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A powerful criminal brain from the planet Arous, Gor, assumes the body of scientist Steve March. Thru March he begins to control the world by threatening destruction to any country challenging his domination. Another brain, Val, works with Marchs future wife Sally to defeat Gor. Val explains that Gor will be vulnerable when he is forced to leave March at intervals to re-energize. Gors vulnerable spot, the Fissure of Orlando, is described in a note left by Sally in Steve's lab. Written by
The first time I ever saw or heard of BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS, I was twelve and it was shown on "Creature Features." When I first saw it, I thought it was kind of cheap, but I enjoyed it. Years later I heard of its bad reputation but I had my memories of it not being all that bad. Seeing it again as an adult, I actually found much the films ludicrousness entertaining. Not just that, I was surprised by the films slightly unusual premise: the alien brain named Gor bent on taking over the Earth is a criminal. The rest of the Arousians are like Vol- a policeman from Arous sent to arrest the evil Gor - basically peaceful. It's slightly unusual for a film from this period for the alien invader to be portrayed as not representative of his race. The idea of alien police man stalking an alien criminal (as a previous commentator in this forum has noted) has turned up in few science fiction novels. This plot also shows up in the excellent 1987 thriller THE HIDDEN.
While the films special effects are cheap, they are no better or worse than those in most other programmer films made on this budget from the same period. The film does has some really ludicrous moments already mention by previous reviewers. Some complaints mentioned in this forum are unjustified and seem to be the result of straining. Like the commentator who complained about bodies not decaying. It's absurd, but it is the kind of mistake that turns up all the time even in "good" movies.
One of the films main problems is John Agar. As film historian and 50's science fiction expert Bill Warren has pointed out, John Agar tries, but he can't pull it off. When he becomes possessed and tries to be evil, he comes across more as comical than menacing. If a much better actor was cast, perhaps this film might be more highly regarded. I think a good example would be to compare Agar's performance to that of Lew Ayers in DONOVAN'S BRAIN (See my entry on that film). DONOVAN'S BRAIN has a similar theme: evil disembodied brain bent on world conquest takes over the body of a scientist. Ayers was convincing, Agar is not.
Perhaps the strangest thing about this film is that when it first came out, reviewers dismissed it as a "routine programmer" "conventional science fiction" and "just another double bill shocker." Regardless of what you think of this film, I'm sure you will agree those words certainly don't apply to BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS.
Till next time...Your Old Pal Jim.
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