Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.

Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Cartaret, New Jeresey.

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Creepy Classics Spotlight Movie Last Weekend - THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS (1958)

Every week, readers here are selecting a movie to view...then we all try to watch it together utilizing our DVD/video library. This past Saturday night, many of us watched THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS (1958). This was suggested by Doug, Downer's Grove (he likes to call it Downer's Grave), IL. Details about movie nights to come are HERE. Please include your name and location after your comments, so we can see how we're all joining together from diffeent locals around the globe! Let's all Synch-Up Saturday nights at 7:30PM, or catch it sometime over the weekend!

What a great movie for a fun holiday weekend (4th of July - Independence Day from Planet Arous - 2010). This movie is just nuts. It falls into the catagory of movies like INVISIBLE INVADERS (also with Agar) and THE GIANT CLAW. Sincere acting with a propsterous script and monster/special effects. You gotta love the act that the dog becomes possessed by the good alien. Even though it's low B-movie budget shows in many areas, this movie never lacks in being interesting and entertaining. Never a dull moment when Gor (from Arous) comes to town.

Did anyone else notice that the make-up was by Universal veteren Jack Pierce?! I hadn't realized that. This would have been about the time he worked on GIANT FROM THE UNKNOWN for the same group.

A brain movie that might make a great double feature with Richard Gordon's FIEND WITHOUT A FACE. Flying brains unite!

-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA

Hi Ron:

The Brain From Planet Arous is the quintessential low budget "B" science fiction film. It has an evil alien bent on world destruction, a scientist, a beautiful woman, the Bronson Canyon and a group of befuddled military men.

There are three things that make this movie stand out. First, the alien who takes over John Agar's is incredibly woman-crazy. He lusts after Joyce Meadows the moment he sets Agar's eyes on her. The second thing is the extremely high body count. Agar blows up two air planes and burns at least three people. I figure that around 100 people were exterminated by the possessed Agar.

Finally, Agar, Meadows Fuller and Henry are very experienced and professional actors, unusual for a low budget film. They bring conviction not normally associated with this type of film.

I found The Brain From Plant Arous to be a really fun film to watch. I always enjoy a film where the hero fights off a floating brain that's suspended on a wire with an axe!! It's a little film, seldom discussed or shown. It's a second tier, "B" film with no other pretensions than to provide 68 minutes of entertainment.

The Brain From Planet Arous does just that. I highly recommend this film.

Bruce Tinkel
Edison, NJ

One of the most fun films from the fabulous 50's. John Agar stars as a scientist whose body is invaded by an evil brain from a distant planet.

I cannot say anything bad about this movie as it's perfect in every way. One of the best.

Kevin Coon,Twin Falls, ID

Hi Ron,

Here are my thoughts on THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS.
I love the image of the light that bounces across the mountain in the opening scene. It’s like something you would tease the cat with.
What would the filmmakers of the 1950s had done if it hadn’t been for Bronson Caverns? Maybe they would have carted their equipment down to the ocean and made a whole bunch of movies about sea monsters.
A floating brain. With eyes. And it’s got the hots for the leading lady too. You gotta love it.
John Agar – from the films of John Ford to the films of Larry Buchanan with THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS stuck smack dab in the middle. What a rollercoaster his career took.
I love the distorted image of Agar’s face shot through the water cooler. Simple but imaginative.
I’ll bet those big, bug-eyed contact lenses hurt.
The good brain has a gentle, soothing voice like Mr. Rodgers.
The evil brain laughs maniacally when it speaks of its plan to conquer the universe. Not the planet, mind you, or even the galaxy, but the entire universe. Like I always say, if you’re gonna plan, plan big!
The finale is like a Mexican piñata party.
I love the movies of the 1950s that use a basic premise, an ultra low budget and somehow make it all work. It’s the polar opposite of the overblown, effects-driven films of today.
“I want you, Sally. And what I want, I take!”

-Steven Thornton, Michigan

Hey Everybody, Just Watched "The Brain From Planet Arous" (1958) for the THIRD time this past week! (I GUESS I COULDN`T GET ENOUGH OF JOHN AGAR`S SINISTER LAUGHING IN THIS ONE!) - Watching this fun flick REALLY brought back alot of great childhood memories for me and what a weekend to watch it on- when the weather outside in July is a sultry 86 degrees here in Strongville, Ohio! I remember catching this classic 1950`s science-fiction schlockfest for the first time back in the middle 1970`s when it first aired on WJW Channel 8`s "UP ALL NIGHT" Show at 2:00 A.M. in the morning! Those were the good old days!

Anyway, here are a few observations about one of my ALL-TIME favorite guilty pleasures:

1) This film was paired with "Teenage Monster" on a double-bill ! (Personally, I like this film much better and I really think it is the better of the two films as well!- Just my opinion, folks!)

2) The dialogue in this film is HIGHLY enjoyable and even after repeated viewings, never seems to get boring! (Love the lines between Steve March {now possessed by Gor} and the military brass discussing Gor`s intentions/goals of conquering the Earth/Arous/the universe and between Steve/Gor and his girlfriend Sally about the attributes of power and wealth. (Question Here: Since Gor Will Leave Soon After He Conquers Earth, What Good Would Sally Do Him Then? Perhaps He Would Want To Take Her In His Spaceship With Him When He Leaves!- Yikes!- Can`t Imagine What To Make Of That Union, Folks!)

3) Actress Joyce Meadows does a nice job potraying Sally Fallon, Steve`s girlfriend and soon-to-be wife in this cult classic. She manages to display equal amounts of tenderness, concern and pluck during the course of the film`s events. She is the one who manages to look up the diagram of the brain in the encyclopedia (drawing a line and arrow to the Fissure Of Rolando) and sets the drawing near Steve`s pipe, thereby helping to safe his life! (With help from Vol and ultimately, a trusty axe!) You can also catch Joyce in the enjoyable William Castle directed horror-thriller "I Saw What You Did" (1965) starring Joan Crawford, John Ireland, Leif Erickson and Patricia Breslin.

4) Some reviews really tear apart John Agar`s acting in this film, but considering the script and the budget he had to work with, I personally don`t find much fault with his overall performance in this one! In fact, he is quite campy and enjoyable throughout the proceedings!

5) John Agar really DID have to suffer REAL pain when he made this film! - When he had to wear the silver contact lenses during the scenes when he was possessed by the evil brain (GOR) and making planes/buildings explode with his powers. Each time he put the lenses in and then blinked, some of the silver material would come loose in his eyes! It proved to be very painful.

6) My favorite possession scene in the movie is when Steve is viewed through the watercooler and you can see the battle of wills going on inside him.{As he is screaming at John Fallon {Sally`s father} to leave him alone!} John Agar does a WONDERFUL job potraying anguish and pain in this scene and is to be COMMENDED for giving it his all!

7) As far as the SPFX go in this film, hey- for the most part, they are really cheesy!- BUT in a goofy way, they really add to the "FUN" factor of this one!- And what would this movie be without seeing that toy airplane blown up not ONCE but TWICE!! (They must have got it at a arts and crafts hobby store!) -The brains are fun to see (especially when you were a 10 year old kid!) but they could have been done a little better (especially during the rousing climax!) But hey, you can`t have everything!

8) The music score is VERY interesting- and slightly unusual for this type of film (HAS A HINT OF JAZZINESS TO IT)

9) My favorite line from this film: "Every Silver Lining Has A Dark Cloud"

10) This movie`s basic idea was used years later (utilizing much better SPFX) in director Jack Sholder`s 1987 thriller "The Hidden" starring Michael Nouri and Kyle Maclachlan.

11) Lastly, this film`s director, Nathan Hertz, is better known under his real name Nathan Juran (Hertz was his middle name) Often criticized for his lackluster direction on films (including here) in my opinion he was a fine director and has many much-loved genre films to his credit, including : "The Black Castle" (1952) {his first credit} "The Deadly Mantis" (1957) "20 Million Miles To Earth" (1957) "Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman" (1958) "The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad" (1958-in my opinion-his best film!) "Jack The Giant Killer" (1962) "First Men In The Moon" (1964) and "The Boy Who Cried Werewolf" (1973)

--Hey Ron, Yes, to answer your question I did know that the late, great Jack Pierce did work on this film! So Sad that he was unceremoniously given the pink slip by Universal after so many years of dedicated service to that studio and after creating all of the famous monster makeups during that studio`s classic horror era. {I believe Jack did the burn make-up FX on the dead bodies in this film} So, With my oxygen supplies dwindiling, I will leave you Earthlings with my rating for this fun film! : 3/5 stars.

-- Dan Brenneis- Strongsville, Ohio- Monster Bash Staff Member And LifeTime FilmFan Extroadinairre.

This is the ultimate B-Movie. I love this movie! I love the continuity (especially, the disappearing sweat stains), the constant uttering of the name "Steve", the barbecues, the music, the Fissure of Rolando, John Agar, Bronson Caverns, etc. Someday in the future, when you are driving to Western PA for the Bash from Planet Arous (can we have Joyce Meadows as a guest?), you too will understand the power and persuasion of this movie! All hail "The Brain from Planet Arous"! It's like "The Hot Rods To Hell" of Science Fiction. One of my favorite movies of all time. And I'm not alone. The Cramps, the greatest U.S. Rock 'n' Roll band wrote a song called "The Fissure of Rolando" and dedicated it to John Agar on their 2003 album, "Fiends Of Dope Island". Believe It or Not!

Doug, Downer's Grove, IL

Here are my thoughts and observations on The Brain From Planet Arous.

1. The make-up effects were done by Jack Pierce.
2. Mysterious radiation readings were coming from the base of Mystery Mountain. It sounds like the plot of a Scooby-Doo
episode. "If it weren't for those meddling scientists."
3. Thomas Browne Henry shows up in yet another sci-fi film. Surprisingly, he's not playing a general.
4. Gor, from the planet Arous, inhabits John Agar's body. If the brain can control things from a distance, why does it need
to inhabit a body? Why does it have eyes?
5. The first time I saw this film, it was a little disconcerting to see John Agar play such an amoral character. In past films he
played characters who were steadfast in the cause of right.
6. There is a great shot of John Agar looking through the water cooler with his black eyes.
7. The good brain, Vol, arrives to warn Joyce Meadows and Thomas Browne Henry of Gor who, we learn, is a criminal brain.
They are told the only way to kill him(or it) is to strike him/it at the fissure of Rolando.
8. John Agar blows up a plane. There is a badly super-imposed shot of a plane blowing up. Also, the close-up scenes of John
Agar laughing hide the fact that he was in a lot of pain. For the black eye effect he had to wear thick contact lenses which
caused his eyes to water almost instantly.
9. The best scene in the film is the meeting at Indian Springs. In past films John Agar was only allowed to take small bites
at the scenery. In this scene, and in this film, he devours the scenery as if he hadn't eaten in years.
10. The second meeting at Indian Springs involves a scene that underlines the problem with this film. In order to convince
certain heads of state, John Agar blows up a passing plane. You could almost see the string as the plane dangled in the
11. Gor, in solid form, looks to have all the durability of a pinata.

As I stated before, the problem with this film was the special effects. They were not only terrible, they were Ed Wood-terrible. Granted, it was a silly premise. Silly premises are forgotten, however, with decent special effects. All that aside, this is my favorite John Agar film. The reason to watch the sci-fi films of the fifties, for me, are the creatures and the effects. It's rare to watch one based on acting ability. The Brain From Planet Arous is one of those rare occasions.

Kirk Smith
Manito, Illinois

Hey everybody.

Wow, we went from The Thing to The Brain from Planet Arous, talk about opposite ends of the spectrum. This movie was always a staple of Chiller Theater and you can see why. It has everything: dopey scientists, a pretty helpless damsel in distress, clueless military guys, both good and evil aliens, the Bronson Canyon and a plot that makes no sense what so ever. Good fun.

Two things that did bother me though. One was the scenes of Gor blowing up the planes, it look like something out of Plan Nine From Outer Space. Imagine having to have to steal from Ed Wood. The second was at the end where Steve kills Gor with the ax. It was like why didn't someone do that in the first place. And then after being posses all movie, Steve doesn't believe Sally that George the dog was also possessed by the good brain Vol. Silly girl. Actually I would of like to have see a scene where Steve try's to explain to the authorities that it wasn't him doing all the killing and destruction. "You see I was taking over by an evil brain from another planet, no really I was".

It was good to see old friends John Agar, who along with, Kenneth Tobey, Jeff Morrow and Gene Roth appeared in every Sci-Fi movies in the fifties and early sixties and the Bronson Canyon, the only place to make a monster movie.

One last thing, as I was watching the movie I couldn't help thinking that this had to be the inspiration for the The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. What do you guys think. Talk to you all later.

Bob Swaney
Manalapan, NJ


You can get the DVD of THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS (1958) in the Complete DVD Catalog on-line at Creepy Classics.

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