Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE


THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE (1962). Director: Joseph Green.

When the arrogant Dr. Bill Cortner (Herb Evers) loses his fiancee Jan (Virginia Leith, pictured) to a grisly car accident, he saves her severed head and keeps her alive in his basement laboratory. Then he goes out to find a living woman whose body he can transplant Jan's head onto. Oddly watchable horror flick has some decent performances from both Evers and especially Leith, probably given one of the least dignified leading lady roles of all time! Even in this picture Leslie Daniels overacts a bit as Kurt, Cortner's assistant with a freakish right hand. Adele Lamont is rather vivid as Doris Powell, a disfigured artist's model whose body is chosen by the not-so-good doctor for his fiendish experiment; this was Lamont's third and last credit. Jan telepathically communicates with another victim of her boyfriend's experiments that he keeps locked in a closet. Only three years before this film was shot in 1959 Leith was William Holden's leading lady in Mervyn LeRoy's Toward the Unknown. She had only a handful of credits after Brain, despite her more-than-acceptable performance. Herb Evers changed his name to Jason Evers and became a very busy actor on dozens of television shows.

Verdict: How not to get ahead in show business. **1/2.

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