The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (2020)

Yes, somehow this remake of the 1962 original totally got past me until I got an ad for it on Instagram. I wondered, why would someone make this movie again, but now that I’ve watched it, I think I have my answer.

The filmmakers say right on their site that this “is a surprisingly loving and faithful adaptation, utilizing much of the original film’s characters, scenes and dialogue.” That’s true — it’s incredibly close with some additional scenes that add plenty of humor to the film.

Bill (Patrick D. Green) is working in the lab with his father William (David Withers) and fiancee Jan (Rachael Perrell Fosket) when a patient dies on the table. Bill demands to work on the body and brings the man back to life.

Meanwhile, at the family cabin, Bill has been experimenting with his assistant Kurt (Jason Reynolds) on a variety of test subjects. Jan dies on the way there and soon, her head has been removed and kept alive, all while Bill remembers that he was once a man about town and uses his lothatio ways to seduce exotic dancers and use their bodies to give his fiancee hers back.

While bring a shot-for-shot remake of the original, this adds in scenes of Bill being overpowered by one of the sex workers he tries to knock out, lesbians sitting with him watching exotic dancers and commenting on how they have a better chance than him to get one of the girls and a revised ending — that uses the original titles — that shows us what happens after the lab burns.

Directed by Derek Carl and written by Hank Huffman from the original script by Joseph Green and Rex Carlton, this even has a music scene inspired by The Man With Two Brains.

Man — Joseph Green! He owned Joseph Green Pictures, a company so small that it was just him answering the phones and distributing a wild mix of movies which included everything from Jess Franco’s Kiss Me Monster and Two Undercover Angels to Claude Chabrol’s Pleasure Party, the kung fu movie From Bangkok with Orders to KillSomething Creeping in the DarkDeath Knocks TwiceThe Sicilian Connection, Luciano Ercoli’s Killer Cop and his own film, The Perils of P.K. What a crazy list of movies!

But anyways — this is a fun restaging of a public domain movie that you’ve probably watched more than once and probably on Mystery Science Theater 3000. I’ve always disliked that so many people make fun of it, because it has such a dark story at its heart of a man who causes a woman to lose her entire body yet she uses everything she has to get her revenge once he removes any physical agency that she had. There’s definitely so much subtext that it becomes text there. This flew by and entertained me. Isn’t that what movies are for?

You can watch this for free on Plex. You can learn more on the official webpage and Facebook page.

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