The Brain That Wouldn't Die
(a.k.a. The Head That Wouldn't Die) (1960)
Directed by Joseph Green

Artistic Value: *
Entertainment Value: * *

DVD In Association with
Rent DVDs online!
In the USA:
Try Netflix For Free.In the UK:

The girlfriend of a daring physician (Jason Evers) is decapitated in a car accident. Cradling her head in his hands, the good doctor takes it back to his secret laboratory where he manages to keep it alive. There, the head and a creature made of discarded body parts stolen from a hospital are guarded by the doctor's mutilated assistant. Meanwhile, the doctor himself goes in search of a perfect body onto which he can graft the head, a quest that takes him, naturally, to strip clubs and beauty contests.

Joseph Green's weird exploitation horror film The Brain That Wouldn't Die is, frankly, a terrible embarrassment, but its sheer lack of redeeming qualities to some degree redeems it and makes it occasionally entertaining. The acting, script, and production values are all dreadful, but, being as bad as they are, they give the film a deliciously pathetic campiness.

The scenes in the strip club, for example, although actually chaste enough to have been performed by nuns, are clearly intended to titillate. They do not, but failing as miserably as they do, they are enjoyable. The catfights, overacting, and exaggerated pointy breasts of the wanton women of these sequences belong to a style of presenting sex appeal that was shortly to be parodied and perfected by John Waters and have a considerable humorous charm.

The film's dialogue is often extremely funny as well. Many of the comments about the impossibility of organ transplants made by "sane" characters in the movie, who condemn these operations, are particularly entertaining when viewed from an age when such procedures are common. The protagonist's physician father is especially fond of pontificating on the subject, and his diatribes provide the film with some of its silliest moments.

The Brain That Wouldn't Die is at times amusing. The film's generally low qualities and laughable story do make it intermittently entertaining, but it is by no means enthralling.

Review by Keith Allen

Home Page / Alphabetical List of Films
List of Films by Star Ratings
Aesthetic Principles / Guide to Ratings
Criteria for Inclusion / DVD Stores / Blog

© 2004 Keith Allen. All rights reserved.
Revised 2005

Click Here

banner 2