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.


Joseph Green


Joseph Green (screenplay), Rex Carlton (original story) | 1 more credit »





Complete credited cast:
Jason Evers ... Dr. Bill Cortner (as Herb Evers)
Virginia Leith ... Jan Compton / Jan in the Pan
Anthony La Penna Anthony La Penna ... Kurt (as Leslie Daniel)
Adele Lamont Adele Lamont ... Doris Powell
Bonnie Sharie Bonnie Sharie ... Blonde Stripper
Paula Morris Paula Morris ... Brunet Stripper
Marilyn Hanold ... Peggy Howard (as Marlyn Hanold)
Bruce Brighton Bruce Brighton ... Dr. Cortner
Arny Freeman Arny Freeman ... Photographer
Fred Martin Fred Martin ... Medical Assistant
Lola Mason Lola Mason ... Donna Williams
Doris Brent Doris Brent ... Nurse
Bruce Kerr ... Beauty Contest M.C.
Audrey Devereau Audrey Devereau ... Jeannie Reynolds
Eddie Carmel Eddie Carmel ... Monster


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


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


Horror | Sci-Fi


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The film was rejected for UK cinema in 1961 when submitted as "The Head That Wouldn't Die" and finally received a DVD certificate in 2006. See more »


Kurt is upstairs in the living room and there is a fairly decent breeze blowing the curtains. However, the windows are shut as seen in earlier and again in later shots. See more »


Dr. Bill Cortner: There's more to surgery than just being a carpenter to patch up walls or a plumber to drain pipes. Our body's capable of adjusting in ways we've never dreamt of. If we could only find the key!
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

An alternate shot of the men taking photographs of the model has the model completely topless. This was available for use in foreign release versions. See more »


Spoofed in The Man with Two Brains (1983) See more »


New Threat
Composed by Roger Roger
Performed by Roger Roger
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User Reviews

Classic Ham and Cheesecake
28 May 2002 | by Zen BonesSee all my reviews

This is wonderful over-the-top entertainment for fans of sleaze cinema. Some people apparently don't like this film because everyone in it is evil. Thankfully, that is true. There's nothing more boring than all those nice, bland heroes and heroines. Yecchh!! Our cast here is totally over-the-top "bad". Leslie Daniels in particular as the doctor's Igor-like sidekick puts on his best (or should I say worst?) Richard III impression, complete with withered hand and drawn out Shakespearean rant. A classic ham! And there's cheesecake for everyone with busty babes bursting out from every corner (as long as the doctor has to find a new body to crown his girlfriend's head on... well, who wouldn't pick the creme de la creme?). There's even a fabulous (meee-owww!) cat fight between two strippers that probably levitated a lot of audiences back in 1960. And ... RE-ANIMATOR fans will love the similarities of the angst-ridden head in the tray trying to seize a little power. So, how can anyone say this film is bad in a bad way? You want "good", go watch DONOVAN's BRAIN, a very competent but forgettable little film made several years earlier. This film is a like a mad, campy Halloween party. Leave your attitude behind, and try to enjoy it!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

10 August 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Black Door See more »


Box Office


$62,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(uncut) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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