Sunday, May 4, 2014


Every time I watch Joseph Green’s The Brain that Wouldn't Die, I remain amazed at just what a lurid and demented little gem it is for 1962 (not to mention for 1959, when the film was actually lensed before sitting on the shelf for a few years). It’s a perfect combination of outrageous low-budget horror and sexploitation roughie - the seedy ambience that pervades throughout is as thick as pea soup. Virginia Leith delivers a terrific performance, considering she is limited to being just a head sitting in a tray of chemicals for most of the running time. There’s also a giant monster in a cupboard and a surprising amount of blood and gore on display. A lot of the film’s sleazier highlights - including a catfight amongst strippers in a low-rent strip joint, star Jason Evers checking out asses in tight dresses as they strut down the street (accompanied by wailing jazz), and a visit to an Irving Klaw-esque pin-up photo studio, were cut from subsequent television prints for years. The first time I ever saw it was on local late-night television in the early-90's, in what turned out to be a pristine uncut print. The European cut of the film featured some snippets of nudity, which is included as a bonus feature on the film's DVD release (on an MGM sci-fi four pack).