The Brain That Wouldn't Die

  • 1959
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Horror

One of the most genuinely bizarre "brain" movies, this low-budget chiller begins as brilliant surgeon Bill Cortner (Jason Evers) inadvertently decapitates his beautiful fiancee, Jan (Virginia Leith), when he crashes his speeding sports car. Wrapping Jan's head in his jacket, he rushes back to his mansion laboratory and hooks it up to a device that allows...read more

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One of the most genuinely bizarre "brain" movies, this low-budget chiller begins as brilliant surgeon Bill Cortner (Jason Evers) inadvertently decapitates his beautiful fiancee, Jan (Virginia Leith), when he crashes his speeding sports car. Wrapping Jan's head in his jacket, he rushes back

to his mansion laboratory and hooks it up to a device that allows it to live. Although the bodiless head begs to be allowed to die, Bill will have none of it and frequents seedy strip joints looking for a suitable body. He finds a real knockout, Doris (Adele Lamont), whose face happens to be

disfigured. Promising to restore her good looks--although he actually plans to replace her head with Jan's--Bill brings Doris back to his mansion. Meanwhile, Jan has developed telepathic powers, and, when she learns what Bill's up to, she uses her newfound psychic ability to call upon the giant

mutant locked in the closet (one of Bill's earlier failures) to break out and put the kibosh on the transplant. This is a really strange movie, and it contains so many outlandish, peculiar, grotesque, and incongruous moments that it becomes downright surreal. A small-but-loyal cult has formed

around this unique film, which also made writer-director Paul Schrader's "Guilty Pleasures" list in Film Comment.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: One of the most genuinely bizarre "brain" movies, this low-budget chiller begins as brilliant surgeon Bill Cortner (Jason Evers) inadvertently decapitates his beautiful fiancee, Jan (Virginia Leith), when he crashes his speeding sports car. Wrapping Jan's… (more)

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