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

Thursday, September 22, 2011

THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS

THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS (1957). Director: Nathan Juran [as Nathan Hertz].

"A very exciting female -- she appeals to me."

Scientist Steve March (John Agar) goes with associate Dan Murphy (Robert Fuller) to Mystery Mountain for some experiments and discovers a hitherto unknown tunnel -- and exploring it encounters the evil Gor from planet Arous. Gor is an intergalactic criminal as well as a ghostly disembodied brain of substantial size who takes over March's mind and then tries to take over the world. Although Gor terrorizes the military and several representatives of world governments by frying enemies and bringing down airliners, there are some compensations: March's girlfriend , Sally (Joyce Meadows), notices that Steve has become a much more passionate kisser. The Brain from Planet Arous is like a fifties horror/sci fi comic book story and just as silly. But it's also extremely entertaining and features a whopping good lead performance from John Agar, who really seems to be having a ball threatening everyone with his evil eyes beams. There are also solid performances from the supporting cast, including Meadows and Fuller, as well as old stand-bys Thomas Browne Henry and Ken Terrell. Meadows was primarily a television actor, as was Fuller, although he also appeared in What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice with Geraldine Page and Ruth Gordon in 1969. 

Verdict: As evil brain movies go, this one is a winner. ***.

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