The Atomic Brain (1963) + Love After Death (1968) + The Incredible Petrified World (1957)

The Atomic Brain

A wealthy old bat yearns to be young again so she hires a mad scientist to figure out a way to transplant a living brain from one body to another.  Dr. Otto Frank (no, not THAT Otto Frank) is frowned on by the medical community at large though he is certain the work he does is noble.  He is unhappy that he can only continue his studies as long as he is funded by the patronage of the cronish dowager Hetty March and her fortune.  After experimenting with bodies the doc thinks he can do a live transplant.  Mrs. March hires her own version of the AU PAIR GIRLS to act as her housekeepers.  She hires a Brit, an Austrian and a Mexican.  Sounds like a bad joke?  You might be right.  Her master plan is to pick the sexiest maid and have her fortune and brain transferred to her body.

She scrutinizes their bodies and when she discovers a mole on Anita’s back she quickly condemns the girl to live in the basement while the fairer two reside upstairs.  Poor Anita’s fate ends up being the first live test in Dr. Frank’s quest for the fountain of youth.  Now all he needs is a live brain…not a human brain, so he swaps her brain with the cat’s.  I’ll let that simmer for a second so you can relish how fucked up this flick really is.  He trades her brain with the cat and she crawls around on the floor hissing, spitting, pawing and clawing at things.  She even catches a mouse and eats it as doc demonstrates that the transplant was real.  Sad to say that Anita was given the brain of a fractious cat that hated everyone for the most part so she spends her time climbing atop the estate’s buildings and clawing the eye out of the beautiful Bea’s face leaving Nina as Mrs. March’s go to gal.  If you are wondering, cats do not in fact have nine lives and Anita loses hers when she plummets off the roof of the house.

Nina realizes she’s screwed as Hetty’s disgruntled and discarded assistant Victor tells her what will happen.  He offers to help Nina if she will make sure he is taken care of but the old bat finds out and foils the plan.  As Nina and Mrs. March are strapped to Dr. Otto’s tables he gives the same offer and she eagerly accepts.  As the convoluted plot reaches its crescendo, Mrs. March ends up being transplanted into the cat.  The cat dispatches the doc and torches the house (?!)  The young lass who survives is promised by the narrator that the cat will follow her until it can have its revenge.

It should not come as a shock that this flick was riffed on Mystery Science Theater 3000.  After all the film seems to have been made for it: it’s inept, convoluted, ridiculous, short and fun.  According to the fine folks at IMDB the film was shot in ten days.  This seems accurate if a bit much because the film has one setting and a small cast.  Even at 64 minutes the film runs a tad long but is entertaining enough if not necessarily good.  Definitely a fun way to burn an hour.

Love After Death

This schlocker is about a wealthy milquetoast named Melton who has catatonic fits and ends up being buried alive by his greedy wife and covetous doctor.  Dead guy climbs his way out of the earth and you can see the cotton balls in the actor’s nostrils and ears.  The first thing he does is choke out a busty blonde and strips her down and tries to bring himself to rape her on a the couch of an unfortunate witness.  He loses his shit and runs out and the witness, an older lady, opines, “Oh, if I were ten years younger” as the blonde hottie writhes around on her couch beckoning to her.  Melton stumbles on to the next lady as the police question the doc and grieving widow. 

He finds himself sorely disappointed as he peeks in a dressing room and what first looks like some lesbo loving turns out to be just a dude in drag with his lady.  But worry not viewers of fine art because there is a wrestling match of sorts as a busty brunette has her way with a buxom raven-haired beauty.  Theirs even a moment that is almost artistic as it is shot over the morena’s shoulder as the brunette disrobes in front of a full length mirror.  Of course Melton gets his voyeuristic jollies by hiding in the closet while the scissor sisters do their thing.  Instead of being mad the gals undress him and he gets all butt hurt and storms out on them.  

Our ghoulish escapee finally meets a chica who he’s able to do the deed with while she’s not only conscious but willing.  Afterwards they share an almost sweet moment except for the fact that it was in this flick.  When the police inform the bitchy bride and dallying doctor about the fact that Melton is alive they decide to kill him and the detective.  The superfluous double cross comes between Sofia and the doc as she assures their henchman, Manuel, that she could not go on without him.  Well the bumbling henchmen get shot down by the wily dick at the Melton’s castle and the weaslly shit starts killing people as he dispatches his old doc with a karate chop and strangles the shit out of Sofia.  When the detective moves in to arrest him all he collars is an empty coat…surprise!  He’s dead!  Get it…wait what?

LOVE AFTER DEATH is ultimately a tedious affair that tries to tackle the problem of what seems to be adolescent male sexual frustration and  falls flat on its fucking face as it tries to do so.  For no reason a once normal man becomes a rapacious ghoul only satisfied by the sex that has constantly and continues to evade him.  The revenge seems to be an afterthought on Melton’s part because he offs his competition with Sofia with no relish and then boffs the murderous broad before killing her. 

The film is poorly shot and horribly dubbed.  Eye lines are generally out of whack and nothing ever seems framed quite right.  The film was shot in Spanish so the English dub is not entirely unlike a kung fu flick.  The film is memorable because of the skeezy milquetoast protagonist.  I mean, the dude dies and comes back as a spirit and tries to rape some women.  Not entirely shocking today but considering he was a decent person prior to death and comes back so malevolent would be a bit of a shocker for the time.

The Incredible Petrified World

This is a real snoozer from schlockmeister Jerry Warren.  After the interesting title sequence which shows waves and some undersea shots it all goes downhill from there.  Maybe I should say it sinks fast?  Eh?  Get it?  Feh fuck it.  Here goes.  John Carradine is an aging explorer who has designed a fantastic diving bell that is about four feet in diameter!  He proposes to explore the darkest depths of the ocean and crams four intrepid explorers in it three of which are students and one a journalist with a chip on her shoulder.  Things can’t go as planned or that would make a boring movie…kind of like this one I guess…so the cable snaps and the bigger on the inside than it is on the outside diving ball erm bell sinks out of contact with the support ship.  John Carradine’s dedicated explorer will not leave a man behind unless his body doesn’t surface after five hours then its back to harbor for some drinks and maybe lamentation. 

The four in the bell have been knocked out and have fallen to the ground (the bell is standing room only for some reason) and slowly begin to regain their senses and decide to swim for safety.  Instead of reaching the surface they find themselves in a submerged cavern that has breathable air and is illuminated by phosphorescent stone or moss or some shit.  Lucky for them.  They make several trips to the bell and back-like it’s no big deal, I’m going on a life or death jaunt down to the bell be back soon-for supplies which consist of just spears really.  In their pointless wanderings they really discuss nothing but the rocks in the case of the men and the girls bicker constantly.  Eventually they stumble on someone some folks mistake for a cave man.  In reality he is an insane and murderous sea dog that has been stranded in the caverns for fourteen years.  Some how he too survived the descent to depths that would crush him like a grape and stumbled into the cavern and is able to record the passage of time with no point of reference whatsoever.  He rains on the scientists parade informing them that the volcano which will kill him shortly is supplying the cavern with breathable air.

Carradine’s professor finds out that his younger brother has built a bell just like his and he thinks he knows how to fix the problem that sank the first one.  So down goes the brother who quickly spots the first bell and soon rescues the stranded explorers.  The film has a simplistic story arc and has a lot of padding to fill its running time.  The title is a misnomer because there isn’t much petrified there since it is stone to begin with.  If you are expecting an exciting adventure with animals or monsters there is a two second clip of a monitor lizard and that’s it.  There was a monster designed for the film but difficulties with the creation left it to be abandoned and the story reworked into the riveting saga that it has become.  I found this film to be the least enjoyable of the three, it’s barely watchable but if you sat through the first two you should just hit play.

The special features on this disc include a healthy helping of trailers: THE ATOMIC BRAIN, THE INCREDIBLE PETRIFIED WORLD, BACK FROM THE DEAD, CURSE OF THE LIVING CORPSE, FROZEN ALIVE, THE HANDS OF ORLAC, MONSTER A GO-GO, and TERRIFIED; the alternate title sequence for THE ATOMIC BRAIN;  and a horror comic art gallery that plays along with music from the Dead Elvi which is quite fun.  A haunted 2 minute nudie reel is an Easter egg hidden on the special features menu screen.  Push right on that menu screen when on the top item and it will begin to play.  

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