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BRAIN EATERS, THE (aka: Battle of the Brain Eaters) (director: Bruno VeSota; screenwriters: based on Robert A. Heinlein’s novel “The Puppet Masters”/Gordon Urquhart; cinematographer: Larry Raimond; editor: Carlo Lodato; music: Tom Jonson; cast: Edwin Nelson (Dr Paul Kettering), Jody Fair (Elaine), Jack Hill (Senator Walter K. Powers), Alan Frost (Glenn Cameron), Joanna Lee (Alice Summers), David Hughes (Dr Wyler), Robert Ball (Dan Walker), Orville Sherman (Mayor Cameron), Leonard Nimoy (Professor Cole); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edwin Nelson; Columbia TriStar Home Video; 1958)
“Enjoyable lightweight B-film horror flick.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Enjoyable lightweight B-film horror flick directed by the likable overweight bit actor Bruno VeSota (“The Female Jungle”/”Invasion of the Star Creatures”). It’s based on Robert A. Heinlein’s novel “The Puppet Masters” and scripted by Gordon Urquhart.

On a country road during the day, Glenn Cameron (Alan Frost) and his fiancée Elaine (Jody Fair) are driving to the home of Glenn’s father (Orville Sherman), the mayor of Riverdale, Illinois, to announce their wedding plans and are startled by an odd flash of lightning. They stop to investigate and discover several mutilated animals. The couple also discovers nearby a towering cylindrical object with a small circular opening and report their discovery to the authorities. They later learn three leading Riverdale citizens were mysteriously murdered and the mayor is missing.

The arrogant and blustery Senator Walter K. Powers (Jack Hill) heads a UFO committee and after watching a film of the strange cone found in Riverdale, which is being investigated by research scientist Dr. Paul Kettering (Edwin Nelson), he’s convinced that the situation is a hoax. The senator arrives in Riverdale with his trusted aide Dan Walker (Robert Ball) to uncover the truth.

When the mayor is located by a search group, he becomes hostile and even tries killing his son who tries to subdue him. After the mayor is shot dead by the police, it’s learned that the mysterious cylinder unleashed tiny fury parasites with pipe cleaners sticking out of their heads that puncture the backs of peoples’ necks and take over their minds. It’s now up to the scientists, Powers and Glenn to find where the parasites are nesting and kill them and further investigate the seemingly indestructible cone.

There are no special effects, the monsters look like wet noodles, the story is cheesy ala Ed Wood Jr., and the acting is robotic, but there’s something charming about this nonsensical low-rent rip off of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers that grabbed the weak side of my brain and wouldn’t let go.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”