Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Brain From Planet Arous (1957)

Starring John Agar, Joyce Meadows, Robert Fuller, Thomas B. Henry, Kenneth Terrell
Directed by Nathan Hertz
(actor & director credits courtesy

A criminal from a planet of super powerful brains travels to Earth, and takes over the body of a nuclear scientist and makes plans to conquer the world.

I love this movie, for although it's a low-budget drive-in feature with obvious wires in the special effects sequences, and lacks standout performances or any great depth in the story, it's a heck of a lot of fun.  The loopy story conceived by Ray Buffum, who also scripted similar low-budget efforts such as Teenage Monster and Island Of Lost Women, is elevated by professional actors like Agar, Meadows, and Thomas B. Henry, who don't do their careers any favors here, but help bring the film across with enough conviction to suspend our disbelief.  Director Nathan Juran (billed as Hertz here as he was in Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman) was per IMDB, a former art director for several films and later helmed a couple of Ray Harryhausen's best pictures, and makes the most of his budget here, mixing stock footage with a collapsing set to convey the villain's mental-powered destruction of an army installation, and conveying its possession of Agar's body with glowing eyes in an appropriately eerie effect.

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