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Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Brain That Wouldn't Die: 1962

   Alright, here we have, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die"..... I mean, "The Head That Wouldn't Die"...... I mean, "The Black Door".  Okay, what's this films real name?!  Okay, I'll explain.  The original name for this film was, "The Black Door", and was completed in 1959.  However, it was released in 1962 when they decided to rename it, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die.   The film was directed by Joseph Green and written by Green and Rex Carlton.  

   So we start our film off in a hospital, where we see four doctors operating on a body.  After the patient’s death, one of the surgeons, Bill Cortner, asks if he could try to revive him and, he succeeds.  Now, how many times have you seen that?  A father and son operating on a body.......they must be close. 

   The next day the surgeon and his wife, Jan Compton, drive to the country house because a man named Kurt called and told them to head over because of an emergency.  While driving on the road they crash and Jan's head is decapitated.  Now I'm debating whether this was done properly.  We barely know his wife or hardly anything about her that would make us care that she dies.  Also, you'd have to be pretty desperate to carry your wife's severed head(if that is what their implying) out of a burning car.

   Granted, his motives for doing this are quite clear, and I feel really bad for anyone who doesn't understand beyond this point.    And another thing, how does her head become severed in the first place?  Are we meant to believe that a simple car-crashes-into-railing incident would decapitate a human head?!  Please movie........BE MORE CREATIVE!  Anyway, after this traumatic (and rather improbable) experience, Bill takes what’s left of his wife and heads for the hills.......while run/limping away.  

   Upon arriving, he hooks the head up to an (insert sciency, tecnobable here).  Now, there is no doubt that what Green comes up with saves allot of money, but this is something you would find in a neighborhood haunted house.  But, I shouldn't really complain, because it doesn't take that much credibility away and you didn't really need to do anything extra to make it work.  Now, if I was a supporting surgeon to a crazed madman trying to keep a decapitated head alive, I would have some things to think through.  So, we find that Jan can live at least forty hours on life support before dying.  We also find out that the scientist is keeping a creature in his closet.  Sure, why not.  I’ve seen a head on life support, and this point I'll believe anything.  

   I'm not blaming this guy for becoming insane, I'm blaming this movie!  But seriously, this thing freaked me out, and I only heard it, you don't actually see the monster.....yet.  So, after promising his wife a new body, Bill goes to a night club.  Say, there are allot of mixed messages within that scene.  A man will go through the trouble of reviving his wife (keeping in mind that he has at most two days and two hours to get her a new body) and he goes to a night club, as if he has time on his hands.  I don't know what to think.  So, back at the laboratory, Jan tries communicating with the monster in the closet. That sounds a whole lot more mediocre than if you were to watch it happen.  His wife reasons with the monster and they both create an alliance, which is a change of pace.  It's also a twist that shows itself much earlier than in other movies. 

   You wouldn't think that being kept alive would be so bad, but  before you put yourself in a situation like that, you have to ask yourself:  at what cost?  So, we find out that the monster in the closet was lifeless before it was given a serum to bring it back to life.  These scientists sure are obsessed with resurrection, though they don't seem insane.  I forgot to mention awhile back that Kurt had a warped hand caused by all the grafting and tests on it from Bill.  In a way he shares their pain.  

   While driving down the road, Bill is haunted by the temptations of other women, once again.  A few women that Bill knows stop him and tell him about a beauty contest that he should go to and they do precisely that.  Now, why would women want to go to a beauty contest?  I'm not sure if that's normal, but if it's one thing, it's ironic!  There is an incredible build up until the monster is revealed, and even the monster pounding on the door is frightening.  

   After the beauty contest, one of the women that acquainted Bill tells him about the most beautiful woman, and he sets out to find her, his intentions being to murder her, and use her body to connect itself onto Jan.  How does he start off by finding this person?  He doesn't, he drives in one direction and then he's suddenly there.  Bill's lucky.  But certainly getting into a celebrity's studio filled with camera men will be a challenge, right? Wrong, he has full access to the entire room that their shooting in.  VERY LUCKY.  

   And here's another thing.  Bill is the only one there that's not a model and not a camera man.  Who the heck is this guy?!  If he has access to things like this in the first place, don't you thing it would have been easier for him to get a model to kill?  Because of this ONE flaw, any reasonable person could have cut out at least a half an hour of these shenanigans!  I curse you movie! I curse you!!!  

   We cut to back at the lab........after about a minute of blackness!  I don't know what it is, maybe an in-theater interaction with the movie (note, "The Tingler" and "House on Haunted Hill") If you know the answer, tell me in the comments section.  Leading up to the models surgery, they give so many clues to what his real intentions are, and she doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong in the least!  After drugging her he goes forth with the operation.  All I can say after this point is that the climax is terrific.               

In Conclusion:  This was classic.  It may amount to some boredom, but in the end it all levels out.  You could argue that that the film could use some character development, but it didn't need any.  It went back to the basics, and I respect that.  However the ending could have used some polishing, and it may have been rushed, but it said what was needed to be said.  I enjoyed this film very much and I think that you will too.  Read, watch, comment, and +1!

I give this film 4 scalpels out of 5.

Thank you,


           Next Review:  Frankenstein 1910 


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