Sep 14, 2016

Monstrosity the Atomic Brain

Some movies are so bad they’re good, and some movies are just ... bad. My husband and I enjoy watching them both and I thought it would be fun to share the best of the worst. So without further ado, here’s my bad movie review of the week. I leave it up to you to decide whether the movie is bad, or just the review. ;-)

As much fun as shark month was, it was kind of nice to get back to our normal bad movies. This turkey lemon bad movie was filmed in black and white in 1963. It runs for 64 minutes which is plenty long enough, I assure you.

It begins with our mad scientist (c’mon, you had to know there’d be a mad scientist) breaking into a mortuary/cemetery to steal the body of a young woman who’s just died. After his henchman (who kind of looks like a wolf man and the narrator tells us he’s one of the doctor’s “mistakes”) kills the poor, clueless security guard, they load the girl’s body into the back of their station wagon. If they wanted a fresh body, why didn’t they take the security guard? Ah! Because he wasn’t a woman! ;-)

The scientist, whom we’re told is Dr. Frank (the hubby claims he’s not sufficiently evil enough to earn the “enstein” part to the name) is working for this very rich old lady who wants her brain put into a much younger and prettier body. Wouldn’t we all like that?

The machine Dr. Frank built to do this is atomic and as he explains to the old woman (Mrs. March) and her henchman (Victor) it has a radioactive failsafe. In case the police or anyone ever want to search the place, he can set off an atomic explosion to destroy all the evidence. Okayyyy.

Dr. Frank demonstrates his machine for Mrs. March and Victor, using the, uh, fresh body. The room is like a big iron boiler with a viewing window - to enter it, Dr. Frank has to wear a radiation suit but no such precautions are needed for visitors to his lab. The woman he’s experimenting on is naked (of course she’d be naked!) but has two strategically placed straps holding her to an upright table.

Now despite the fact that this whole thing is to put Mrs. March’s brain into a fresh body, he brings this girl back to life without finding her a new brain first. Apparently, once the brain is dead you can’t bring it back to life. No idea why not. So now we have a sexy, brainless zombie to wander aimlessly around.

Nevertheless, Mrs. March is impressed enough that she hires three girls from Europe as servants because there won’t be any embarrassing questions when they disappear. Of course it’s pretty obvious right from the start which one she’s going to pick - the hot blonde with the huge rack and the jiggle butt.

Mrs. March has the doctor examine all three (which makes one of the want to quit on the spot) and he discovers one of them, named Anita, has a birthmark on her back. The old lady tells him he can do what he wants with her. Anita gets a room in the basement, Bea (the blonde) is given a room on the second story, and Nina (the one who wants out of there) gets a room in the attic.

The next day, Bea and Nina wonder where Anita got to and Mrs. March tells them she left - funny, since they were told no one gets to leave. The girls sneak down to Anita’s room and all her stuff is still there so they decide they need to escape. They wander around the basement some more and find a door they’re able to jimmy open but they hear someone coming and don’t go through it.

These girls are so dumb they almost deserve to get used in Dr. Frank’s experiments. They don’t leave through the door they jimmied open, they don’t leave through the freaking front door, they go back to Bea’s room to make plans.

Mrs. March goes down to the lab to see how Dr. Frank’s latest experiment is going. He successfully put the brain of a cat into Anita’s body. Anita not only acts like a cat, she makes pretty authentic cat noises too and even kills an eats a mouse. Mrs. March is impressed.

Meanwhile, the wind blows open the door the girls jimmied and the zombie girl wanders out to walk aimlessly around the estate. The girls, who are cleaning one of the sitting rooms, catch a glimpse of her through the window and see the wolf man attack her. The good doctor beats him off with a cattle prod but it’s too late. The wolf man ends up being chained up like a dog.

The girls realize they really have to get serious about escaping, and Bea decides to seduce Victor for the keys to the car. She seeks him out and because the wolf man is safely chained up, they go for a walk through the gardens. Before they get very far (or should I say, before Victor gets very far), Mrs. March summons him. Bea wanders over to a stone gazebo and sees Anita perched on the top of it. Anita springs on her and we hear screaming.

Nina, not knowing what happened to Bea, also catches a glimpse of Anita, who’s up on the roof now. You’d think if someone’s up on a roof they’re there for a reason, but no, Nina decided she needed to rescue Anita. Anita does NOT want to be rescued and Nina chases her across the roof where Anita falls to her death.

Running down to the lab to tell the doctor, she finds everyone in the lab with Bea, who’s still alive but badly hurt. One of her eyes had to be removed but the doctor has it in a big beaker of some kind of solution and he’s quite excited about the prospect of putting it back in her.

Mrs. March gives Victor the heave ho. Once she’s in her new body, she’s not going to need an old fart like him. Later, Nina finds him in the study, drunk as a skunk, and he spills his guts - tells her how Mrs. March has made her heir, but it won’t really be her it’ll be Mrs. March in her body. She agrees to make him rich if he helps her, but then she goes off to pack or something and Mrs. March stabs him in the back with this really, really long needle.

Nina tells Bea (who’s in her bedroom now) that they’re going to escape, and then goes back downstairs to find Victor’s body. Mrs. March keeps her busy while the doctor chloroforms her.

Cut to the lab where the two women (Nina and Mrs. March) are strapped to gurneys. Dr. Frank asks Mrs. March why she had to go and kill Victor - she tells him “he was a fool.” You can almost see the wheels turning.

Nina wakes up alone. The doctor figures if a deal was good enough for Victor it’s good enough for him, and has put the brain of Mrs. March into his cat. As he contemplates what he should do with Eva, he goes into the atomic chamber. The cat (Mrs. March) presses the button that seals the door and then turns on the machine.

Bea, sensing something’s going on (gee, ya think?) gets out of bed and pulls off the bandage around her head so we can get a good look at her scratched up face. She makes her way down to the lab and frees Nina. They turn for one last glimpse and we see the doctor become a skeleton inside the machine. Bea sees her eyeball in the beaker and turns to rescue it. Of course she’s killed.

Eva runs into the night, the cat following her, the mansion being consumed by flames behind them.

The end.

I can’t believe I actually paid money for this DVD! Fortunately, you don’t have to:

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