Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Brain From Planet Arous - Giant Brain Bent On Ruling The World!

Former Mr. Shirley Temple, John Agar, stars in this 1958 sci-fi gem from Howco International - the same studio who produced Attack of The 50 Foot Woman, also from 1958.

Agar plays a nuclear physicist who discovers a crashed meteor in the California desert at a location named Mystery Mountain. This location is actually the famous Bronson Canyon near Hollywood - seen in a number of 1950s low-budget, drive-in features.

Agar and his assistant travel to the site of the crash and are confronted by an evil floating brain named Gor from the planet Arous. Gor murders Agar's assistant and transforms his soul into Agar's body. Gor makes it clear that he is determined to possess world power and domination, and feels he can obtain it through Agar's scientific knowledge.

Agar's finance, played by Joyce Meadows, and soon to be father-in-law notice an immediate change in his personality. He expresses a desire for world power and seems to be devoid of any human emotions, except getting extra rough with his finance when he kisses her.

To demonstrate Gor's power, Agar arrives at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. to meet with top military officials and world leaders. He demonstrates Gor's dangerous powers by showing the group a random nuclear explosion in the desert, and by bombing a commercial jet in flight. Considering the fears we have today of terrorist attacks on commercial airliners, this is a very scary thought to contemplate.

Meanwhile, another alien brain from planet Arous named Bal arrives at the home of Agar's finance. This brain claims to be a "good brain," and wants to stop Gor's evil plans. Bal transforms his soul into the body of Agar's dog named George. This allows Bal to be able to confront Gor without being fully recognized.

Gor departs Agar's body for good at the end of the film, giving Agar time to chop up the alien brain with an ax. Watch carefully for the wires holding up the brain as Agar chops away at him, adding some unintentional humor.

Director Nathan Juran (aka Nathan Hertz) is known for a number of interesting 50s drive-in cult classics, such as The Black Castle with Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr., The Deadly Mantis (1957) and Attack of The 50 Foot Woman from 1958. Happy viewing!

Steve D. Stones

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