along a straight stretch of highway, Dr. Son somehow loses control of the car, launching it off a cliff. Or, that’s what the filmmakers wanted to film, but what actually happens is he meanders slightly to the right, BEFORE the tight curve, and bumps into the guardrail.

Cut to: the rocky cliff they were driving along magically transforms into a soft grassy slope down which Dr. Son starts rolling, having been thrown from the car.

Cut to: Another magic transformation into a different hill, where he comes to a stop. He quickly jumps up and runs AWAY from where he had crashed. Somehow makes it back to the car.

Ah! The power of cheese.

But, wait, it gets AWE-some! When Dr. Son makes it back to the car his fiance’s hand raises from in the burning car, shakes dramatically, then fall back. Dr. Son takes off is jacket and, rather than reach over the side of the car, as it was a convertible, WITH the top down, he reaches through the broken windshield and tosses his coat in. I would have been cornfused, but nothing else made sense. Why should this?

Why would he toss in his coat, you ask? Only to have the best thing ever happen. The writhing hand hands back the coat all wrapped up with something in it. Her HEAD! Yes, her decapitated body wrapped its head in the jacket and handed it back to him. Rather than worry about her death, or spaz, or just die, she used her last few seconds to neatly pack her head and hand it off to the man she loved. They don’t make womerns like that any more.
In the weekend cottage Dr. Son has set up a lab where he’s been using stolen limbs from amputees to perfect his serum, some magical concoction that is supposed to allow transplanted limbs and organs to play nice with one another. In several failed attempts he had managed to graft arms on to his apprentice, only to have them shrivel up into useless claws. His biggest mistake, and the reason he was rushing to the cottage, is the Frankenstein monster he created from all the limbs and organs he’s stolen. When he takes his girl’s head to the house, it’s the serum that allows the head to live in little more than a baking tin full of tomato juice and clamps. It would seem to me that this is a fantastic feat for Science, but what do I know.

Not content with just a head for a fiance, Dr. Son decides to go looking for a replacement. To his benefit this is also the Good Ole Days™ when a trip to the local burlesque show was the place to brought your girl for a romantic date. Or, if you’re single, the burlesque was a great meet up. ‘Cos that’s where all the single ladies were to be found. And if that weren’t enough, the dancers literally fight over you.

When the burlesque doesn’t turn up any winners, and a body beautiful contest only turns up the second best looking body, Dr. Son decides on a pin up model who was disfigured by a former lover, leaving her bitter against all men. By disfigured I mean he mashed some silly puddy on her face, which is easily covered by her hair. A terrible, terrible tragedy.
Blah, blah, blah. Takes her to the cottage. Blah, blah, blah. Slips her a roofie. Blah, blah, blah. Time for surgery. The only thing better than Dr. Son’s Science is his logic. As he’s preparing the body, the head tries to talk him out of his insane plans. Her arguments fall on deaf ears. His retort, “Is it a crime to want to keep you alive? Is it a crime for Science to jump ahead by years?”

UHM? Yes it is, ‘cos you’ve been stealing limbs and body parts for secret experiments and you’re going to kill an innocent girl for her body. But, again, what do I know. I’m not a Scientist.

-Burlesque Show
-Body Perfect Show
-Burlesque Cat Fight
-Bikini Fotoshoot
-Conehead Toxie
-Marble Catching Fire

6.0 out of 10

Check out the trailer for The Brain That Wouldn’t Die