Man. Science rocks. I’m just an arts reporter, but I can get behind anyone who can talk transplants — arms, legs, brains, whatever. Which, according to this movie, is possible. Oh, the “60s! This week, we’re giving you one last Halloween goodie… and you thought you were done pulling cobwebs out of your hair. Grab some discount Pharmaprix candy, crack open a brewskie, and continue reading, because I watched 1962’s The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, so you never have to. (You’re welcome.)
The first shot is total darkness and you hear some girl’s voice shuddering “Let me die… let me die…” Hmmm, maybe that’s the BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE?
It starts in an operating room. This surgeon has just killed his patient. His son, Bill, steps up and says, “Hey, my turn.” Obviously the hospital has time for three nurses and two surgeons to keep operating on someone who’s already dead. Whatever, after some brain magic — heartbeat! He’s alive! Cool. They meet up with Jan, Bill’s girlfriend. As he’s walking out, dad asks, “Have you been stealing limbs for your little transplants, again?” Bill answers, “No, leave me alone.”
Bill’s secretary’s got an “urgent message” from some guy Kurt, from the “country place” saying “something terrible happened,” so Bill and Jan go see what’s up.
Bill’s in a real hurry so he’s really “2 Fast 2 Furious”-ing the car, veering sharply, speeding, and– CRASH! Bill goes flying! He goes back to the car, now on fire. Jan’s in there! Shit! He removes his blazer, wraps something in it, and bolts. Who has time to call an ambulance when Kurt’s waiting?
He finally gets to his house and Kurt’s like, “Check the closet.” There’s groaning and moaning coming from the closet, but Bill ain’t interested. He’s got his girlfriend’s fucking head in his blazer. He hooks her up to this chemistry set. She comes alive! She’s pissed but he’s like, “I can save you!” Men.
He’s like, “BRB, going to the strip club!” Obviously. Meanwhile, Jan is stewing over how she’d much rather die. She hears knocking from the closet and talks to the closet: “Yesss….. revenge?” More knocking. Kurt comes downstairs and Jan continues bitching, “Blah blah blah, saved my life, trying to find me a body… what a dick.”
Oh — and Kurt’s hand is fucked.
Meanwhile, Bill’s coasting down the road checking out biddies for a potential girlfriend body. He picks up this blond, but her friend’s like “Ohhaidere, mister! Ride please?” Plot foiled! But they start talking about Doris, this chick they used to know with a slamming bod and he’s like, “Yes! Tell me more!”
So, he drives to Doris’ house and she’s surrounded by Tobias-FÃ¼nke-esque photographers who say things like “LET ME PHOTOGRAPH YOU PRIVATELY, YOU WANT MONEY” which she meets with, “No, I’m a bitter lesbian!”
Bill approaches her. “Hey, I’m a surgeon. Sup.” She’s like, “Look! My face!” There’s a scar from when she was abused by an ex-boyfriend. Embarrassing.
Meanwhile, Kurt and Jan are fighting:
JAN: “I want to die.”
KURT: “Fuck off, you’re alive.”
JAN: “What’s in the closet?”
JAN: “Oh, shit for you, we’re buds now”
KURT: “You miserable fool!”
JAN: “I can read minds because of this black goo pumping my brain”
KURT: “Oh. Damn.”
Back in that other place, Bill’s talking to Doris, all, “Babe, we can fix that.” Doris goes, “Reeeeeally?” and Bill’s like, “Yeah, come check out my crib.”
Meanwhile, Kurt goes to feed the monster, but is accidentally strangled to death. Bill returns with Doris. He goes to the basement, sees Kurt in a bloody heap on the floor, arm torn off — no reaction — tosses a sheet over him, fixes a drink (heavy on the cyanide), returns upstairs. Doris drinks it, says, “I’m tired. Did you drug me?” He nods. She faints. He carries her downstairs, and Jan whines, “Wait! Stop!” (naggy bitch). The monster breaks out, kills Bill, a beaker tips over &- Shit! Fire! Jan’s like, “I TOLD YOU TO LET ME DIE.”