The Brain That Wouldn't Die


Joseph Green
American International Pictures

Playboy surgeon becomes obsessed with finding a body to attach to his favourite head after a road accident.

Cheesy B classic with poor Virginia Leith spending most of her time stuck on a tray. Assorted edits exist, some surprisingly gruesome for their day.

Thanks to Mark for spotting Sammy...

-The Sloth

Cheap and tawdry, to be sure, but redeemed by Leith's performance and a good deadpan ending (no pun intended). It's also one of the sleaziest films ever made, with a slithery jazz motif that sounds like it came from a stag loop, playing over scenes of Evers patiently surveying all the beautfiul ladies in his town to see if their body would be a good fit for his wife's head. Combine that with odd insert shots of Evers staring off into space, as if he's trapped in the Phantom Zone, plus a stripper catfight that ends with the camera panning up from the action to a cat picture and someone offscreen (presumably the director) going "Meow" and you have a camp classic. Given the dark double entendres that make up most of the dialogue, it's hard not to interpret this as a black comedy.

Filmed in 1959, but not released until 1962 due to licensing and (understandable) censorship issues. I really don't think that's Sammy Petrillo, though.

-Dave W.

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The Brain That Wouldn't Die
10th August 1962

82 mins

Mystery Science Theater 3000
25th April 2000

97 mins

Uncut Version
30th August 2005


Elvira's Movie Macabre
The Brain That Wouldn't Die
The Manster
16th August 2011


Movies 4 You: More Sci-Fi Classics
3rd September 2013

The FilmOn 
Jason Evers
Dr. Bill Cortner
(as Herb Evers)
Virginia Leith
Jan Compton
Virginia Leith
Jan in the Pan
Anthony La Penna
(as Leslie Daniel)
Adele Lamont
Doris Powell
Bonnie Sharie
Blonde Stripper
Paula Maurice
Brunette Stripper
Marilyn Hanold
Peggy Howard
(as Marlyn Hanold)
Bruce Brighton
Dr. Cortner
Arny Freeman
Fred Martin
Medical Assistant
Lola Mason
Donna Williams
Doris Brent
Bruce Kerr
Beauty Contest MC
Audrey Devereaux
Jeannie Reynolds
(as Audrey Devereau)
Eddie Carmel
What Was in the Closet
Sammy Petrillo

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes

Dave Wright: 17 Caps