A strange alien ship crash lands in the California desert, bringing a terrifying evil intelligence from another planet whose mission is to conquer the world using subversive mind control. Wonderful Atomic Age entertainment... more » with floating brains, telepathic possession, atom bombs and a scientist whose eyes can destroy planes in mid-flight, plus a sex-starved alien brain monster with lustful desires for beautiful leading lady Joyce Meadows, who delicately refuses its advances with a meat ax. Not to be missed!« less
Loring Ivanick | Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan | 01/31/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I was a kid, John Agar's glazed over radioactive eyes and the floating transparent brain of the film's title really gave me the willies, I tell ya. This is still a wonderful silly movie that benefits from being short, with the monster introduced early on. Agar is good, contorting himself in pain pretty convincingly as the monster enters and leaves his body, and he's got the megalomanical laugh down pat. The special effects are primitive, especially when the alien monster is forced to assume his real shape and reveals himself to be a rubber blob bouncing around on a wire, but heck, you were expecting Industrial Light and Magic, maybe? Everything is low budget: small cast, stock footage, a nuclear research lab with no equipment, and a set that consists of the desert and someone's suburban home. And what other film mentions the "fissure of Rolando"? The extras on the DVD are virtually non-existent, consisting only of chapter search and the theatrical trailer. Biographical info of the performers, especially the supporting cast, would have been welcome. If you like sci fi B-movies, this certainly fits the bill perfectly. The transfer to DVD is excellent."
A classic B movie
M. Price | Palo Alto, CA USA | 02/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gor and Val are alien brains that come to earth. Gor wants to enslave the human race and takes over John Agar's body. Val wants to capture Gor and return him to planet Arous from which he escaped. Val inhabits a dog to be close to Gor. Gor blows up an atomic test site, crisps a couple of people, and destroys a couple of airplanes (the pieces of which hang from their wires afterwards) before his comeuppance. And, of course, Gor has to lust after the female lead. The acting is generally fine and the film exhibits a level of professionalism lacking in a lot of these "classics".This is great B movie fare. And as an extra bonus, the ravine and cave in which Gor and Val are discovered was earlier occupied by that ultimate of alien pests, Ro-man: the alien in a gorilla suit and diver's helmet which appears in Robot Monster, another classic of 1950s sci-fi.The DVD is of good quality. Details are visible in the shadows and the scenes have good tone throughout. The picture is sharp. A very good transfer to DVD.This is an enjoyable, if silly, film. A good example of the alien invader paranoia of the 1950s."
Ludicrous, hugely entertaining B-flick; crisp, clean DVD
Surfink | Racine, WI | 12/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the producer (Jacques `Jack' Marquette) and director (Nathan Juran) of Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Brain from Planet Arous (like 50 Foot Woman) has to be one of the top five or ten most entertaining bad films of all time. Apparently Juran was so ashamed of these two movies that he took the pseudonym `Nathan Hertz' as his screen credit. Unlike say, Dick Cunha, Coleman Francis, or Ed Wood's movies, it's not technical incompetence or lack of funds that create the magic here (although those were no doubt factors), but the completely loony, ludicrous script by Ray Buffum (Teenage Monster, Island of Lost Women). John Agar delivers a deadpan, tour de force performance (perhaps matched only by Jack Nicholson in The Shining) as Steve, the alien-possessed hero: relaxed and easygoing one minute, smug and sarcastic, leering lustfully, writhing in agony, or laughing maniacally the next. Joyce Meadows actually emotes quite convincingly as his frightened, confused fiance Sally, and familiar faces Robert (Wagon Train, Laramie) Fuller, and beaky Thomas B. Henry (Beginning of the End, How to Make a Monster, etc.) fill out the `name' cast. The only evidence of legendary makeup artist Jack Pierce's participation are Agar's silver eyeballs (re-used by Pierce five years later in Creation of the Humanoids). The lecherous (!?) brain itself is a wonderfully silly only-in-the-50s creation, while Agar, laughing psychotically, telepathically destroying chintzy model airplanes, and his climactic showdown with evil alien brain Gor are cheese-lover's delights. The sweat stains, Agar's distorted face in the water cooler, the no-fx alien craft (seen landing behind the opening credits, watch closely), 'good' brain Vol inhabiting Agar's dog, the highly visible wires suspending Gor in the hysterical climax; there are just too many bizarrely precious moments to catalog in a short review like this. If you're a bad film lover this is a must-have.
Image's DVD package is typical of other releases in their Wade Williams Collection. Minimal extras consist of a mediocre-quality `Brain' trailer, 16 chapter stops, nicely designed menus, and five bonus trailers `hidden' in a cookie. The DVD box boasts a "pristine" transfer from original source materials. While there is some very light, sporadic speckling and scratching and a few seconds of damaged frames, the print does look terrific otherwise. Very bright and sharp, with excellent grayscale, contrast, and detail. It's probably never gonna get any better than this. Aficionados of le films bad, go for it."
Ultimate b-movie ambiance
William Kersten | Reno, NV United States | 03/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is perhaps the single most enjoyable b-movie I have ever seen, including even "Plan Nine From Outer space" (which I know is high praise). John Agar delivers a good trooper performance in a storyline that is bizarre to say the least, and the infamous "balloon brain" scene near the end only makes the film more appealing to those interested in low-budget special FX. The high-temperature desert scenes, including both the exaggerated armpit-sweat stains and the hamburger-and-onion barbecue dialogue, demand that this film be watched in the middle of summer, preferably during a party with both burgers and cocktails served."
D. Ellington | Santa Clarita, CA | 11/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The last time I saw this movie, I was a kid, maybe 8-10 years old, living in Canoga Park, CA. As frightening as I remember it being as a child, it is equally, by contrast, hysterical today. Just love those cheesy 1950's special effects. Pay particular attention towards the end of the movie, when you can clearly see the wire that the "bad brain" is being suspended from!! All in all, a must see for the science fiction nostalgia buff like myself!"