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also known as The Head That Wouldn't Die

The Brain That Wouldn't Die1959

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  • 4.0
Dr. Bill Cortner is a surgeon like his father. After reviving a patient using experimental techniques, his father is nervous. “Don’t try to play God,” he warns him. But Dr. Cortner obviously isn’t listening. He is obsessed with performing surgical transplants and continues to experiment with amputated limbs he steals from the local hospital. While driving to his secret mountain laboratory to tend to an emergency, Cortner’s recklessness causes an accident and his car careens off the road, killing his fiancée. Not one to pass up the opportunity, Cortner steals her decapitated head from the burning wreckage and tries to keep it alive long enough to find a suitable body to re-attach it to. As the doctor stalks women and searches for a new body, Jan’s decapitated head stays alive in a tray, telepathically communicating with something locked away in the lab closet, plotting her revenge on the doctor for not letting her die in peace.

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1 member likes this review

Likable drive-in sleaze-o-rama full of nasty people and with some grisly, blood-all-over-the-place violence. The dialogue scenes can drone, but this gets good when director Joseph Green moves on to the sci-fi/horror nitty gritty. A cocky mad scientist uses an experimental serum to keep his wife's severed head alive (and somehow speaking and breathing) after she gets burned up in a car accident. His next step is to get her a body, which he does by, of course, hitting the strip clubs and local swimsuit competitions and sometimes by just checking out every pair of swaying hips that passes by on the street until he settles on one that he likes. Meanwhile back at the lab, his weirdo serum has a side effect of driving his wife--she's just a head on a pan, lookin' around at test tubes and beakers all day--dangerously insane. This has blood and pretty girls and it all makes no sense whatsoever. I'll take it.

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Member Reviews (6)

33856.small
top reviewer

Likable drive-in sleaze-o-rama full of nasty people and with some grisly, blood-all-over-the-place violence. The dialogue scenes can drone, but this gets good when director Joseph Green moves on to the sci-fi/horror nitty gritty. A cocky mad scientist uses an experimental serum to keep his wife's severed head alive (and somehow speaking and breathing) after she gets burned up in a car accident. His next step is to get her a body, which he does by, of course, hitting the strip clubs and local swimsuit competitions and sometimes by just checking out every pair of swaying hips that passes by on the street until he settles on one that he likes. Meanwhile back at the lab, his weirdo serum has a side effect of driving his wife--she's just a head on a pan, lookin' around at test tubes and beakers all day--dangerously insane. This has blood and pretty girls and it all makes no sense whatsoever. I'll take it.

1 member likes this review

A classic! Horribly bad, yet horribly good.

1 member likes this review
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Virginia Leith and her bandaged head. It's an almost-iconic image from the flickering, faded world of the late night monster movie. It's a jazzy little riff on the familiar old tune of the Mad Scientist and his peculiar kicks, accented by hungry New York actors looking for a quick buck in the black and white world of the late 50's B-Movie.

An epic of cheapo filmmaking, it's sort of the plot of "The Man With Two Brains" or "Frankenhooker" -- crazy doctor starts playing around with transplants, next thing you know he's reanimated his fiancee's severed head in a cookie sheet full of jello...

http://its-craptacular.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-brain-that-wouldnt-die.html

Abysmally stupid, and glorious because of it.

Camp at its most horrible best. For its time, the film was particularly gory; something rarely seen in a film of that era. But, undoubtedly, the thing most horrble and sickening in the film was the acting.