THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS
The movies are piling up here, so here’s another SF clasic from 1957, THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS.
What we have here is probably John Agar’s finest performance (I know, not saying much), ever, possibly the shortest outing for a sidekick, ever, and a floating brain who’s probably the horniest invading alien, ever. Add heroic dog, concerned fiancee, credulous general, and random ax to the above mixture, factor in a tight screenplay (70 minutes), and you get a pretty decent alien invasion/mind control flick.
Steve (John Agar) is a nuclear scientist. Actually, I’m not quite sure what he does, specifically, but while he’s doing it he detects an anomaly in the desert and he and his assistant, Dan (Robert Fuller who is reading a science fiction magazine when introduced) run off into the wilderness to see what the heck is going on.
Steve and Dan
They discover a newly dug cave in a mountainside, which is inhabited by a crazy floating brain named Gor from the planet Arous (wherever that is) who is hell bent on conquering the world. He’s also an ephemeral floating brain, who just needs a body to get the show on the road. Much to Dan’s misfortune, he picks Steve, and off we go.
Gor, looking moody and intent.
Back in town, Steve drops by his fiancee Sally’s (Joyce Meadows) place for lunch and, much to Sally’s astonishment, a bit of the old slap and tickle. Fortunately, the dog is present to save her from Steve’s aggressive clutches, and Steve runs off, snarling.
Gor getting romantic.
He spends most of the rest of the movie snarling, speechifying, and shooting down airplanes by looking at them. (This is where the credulous general comes in. When word of the plane crash reaches him, he immediately announces in a meeting of military types, “You know what this means, gentlemen! We’re being invaded by aliens!” Jumping to conclusions? Maybe. But he was right.)
Sally realizes that something’s not right. She prods her Dad, who’s also a scientist or military guy, or something, until they go off to the desert and stumble upon the exact same cave (and the unfortunate Dan), and, wouldn’t you know it, ANOTHER floating brain from the planet Arous. Fortuitously, Vol is a good brain, a cop, actually, who has come to collar Gor and take him back to Arous for a long stretch in the pen.
Good dog (left). Good alien (right).
He enlists Sally and her dog to help keep track of Steve/Gor who blows up an entire a-bomb test site, just ‘cause he can,
Gor showing off.
but has trouble focusing on the whole conquering of Earth thing whenever Sally’s around. He also can’t help but break out into megolamaniacal rants at the drop of a hat, which disconcerts Sally and pretty much everyone in earshot.
Fortunately, Vol reveals Gor’s weakness to Sally, who passes the info on to Steve, who takes advantage of it when Gor has to leave his body to recharge, or take a shower, or do whatever it is ephemeral brains have to do for hygiene purposes. And that’s where the random ax comes in.
Watch out for that ax, Gor! Whoops. Too Late.
And another alien invasion is averted. Phew.
Fast-moving, entertaining fun. It’s not Dostoyevesky, but if it was, I probably wouldn’t watching it. A solid 8, and a solid recommendation.