4.1/10
5,002
158 user 81 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

A brilliant transplant surgeon revives the head of his recently decapitated fiancee in hopes of finding her a new body.

Director: Derek Carl
Stars: Rachael Perrell Fosket, Patrick D. Green, David Withers
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

A backwoods game warden and a local doctor discover that giant leeches are responsible for disappearances and deaths in a local swamp, but the local police don't believe them.

Director: Bernard L. Kowalski
Stars: Ken Clark, Yvette Vickers, Jan Shepard
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

On an isolated island, a small group of people are terrorized by giant voracious shrews in the midst of a hurricane.

Director: Ray Kellogg
Stars: James Best, Ingrid Goude, Ken Curtis
Tormented (1960)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A man lets a former flame fall to her death rather than let her interfere with his new relationship, but her ghost returns to disrupt his impending nuptials.

Director: Bert I. Gordon
Stars: Richard Carlson, Susan Gordon, Lugene Sanders
Adventure | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A party of archaeologists discovers the remnants of a mutant five-millennia-old Sumerian civilization living beneath a glacier atop a mountain in Mesopotamia.

Director: Virgil W. Vogel
Stars: John Agar, Cynthia Patrick, Hugh Beaumont
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

Audrey Ames, an enterprising journalist, tries to get the scoop on giant grasshoppers accidentally created at the Illinois State experimental farm. She endeavors to save Chicago, despite a ... See full summary »

Director: Bert I. Gordon
Stars: Peter Graves, Peggie Castle, Morris Ankrum
The Manster (1959)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An American reporter in Japan is sent to interview an eccentric Japanese scientist working on bizarre experiments in his mountain laboratory. When the doctor realizes that the hapless ... See full summary »

Directors: George P. Breakston, Kenneth G. Crane
Stars: Peter Dyneley, Jane Hylton, Tetsu Nakamura
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

A young alien (David Love) falls for a pretty teenage Earth girl (Dawn Anderson) and they team up to try to stop the plans of his invading cohorts, who intend to use Earth as a ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Graeff
Stars: David Love, Dawn Bender, Bryan Grant
The Nail Gun Massacre (Video 1985)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

After a young girl is gang raped by a crew of construction workers, someone starts killing off members of the group with a nail gun.

Directors: Bill Leslie, Terry Lofton
Stars: Rocky Patterson, Ron Queen, Beau Leland
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A cosmetics queen develops a youth formula from jelly taken from queen wasps. She fails to anticipate the typical hoary side- effects.

Directors: Roger Corman, Jack Hill
Stars: Susan Cabot, Anthony Eisley, Barboura Morris
Dementia 13 (1963)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Whilst out on a rowboat with her husband, John, Louise Haloran kills him, and casts his body overboard, telling the family he left on an urgent business trip. Louise's main concern; she can... See full summary »

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: William Campbell, Luana Anders, Bart Patton
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Volcanic activity frees giant scorpions from the earth who wreak havoc in the rural countryside and eventually threaten Mexico City.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: Richard Denning, Mara Corday, Carlos Rivas
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Alive... without a body... fed by an unspeakable horror from hell! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 August 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Black Door  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$62,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Original plans were for the last reel to be in color, with the doctor's head being cut off. Scenes were filmed with rats menacing the head. See more »

Goofs

In the close-up of Kurt holding his withered hand close to his body, the cuffs on his lab coat are the type that have buttons, and both cuffs are unbuttoned. However, in the next wide-angle shot, the cuffs on his lab coat are the type without buttons. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Cortner: The Superintendent had it out with me. He thinks it's you who's been stealing those limbs from the amputee operations.
Dr. Bill Cortner: So what if it is?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Even before the opening credits, the voice of Jan can be heard saying, "Let me die. Let me die!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Frankenhooker (1990) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Works for sheer audacity, shameless conviction of its aims.
12 July 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For what this is (a rather over-heated horror sci-fi stew), it works for its sheer audacity and shameless full-bore conviction of its aims. Mad scientist movies end up resorting to long shots of people in white lab coats talking in sterile sets. But this one has a woman's head in the tray, fighting with the doctor, yelling at the monster in the closet, and engaging the assistant in metaphysical questions usually not heard in such low-budget potboilers.

Nice dynamic that it's his fiancé that he wants to save...but she has become so bitter since becoming a disembodied head in a tray of water. I remember watching this for the first time on TV in the early 70s and being amazed they used to make movies like this.

Better than average camera work, also, trying to get a sense of vertigo and movement throughout. This film with its hell-bent-for-leather pace is a fever-dream that works because it doesn't let go, or tip you to the fact that the makers thought it was ridiculous as it certainly is.

Be sure to get the restored version with the monster in the closet finally grabbing the doctor's arm and making a bloody mess at the end. A great cathartic bloody end to this near Shakespearean morality play about how man should not meddle in god's business.


43 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?