The Brain from Planet Arous


“It Will Steal Your Body and Damn Your Soul!”

Life was certainly tough back in the 1950s, what with all those wicked, wobbly, disembodied brains from outer space looking to conquer the Earth by possessing the bodies of innocent Earthlings (not to mention their dogs!) and forcing them to perform in ludicrous sci-fi schlock like The Brain From Planet Arous. They sure don’t make “brainless” junk like they used to. One day, a strange alien ship crash lands in the California desert, bringing with it a terrifyingly silly (and evil … pure evil!) intelligence from another planet, one whose mission appears to be the total domination of Earth using freaky mind control techniques. Unfortunately, this super advanced being just so happens to be a giant floating brain, which makes blending in with the local population of clueless suburbanites highly unlikely. So the big brain does what any sensible alien bent on conquering the world would do – it possesses the body of ‘50s sci-fi veteran John Agar, star of such high-grade schlock as Tarantula and The Mole People. Here Agar plays nuclear scientist Steve March, and his unwilling possession is just the big brain’s first step in Operation Destroy All Humans. Tipping off the fact that March is not exactly himself are his strange glowing eyeballs (which can destroy airplanes in mid-flight) and his rather violent mood swings. Additionally, the arrogant (and apparently horny) alien brain occasionally leaves Steve’s body to brag about its superiority and put the moves on the film’s lovely leading lady (Jane Meadows), who delicately refuses its advances with a meat ax. Meanwhile, a “good guy policeman” brain from the villain’s home planet follows his nemesis to Earth and hides out in the body of March’s dog, patiently waiting for his chance to arrest the renegade gray matter (unless he gets sent to the dog kennel first!), leading to a not-so-spectacular showdown that would make Ed Wood proud. One of the most infamous bad movies of all time, The Brain from Planet Arous, filled with uproariously tacky SFX (those giant floating brains are truly a thing of wonder) and “did that really just happen?” plot twists, is a brainy bad movie treat. (Dir. by Nathan Hertz, 1958, USA, 72 mins., Not Rated) Digital