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Creature with the Atom Brain (1955)

 -  Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi  -  July 1955 (USA)
5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 661 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 12 critic

An ex-Nazi mad scientist uses radio-controlled atomic-powered zombies in his quest to help an exiled American gangster return to power.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Denning ...
Dr. Chet Walker
...
Joyce Walker
S. John Launer ...
Capt. Dave Harris
Michael Granger ...
Frank Buchanan
Gregory Gaye ...
Dr. Wilhelm Steigg (as Gregory Gay)
Linda Bennett ...
Penny Walker
Tristram Coffin ...
Dist. Atty. MacGraw
Harry Lauter ...
Reporter #1
Larry J. Blake ...
Reporter #2 (as Larry Blake)
Charles Evans ...
Chief Camden
Pierre Watkin ...
Mayor Bremer
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Storyline

Several years earlier gangster Frank Buchanan was deported to his native Italy through the efforts of law enforcement authorities and rival gangsters who inform on him. While in Europe he meets scientist Wilhelm Steigg, who has perfected a method of reanimating dead people and controlling their behavior with oral commands. Buchanan underwrites Steigg's experiments and uses his technology to wreak revenge on his enemies. Unfortunately radioactive poisoning is a by-product of the process, and authorities use radiation detecting devices like Geiger counters to pinpoint the source of the sinister plot. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Shock-Full of Thrills! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le tueur au cerveau atomique  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Columbia booked this across the United States as a standard double bill with It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955) See more »

Goofs

When Dave goes to Chet's home, we see a name tag with 'Chet Walker' just above the doorbell. It's only there as he rings the doorbell. All other shots show a plain doorbell with no tag. See more »

Quotes

Frank Buchanan: Steigg, you may be a crackpot, but you're also a genius.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nifty! Creepy! Intentionally funny! Highly recommended!
28 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Having just seen this for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised; this is a solid, well-acted and scripted, somewhat tongue-and-cheek but scary horror/sci-fi film with a premise simutaneously nightmarishly banal/outrageous: a petty American criminal (looking like a cheap burley thug, the kind who would "threaten" George Reeves on the cheap sets on the t.v. Superman) hooks up in Europe with a German (read: Nazi) scientist experimenting with neural stimulation, and uses the doctor to seek revenge on his enemies by having the doctor's lab subjects become zombiefied killing machines, all via t.v. screens and microphones. The scenes of the gangster and the conflicted scientist constantly standing in front of the screens is at once deliberately "boring" and yet so weirdly disturbing. Even more disturbing and nightmarish are the two of them constantly donning radiation suits to crawl through what looks like some sort of embryonic white plastic tunnel to get to the lab and work on the zombies brains. The science fiction is contrasted humorously with the white-picket fence-ish 1950's domesticity of Richard Denning and his little family. Ah, Richard Denning! Golden wavy-haired, stalwart, fine-figured, supremely handsome, serious yet light-hearted, flirting with his wife yet always ready at a moment's notice to follow up any lead as a police doctor. One of the delights of this movie is a sort of spoof of pipe-smoking! Denning and a detective constantly light up so much that the detective offers Richard to "try my special blend". We also get the much used and appreciated staple of 50's sci-fi movies, the educational film strip, although here it is a bare, er, "bones" demonstration, with just a little doggy who has electrodes on his head. (I do NOT recommend this film for children say, under 12 years old!) The climax has a very "modern" Night of the Living Dead feel to it. The plot moves along at a satisfying pace and never lags. The dialog is punchy and clever. The villains are definitely memorable in a strangely "unmemorable" way. (the genius of the movie, I think!) I highly recommend this to all sci-fi/horror film buffs.


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