Mystery Science Theater 3000 -
The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1988)

Starring: Trace Beaulieu, Joel Hodgson
Vince Rodriguez, Trace Beaulieu
Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Format: Color, Animated, Dolby
Rhino Video
DVD Features:
Also includes the uncut version of the film



Every time I review a Mystery Science Theater 3000 disc I reiterate what this show is about for those - usually people outside the US - who are unfamiliar with it. I've getting rather sick of it, so here is Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K for short) in short: it is a now defunct TV show that lampoons very bad science fiction and horror movies. It is very, very funny and well-worth checking out.

Unfortunately you won?t find any of the handful of episodes that made its way to DVD anywhere outside the States and Canada. That's right, they are only available on Region 1 DVDs and if you're living in, let's say, the UK then there's no point in you rushing off to your local HMV or Virgin for a copy. You won?t find any. If you own a region-derestricted DVD player capable of playing Region 1 discs, then you can mail order DVDs from Amazon.

Depending on the strength of your local currency relative to the US dollar, international postage fees, import taxes and the like, it may end up costing you a pretty penny, but the chances are you won?t be dissatisfied.

The Brain That Wouldn't Die just may not be the ideal place for you to start if you've never seen any of the show's episodes. While not bad, there are funnier episodes out there. Usually I tell site visitors to check out Mystery Science Theater 3000: the Movie instead.  

Alternatively, you can easily buy one of the three MST3K box sets available (each contains four discs) along with two of my personal favourite episodes, namely Eegah! and Manos - the Hands of Fate on DVD.

The Brain That Wouldn't Die, while obviously a bad movie, isn't one of the worst movies to be spoofed by the MST3K crowd though. Made in the late 1950s and shot for cheap on B&W, it's about a medical doctor who manages to save the head of his decapitated girlfriend after a car accident. He somehow manages to preserve the talking head (pun intended).

However, being a disembodied head doesn't have a lot of perks, and the girlfriend plots revenge ? an unlikely option if it wasn't for the horrific Frankenstein-like creature (another product of the good doctor's experiments) being held prisoner in a nearby closet.

Meanwhile, the slightly unorthodox doctor is cruising strip joints in search of a new body for his girlfriend.

Yup, we're talking early 'Sixties sleaze here - quite tame and even naive by today's standards. (Also check out the documentary Mau Mau Sex Sex for a good time . . .)

THE DISC: The MST3K version of the movie appears on the disc along with the original movie. However, unlike the Eegah! disc you don't have the option of viewing scenes cut from the original movie for running time purposes for the simple reason that this is a double-sided disc and the unedited The Brain That Wouldn't Die appears on the other side.

WORTH IT? If you only want The Brain That Wouldn't Die this apparently isn't the DVD for to buy though. Apparently the so-called ?Special Edition? version distributed by Image boasts a much better print with superior sound and image quality than this one.

That is, like I said, if you want only the original movie. If you're like the rest of us, then you'd probably stick to the MST3K version, which at least makes up the jokes for you . . .

RECOMMENDATION: The Brain That Wouldn't Die is recommended to those already familiar with the show. Newbies should however check out some of the other episodes I mentioned in this review instead.



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