Friday, 23 June 2017

THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE











d. Joseph Green (1962)

'Let me die, let me die'


The human brain is the most complex thing in the Universe and, since the Enlightenment downgraded the soul to a might have rather than a must have, it's also the most important thing we possess. Little wonder, then, that the brain fascinates scientists the world over, particularly in films like The Brain That Wouldn't Die, where the line between scientific genius and obsessive fanaticism is a very thin one indeed.

Doctor Bill Cortner is full of the energy and arrogance of youth, a man in a hurry to prove his theories on the transplantation of limbs and organs to the extent that he has become unethical, performing illegal operations using body parts pilfered from the hospital where he works. When his fiancee Jan is decapitated in a car crash, he takes the opportunity to pluck her severed head from the burning wreckage, wrapping it up in his jacket and taking it to a secret lab, bringing it back to life with a 'new special compound' that not only reinvigorates the head but makes it telepathic.

Jan's head, plonked on a metal tray full of chemicals and filled with tubes and pipes, is pretty pissed off about the arrangement and asks repeatedly to die. Bill has other ideas, however, checking out strip clubs and beauty contests in search of a suitably pneumatic replacement chassis before settling on a facially scarred but otherwise intact nude model.

From here, it all gets quite complicated, despite being defiantly non complex. All I can say is that between the giant homicidal freak locked in a closet and poor decapitated Jan's overpowering death drive, it can only end in flames.      

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