MILL CREEK SCI-FI FROM THE VAULT: Creature With the Atom Brain (1955)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s a past article about this film when it was released as part of Arrow Video’s Cold War Creatures: Four Films From Sam Katzman.

Director Edward L. Cahn started by directing Our Gang shorts but made some of the most important science fiction movies of the 50s, including Invasion of the Saucer Men and It! The Terror from Beyond Space. It was written by Curt Siodmak (The Wolf ManFrankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, I Walked With a Zombie and Donovan’s Brain.

Gangster Frank Buchanan (Michael Granger) has taken advantage of Operation Paperclip by getting Nazi scientist Wilhelm Steigg (Gregory Gaye) in his employ and using the man to bring back people from the dead with atomic radiation so that they can kill for him. They leave behind atomic fingerprints and how amazing is that?

Made by Sam Katzman’s Clover Productions for Columbia, this was one of the first movies to use squibs. Cahn would make pretty much the same movie all over again as Invisible Invaders.

This movie is memorable to me because it’s the inspiration for the Roky Erickson song of the same name:

Creature with the atom brainCreature with the atom brainWhy is he acting so strangeDo you think he’s one of them?
Threw the doll right downRipped it’s guts offAnd threw it on the groundCreature with the atom brain

The Mill Creek Sci-Fi from the Vault set also has 20 Million Miles to Earth, It Came From Beneath the Sea and The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock. It also has commentary tracks on select films — Creature from the Atom Brain has Phoef Sutton and Mark Jordan Legon talking about this film — and two featurettes, They Came from Beyond and Fantastic Features. You can get it from Deep Discount.

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