The Brain that Wouldn't Die (1962) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Brain that Wouldn't Die (1962) Review

Horrorific content by TE Simmons on November 14th, 2021 | Movie Review | Slow Burn, Back from the Dead, Medical, B-Horror

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It’s about a mad doctor with a propensity for careless driving and unethical human experimentation.

The Brain that Wouldn’t Die was written and directed by Joseph Green (who would go on to direct The Perils of P.K. twenty-two years later) and was based on a story by Rex Carlton (Blood of Dracula’s Castle). It stars Virginia Leith (Violent Saturday), Jason Evers (Claws), Anthony La Penna (Journey to Italy), and Doris Brent (8MM).

If you accidentally decapitate your fiancé, is it possible to repair things – or even improve on them?

The Brain that Wouldnt Die Review

The Brain that Wouldn’t Die is a sensationally titled film with a sensational plot:

As the film opens, Dr. Bill Cortner is operating with his father-in-law. The patient dies. Dr. Cortner manages to revive the patient with certain unorthodox techniques.

Next, Bill drives his fiancé Jan to his remote cottage lab (where, unbeknownst to Jan, he has been conducting unwholesome experiments involving limb transplantations). Recklessly, he speeds down the rural highway. He loses control. There’s a crash. Bill is thrown clear, but Jan is trapped in the car and seriously injured. Headless, in fact. Undaunted, Bill retrieves the head and hurries on to his lab.

Once there, Bill hooks up Jan’s head to some tubes and gets the juices flowing again, so to speak. (From this point on, fans refer to Jan as “Jan-in-the-pan.” It looks like repurposed lasagna pan.) She is less than thrilled. In fact, she complains about her circumstances ceaselessly, but the only person who will listen is Bill’s lab assistant with the withered arm and some unseen growling menace in the closet.

You see, there’s another hideousness in the laboratory and despite Jan’s compromised mobility, her new telepathic powers have increased her reach considerably.

Meanwhile, Bill has zipped away to tour the local haunts, auditioning various female bodies for the role of the new Jan, from the head down. That those bodies are still attached to various heads is of little moment. First, Bill reviews the shapely shapes at the local strip club. When he makes overtures to one stripper, her friend becomes jealous; a cat fight breaks out.

If the viewer had any doubts that The Brain that Wouldn’t Die was an exploitation film, the cat fight puts those doubts to rest.

Next, Bill cruises around town trolling for female bodies. (Was his car that easy to repair?) Then he oversees a photography shoot of a modeling contest. He smacks his lips with clammy sleaziness. Finally, he makes his selection – Doris – a lady with an attractive figure and a deeply scarred face. She’ll be perfect!  

Worth Watching?

Yes. If you can stand it.

The Brain that Wouldn't Die Review (1962) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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