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The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 10 August 1962 (USA)
A doctor experimenting with transplant techniques keeps his girlfriend's head alive when she is decapitated in a car crash, then goes hunting for a new body.

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(screenplay), (original story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dr. Bill Cortner (as Herb Evers)
...
Anthony La Penna ...
Kurt (as Leslie Daniel)
Adele Lamont ...
Bonnie Sharie ...
Paula Morris ...
...
Peggy Howard (as Marlyn Hanold)
Bruce Brighton ...
Arny Freeman ...
Photographer
Fred Martin ...
Medical Assistant
Lola Mason ...
Donna Williams
Doris Brent ...
Nurse
Bruce Kerr ...
Beauty Contest M.C.
Audrey Devereal ...
Jeannie Reynolds (as Audrey Devereau)
Eddie Carmel ...
Monster
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Storyline

Dr. Bill Cortner has been performing experimental surgery on human guinea pigs without authorization and against the advice of his father, also a surgeon. When Bill's fiancée Jan Compton is decapitated in an automobile accident, he manages to keep her brain alive. He now needs to find a new body for his bride-to-be and settles on Doris Powell, a glamor model with a facial disfigurement. Jan meanwhile doesn't want to continue her body-less existence and calls upon the creature hidden in the basement, one of Bill Cortner's unsuccessful experiments, to break loose. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's madness, not science! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 August 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Black Door  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$62,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first movie watched by Michael J. Nelson after Joel Hodgson had left in the previous episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988). (See Mystery Science Theater 3000: Mitchell (1993) and Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1993).) See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Cortner approaches the crashed car being consumed by fire, he is confronted by a male hand (note the hairy wrist) which drops from sight when he touches it. The car's only occupant is supposed to be his girlfriend, Jan. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Cortner: An operating room is no place to experiment.
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Crazy Credits

At the beginning, the title is given as "The Brain That Wouldn't Die." The end title card lists the title as "The Head That Wouldn't Die." See more »

Connections

Edited into The Brain That Still Wouldn't Die Again Anymore! (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

The Web
Theme Music
by Abe Baker and Tony Restaino
Composed by Tony Restaino (uncredited)
Performed by Abe Baker (uncredited)
By Permission of Laurel Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
'60s Schlockfest
12 September 2006 | by (Manitoba, Canada) – See all my reviews

The opening credits bear the title THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE. Some 80 minutes later, the same film is strangely billed as THE HEAD THAT WOULDN'T DIE in the end credits. That gives you an idea of how much effort went into this '60s schlockfest.

But that doesn't mean it's not worth watching if you're in the right mood. Jason Evers (who would later lend his considerable talents to such memorable efforts as A PIECE OF THE ACTION and A MAN CALLED GANNON) stars as a wacky doc who thinks it'd be just super to keep his fiancée's head alive in his laboratory after her untimely decapitation in a car accident. He's understandably not content marrying a head, so he seeks out an appropriate (though not necessarily willing!) body donor.

Much of the "action" takes place in the mad doc's basement lab (likely marking one of the final times the traditionally cheesy horror film lab set was put to use). Jan Compton (Virginia Leith), or Jan in the Pan as she's called, spends an awful lot of time yapping and whining. Another IMDb reviewer wasn't far off when he likened her to THE HEAD THAT WOULDN'T SHUT UP! Can you blame her? She's understandably not content to live this sort of life. But what's really holding her interest (and mine... there, I admitted it) is the doctor's other monstrous creation, which keeps trying to pound its from behind its single-doored prison. Will our hero find a body for his woman? Are the authorities on to him? Why am I enjoying this so much? Those are just some of the questions you'll find yourself asking.

THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE comes to us in the tradition of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE and THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS, though it's not quite on par with those films in terms of "so bad it's good" appeal. As incredible as it sounds, the picture is legitimately able to hold the viewer's interest with its outrageous plot and suspense built up over the creature behind the door. Sure it goes on a bit too long and sure there are dull moments, but what did you expect?

Admit it. If you haven't seen this one, at least part of you wants to. It's probably that part that yearns for pure, unadulterated stupidity from grown men and women from time to time. So indulge that inner glutton with THE BRAIN THAT WOULD'T DIE.


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