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El barón del terror
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The Brainiac (1962) More at IMDbPro »El barón del terror (original title)


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Release Date:
1963 (USA) See more »
The most bizarre horror movie. Ever.
In 1661 Mexico, the Baron Vitelius of Astara is sentenced to be burned alive by the Holy Inquisition of Mexico for witchcraft... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(2 articles)
The Brainiac goes for cheap thrills
 (From SoundOnSight. 15 October 2015, 11:06 PM, PDT)

What Makes You a Fan?
 (From Famous Monsters of Filmland. 1 February 2010, 5:35 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Absolute Lysergic Surrealism See more (37 total) »


  (in credits order)
Abel Salazar ... Baron Vitelius d'Estera
Ariadna Welter ... Chica asesinada en restaurant / Bar girl (as Ariadne Welter)
David Silva ... Comandante / lead detective
Germán Robles ... Indalecio Pantoja / Sebastián de Pantoja
Luis Aragón ... Prof. Saturnino Millán
Mauricio Garcés ... Médico forense / Forensic surgeon
Ofelia Guilmáin ... Señora Meneses
René Cardona ... Baltasar de Meneses / Luis Meneses
Rubén Rojo ... Reynaldo Miranda / Marcos Miranda
Carlos Nieto ... Lic. Francisco Coria
Carlota Solares ... Espectadora hoguera / Townswoman
Federico Curiel ... Detective
Magda Donato ... Doña Mariquita / Townswoman
Magda Urvizu ... Ana Luisa del Vivar (as Magda Urbizu)
Miguel Brillas ... Bibliotecario
Rosa María Gallardo ... Victoria Contreras (as Rosa Ma. Gallardo)
Roxana Bellini ... María de Pantoja
Susana Cora ... Prostituta asesinada / prostitute
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ricardo Adalid ... Espectador hoguera (uncredited)
Marco Antonio Arzate ... Álvaro de Contreras (uncredited)
Felipe de Flores ... Motorista asesinado / first victim (uncredited)
Francisco Reiguera ... Mayordomo / Vitelius' Butler (uncredited)

Carlos Robles Gil ... Espectador hoguera (uncredited)
Víctor Velázquez ... Roberto, dueño restaurant / bar owner (uncredited)

Directed by
Chano Urueta 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Federico Curiel  story and adaptation
Adolfo López Portillo  story and adaptation
Antonio Orellana  uncredited

Produced by
Abel Salazar .... producer
Original Music by
Gustavo César Carrión 
Cinematography by
José Ortiz Ramos 
Film Editing by
Alfredo Rosas Priego 
Casting by
Rodolfo Villalba 
Production Design by
Javier Torres Torija 
Set Decoration by
Ángel Trejo 
Makeup Department
Rosa Guerrero .... makeup artist
Esperanza Gómez .... hair stylist
Production Management
Luis García de León .... production manager
Luis G. Rubín .... production chief
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jesús Marín .... assistant director
Sound Department
James L. Fields .... sound supervisor
Jesús González Gancy .... dialogue recordist
Galdino R. Samperio .... sound re-recordist (as Galdino Samperio)
Special Effects by
Juan Muñoz Ravelo .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Gabriel Castro .... lighting technician
Ignacio Romero .... camera operator
Alfredo Ruvalcaba .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Ramón Aupart .... assistant editor
Abraham Cruz .... synchronization editor
Music Department
Gustavo César Carrión .... musical director
Other crew
Francisco Ledesma .... delegate: actors
Miguel Ángel Madrigal .... script supervisor
Eduardo Mendoza .... titles (as Eduardo Mendoza H.)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"El barón del terror" - Mexico (original title)
"Baron of Terror" - USA (informal literal English title)
"Brainiac" - USA (promotional title)
See more »
77 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA High Fidelity)

Did You Know?

Baron Vitelius:It so happens liquor does me damage. I once had a very strange disease.See more »


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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Absolute Lysergic Surrealism, 19 October 2007
Author: ferbs54 from United States

It turns out that all the word of mouth about the Mexican horror flick "The Brainiac" (1961) is absolutely correct: It IS one wild and loopy film experience! This picture tells the story of the necromancer Baron Vitelius Destera (played by the film's handsome producer, Abel Salazar), who is burned at the stake in 1661 by the Inquisition in Mexico City and swears vengeance on the descendants of his tormentors. Good to his word, the Baron falls to Earth in 1961 on a comet (the phoniest-looking comet ever shown on film, perhaps) to begin his homicidal agenda. Destera has the ability to transform himself into a giant-headed, pointy-nosed, fork-tongued monster, and his ability to hypnotize with a glance and bend others to his mental will makes his nefarious plans that much simpler. Oh...did I mention that the Baron uses his Gene Simmons-like tongue to suck his victims' brains out? Oh, man! Sounds pretty cool, right? Truth to tell, though, this film has been made on the cheap, with loads of ersatz-looking backdrops, lousy FX, and reams of unexplained happenings. Why, for example, does the Baron need to keep a stemmed dish of brains around for snacking purposes? How do the film's detectives ultimately crack the case of all these homicides? Why is fire able to harm the Baron in 1961 but not in 1661? Where DID that blasted comet disappear to? This movie has so many head-scratching moments, so many outrageous situations, so many admittedly cool murder scenes, such egregiously artificial backdrops and such strange humor (brain tacos, anyone?) that the net result is one of absolute lysergic surrealism. So yes, the movie is a hoot, and features a monster you won't soon forget. Unlike the Baron himself, the film is NOT a brain-drainer, but a genuinely exhilarating cult item. I, for one, was sufficiently impressed to check out director Chano Urueta's next effort, 1962's "The Witch's Mirror"...

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