The Brain from Planet Arous Blu-ray review
Jun 24, 2022- Permalink
The Film Detective has released 1957’s The Brain from Planet Arous on Blu-ray and courtesy of them I was given a chance to look at it. It’s the type of ridiculously silly B movie sci-fi films that were all over the Fifties. It may seem odd that it’s getting a Blu-ray release, but this was a popular genre and though it’s not The Godfather, it’s still a part of film history that would otherwise disappear if labels like The Film Detective didn’t work to preserve it and place it within its cultural context. The film is directed by Nathan Juran, who also brought us The Deadly Mantis, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
Gor, an evil brain from outer space, is hellbent on world domination and possesses the body of scientist Steve March (John Agar) to implement his plans. Of course, the only thing that can stop an evil brain from outer space is a good brain from outer space, or at least that’s what Ted Cruz would have us believe. Enter Vol, the aforementioned good brain, who tells March’s fiancee, Sally (Joyce Meadows), that he can save March’s life by possessing her dog. Which brain will win? Will the Earth be saved? Don’t worry, it only takes a goofy 71 minutes to find out.
The 1080p AVC encoded digital transfer is presented in two aspect ratios: the original 1.85:1 and a widescreen 1.33:1. I much prefer it in the original aspect ratio. The image, understandably, does have a heavy grain pattern but I found that the details were quite sharp for a Fifties B flick. Sadly, the print that was scanned wasn’t in the best quality so there are quite a few scratches and blemishes on the print.
On the audio end of things, we have an English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono soundtrack. Subtitles are available in English SDH and Spanish. The score by Walter Greene sounds great and dialogue is clear.
The Film Detective gives us some nice extras in this release. There’s a 12 page booklet with an essay by Tom Weaver. Weaver also provides an audio commentary that discusses the production and includes input from David Schecter and star Joyce Meadows. She also appears in a 12 minute piece where she discusses her part, her work with Agar and other great tidbits. There’s a biographical look at director Nathan Juran, and another Juran featurette with C. Courtney Joyner.
If you think that The Brain from Planet Arous doesn’t deserve a Blu-ray upgrade, I’d have to disagree with you. The sci-fi B movies of the Fifties influenced many filmmakers, including Tim Burton. Preserving these works gives us the context for the movies we watch today. The Film Detective’s release of The Brain from Planet Arous preserves one of these films and the extras it comes with gives us an historical understanding. If that intrigues you, then I’d add this to your collection.