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The Brain from Planet Arous, 1957.

From the video case: Wonderful Atomic Age entertainment with floating brains, telepathic possession, atom bombs, and a scientist whose eyes can destroy planes in mid-flight, plus a sex-starved alien brain monster with lustful desires for beautiful leading lady Joyce Meadows, who delicately refuses it’s advances with a meat ax. (1957, b&w)

Mark says: I don’t normally like to “retell” the movie, but since the above description does not do it justice, I want to briefly outline the plot. Perhaps you will get a better feel for the type of picture this is.

The Brain from Planet Arous stars John Agar (Tarantula, Invisible Invaders) as a man possessed by a brain from another planet (Arous, to be exact).

The evil brain, Gor, has escaped his own planet to dominate and rule Earth. To do this, he needs the body of an earthling, and so he borrows the body of atomic scientist, Steve March (Agar). Gor, enjoying human sensations for the first time, finds himself amorously drawn to Steve’s fiancée, Sally Fallon (Joyce Meadows) and makes passes at her every chance he gets.

Meanwhile, another brain from Arous (a good one this time, named Vol), arrives to recapture the evil Gor and return him to Arous to face his just punishment. To do this, Vol takes possession of the family dog (yes, dog), George. The strategy is to catch Gor outside of Steve’s body, when Gor is at his weakest, and destroy him.

By now, Gor is brandishing his power before the world by blowing up airplanes and setting off nuclear explosions. He announces to government officials his intentions to enslave the world, all the while trying to seduce Sally with his tremendous sovereignty.

Get the idea? That’s right, it’s pure schlock theater.

The brain itself kind of floats in a transparent way, with two big eyes out in front. It solidifies toward the end of the film and we see it in all its Styrofoam glory. Truly a sight to behold.

Dialog is 100% Grade-A Camp, which is poetry to B-movie enthusiasts. Almost every scene has a line worth memorizing and using at work the next day.

What really sells the movie, though, is the freaky look in John Agar’s eyes while possessed by Gor. I’m going to embarrass myself and admit that I think the effect is genuinely creepy, especially when enhanced through a water cooler. His maniacal laughter is a bit unnerving, too. But everyone knows I’m a big Agar fan.

Brain from Planet Arous also stars Robert Fuller as Steve’s sidekick, Dan Murphy, and B-movie veteran Thomas Browne Henry (Beginning of the End, Earth vs the Flying Saucers) as John Fallon.

This is not a movie that will expand your intellect, but it is solid entertainment. Am I embarrassed that I enjoy this film so much? Not really. And you shouldn’t be embarrassed to enjoy it, either.

Directed by Nathan Juran, aka Nathan Hertz (Attack of the 50 Ft Woman, The Deadly Mantis).

Scene to watch for: Dan really loves his burgers!

Line to listen for: “I chose your body very carefully, even before I knew about Sally, a very exciting female!”

Mark’s Rating: ! ! ! ! out of 5.

IMDB Link

2 Comments

  1. I’m not a huge fan of this flick but admit Agar was weirdly entertaining.
    The canyon with the cave is well known..FAMOUS..in Hollywood. Its at the end of Bronson canyon just 10 minutes north of Hollywood Blvd and just below the Griffith Park Observatory. Anyone can follow Canyon Blvd to its end, then walk to the North end of the park where you’ll find two dirt roads, one the the left, the other RIGHT> which is the one to take. Walk up about 1/4 mile and you’ll run into the turnoff to the short canyon with high walls. Corman used this extensivle, most notably for The Creature who Challenged the World and Teenage Caveman. You can walk through the cave to your heart’s content IF they’re not shooting something at the time. Studios still do.

    will

  2. Will: Yes, I’ve read a lot about Bronson Canyon and have always wanted to visit. This firsthand knowledge fascinates me! I’m keeping these instructions for when I visit.


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