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  • 'The Brain From Planet Arous' is a compelling tale of a scientist who becomes possessed by an alien with an attitude. The scientist is played by b-grade legend John Agar ('Attack Of The Puppet People' and dozens of other gems) and the alien is a giant floating brain with eyes. Did I mention that the alien is sex-starved and has the hots for Agar's fiancee good girl Joyce Meadows? Meadows and her Pop (Thomas Browne Henry) desperately plot to save Agar before he can a) jump her bones and b) enslave the world, their only help being another (good) alien who hides inside their faithful pooch. Yes, this is one ridiculously entertaining movie that will be enormously enjoyed by any bad movie buff. Highly recommended sci fi silliness!
  • Space_Mafune24 September 2002
    This plot of this film is really out there-an arrogant evil alien brain named Gor possesses the body of Steve March(here played with gusto by John Agar) and plans on using it to help her conquer the world!(and also get real friendly with Steve's girlfriend Sally-played by Joyce Meadows). A good alien brain named Val inhabits Sally's dog to try and stop the evil alien brain. It's amazing how entertaining and fun this film really is--watching it is always a good time.
  • The first time I ever saw or heard of BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS, I was twelve and it was shown on "Creature Features." When I first saw it, I thought it was kind of cheap, but I enjoyed it. Years later I heard of its bad reputation but I had my memories of it not being all that bad. Seeing it again as an adult, I actually found much the films ludicrousness entertaining. Not just that, I was surprised by the films slightly unusual premise: the alien brain named Gor bent on taking over the Earth is a criminal. The rest of the Arousians are like Vol- a policeman from Arous sent to arrest the evil Gor - basically peaceful. It's slightly unusual for a film from this period for the alien invader to be portrayed as not representative of his race. The idea of alien police man stalking an alien criminal (as a previous commentator in this forum has noted) has turned up in few science fiction novels. This plot also shows up in the excellent 1987 thriller THE HIDDEN.

    While the films special effects are cheap, they are no better or worse than those in most other programmer films made on this budget from the same period. The film does has some really ludicrous moments already mention by previous reviewers. Some complaints mentioned in this forum are unjustified and seem to be the result of straining. Like the commentator who complained about bodies not decaying. It's absurd, but it is the kind of mistake that turns up all the time even in "good" movies.

    One of the films main problems is John Agar. As film historian and 50's science fiction expert Bill Warren has pointed out, John Agar tries, but he can't pull it off. When he becomes possessed and tries to be evil, he comes across more as comical than menacing. If a much better actor was cast, perhaps this film might be more highly regarded. I think a good example would be to compare Agar's performance to that of Lew Ayers in DONOVAN'S BRAIN (See my entry on that film). DONOVAN'S BRAIN has a similar theme: evil disembodied brain bent on world conquest takes over the body of a scientist. Ayers was convincing, Agar is not.

    Perhaps the strangest thing about this film is that when it first came out, reviewers dismissed it as a "routine programmer" "conventional science fiction" and "just another double bill shocker." Regardless of what you think of this film, I'm sure you will agree those words certainly don't apply to BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS.

    Till next time...Your Old Pal Jim.
  • My friend, who's a John Agar fan, clued me in on this. I saw it on video the other night. It's one of those movies that is so bad, that it's pretty good (or at least not a complete waste of time). I especially like the scene where Agar's character, while driving a jeep through the desert, crashes into a huge rock that he couldn't possibly have missed, then says something like "well, I guess we walk from here." The ending is completely beyond belief; you have to see it to believe anyone would end a movie like that.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you watch 1950s sci-fi much, then you're familiar with John Agar. Using a flashlight, he conquered an entire civilization in "The Mole People"; he saved a small Arizona town from destruction in "Tarantula"; but here, he really excels—Agar saves the entire universe! When scientist Steve (Agar) and his assistant Dan (Robert Fuller) notice a "blast of radiation" from Mystery Mountain, they decide to investigate. In a nearby cave, they're attacked by a giant floating brain with eyes, which kills Dan with a bright light and then (in a very inept special effect) hides in Agar's body.

    Back at the lab, the brain emerges from Steve, introduces himself as "Gor" from the Planet Arous, and tells Steve he'd better cooperate—or else. Since Gor is so powerful, he can control everything Steve does, and pretty soon Steve starts getting quite lecherous with his fiancée Sally (Joyce Meadows). This has to be some sort of cinema first…a sex-starved floating brain! Later, Sally and her dad John (Thomas Browne Henry) are visited by yet another floating brain, this one's named "Vol" and is a law-enforcement brain from Arous. Vol announces that he also needs a body to hide out in, and after thinking it over, decides to hide in Agar's dog, George. Not silly enough yet? Just wait….

    When he's not pawing Sally or tormenting Steve, Gor blows up a passenger plane, kills the local sheriff, burns up an Army colonel, and sets off a nuclear explosion. He then assembles representatives from all the world's countries and tells them that they must help him construct a fleet of spaceships so he can conquer Arous, then the universe! (At least Gor doesn't think small.)

    Things are looking pretty bleak, so Sally has a chat with Vol. He tells her that Gor could conceivably be killed by a direct blow to the top of his, uh, cerebrum in the area of the "Fissure of Rolando". She leaves a note to Steve telling him about Gor's weakness, so when Gor emerges again, Steve grabs a convenient ax, and beats the offending brain to death in a bravura climax.

    Probably the most fascinating thing about this movie is that the cast keeps perfectly straight faces throughout the whole film. If you're in for vintage entertainment with the most outrageously silly sci-fi plot of all time, you should watch this.
  • Generally speaking there are two types of Sci-Fi movies from the 1950's. First and foremost you have the timeless and indisputable classics. These are the highly influential milestones that everybody knows and appreciates, like "The Day The Earth Stood Still", "Forbidden Planet", "This Island Earth" and a selected few others. Secondly you have the massive overload of low-budgeted, insignificant but tremendously amusing campy B-movies. These movies handle about the weirdest and most grotesque alien invasion stories and feature the craziest monster designs and special effects. The majority of those films are long forgotten and very obscure by now, but if you happen to stumble upon a cheap DVD version, you're guaranteed to have a great time! "The Brain from Planet Arous" is such an irresistible camp oldie. The plot is preposterous, the titular monster is a ludicrous creation and the script is chock-full of slightly perverted undertones and insinuations. Dig this: the eminent scientist Steve March and his assistant head out to the remote area of Mystery Mountain because there are unusual fluctuations in the radioactivity measurements. Once there, they run into an evil alien from the planet Arous that goes by the name of Gor. Gor is in fact a gigantic floating brain with a pair of evil penetrating eyes who promptly kills the assistant and possesses the body of Steve. Gor wants to do very sexist things to Steve's fiancée Sally, but his main objective nevertheless remains dominating the entire universe. His hobbies include burning people's faces and causing planes to explode in open air. Luckily, for our planet's sake, Arous also sent a good alien named Vol to prevent Gor from executing his fiendish plans. In order to stay close to Gor, Vol possesses the body of Steve's loyal dog George! Now, through this brief plot description it's probably clear already why "The Brain from Planet Arous" isn't ranked amongst the biggest Sci-Fi classics of the 50's decade, but it's definitely great entertainment. The film is fast-paced and doesn't suffer from dullness at all. Genre expert Nathan Juran ("The 7th Voyage of Sinbad", "20 Million Miles to Earth") assures a tight direction and John Agar is the B-movie veteran actor at your service. There are numerous memorable highlights to be found here, like watching how Agar painfully struggles with his black contact lenses or the meeting of the world leaders gathered in a small office in Indian Springs; Nevada. The abrupt ending leaves many questions unanswered (like how is Steve every going to talk his way out of what happened) and the whole thing only gets sillier if you think about it, but "The Brain from Planet Arous" definitely comes warmly recommended to all tolerant fans of Sci-Fi nonsense.
  • Next to the movies that come out today this is 2001 A Space Odyssey. Actually it is pretty good if you can get past the hilarity of brains floating around with two eyes. The eyes were very expressive. I call them phony Disney eyes. You know the eyes all the Walt Disney cartoon characters have had since the 80's.

    John Agar who married a very young Shirley Temple years ago is the star of this movie along with the pet pooch. I understand he had a little drinking problem and that did not help his career. Still he was skilled enough not to make this into a over acted mess like most of actors who portray superhuman aliens that can destroy the universe. He acted like a regular guy most of the time.

    I am not going to give away the whole movie other then to say it looks like Gor a alien from this planet escaped the police and landed in John Agar's brain. We know this because Vol is another alien from Arous but he is cop looking for the elusive Gor. Vol is also a floating brain but he decides the family dog is the best place for him to hide out. In the meantime John Agar kills his colleague because he is a rival for Joyce Meadows affection. Vol let's Joyce and her father know that her boyfriend is acting strange because Gor has taken over his body.

    Gor/Agar can blow up airplanes just by looking at them and he does. There is a Atomic Age sub story. Gor shows his might by demanding a meeting by all the superpowers take place so he can show them he is even more powerful then the A Bomb. This is all very entertaining. I like the idea that the Joyce Meadows character is not your typical blithering idiot girlfriend. Gor/Agar becomes a little frisky with Joyce but the dog is not going for it, The Alien in the dog is a good idea because the dog can hang out with Gor/Agar without any suspicion being cast. So as silly as it seems, it works. It it much better the Vol hiding outing in a human whose presence has to be explained.

    The end comes quickly and I am not going to give it away. But this was a nice little movie that is not as bad as the title makes it seem.
  • My 10/10 rating of course only applies because I assume that only '50s-B-movie fetishists would even take any interest in "The Brain from Planet Arous". But previous reviewers have noted that this movie takes a slightly different approach: criminal brain Gor comes to earth to inhabit a man's body and thereby rule the universe, while police brain Vol arrives in search of the criminal brain (meaning that most of the brains on Planet Arous are good guys). Therefore, even non-fetishists should take some interest in this movie.

    The characters are pretty much what one would expect: the men are all hot-headed, while the one woman is desperate. The main character Steve March is played by John Agar, aka Shirley Temple's first husband. I also saw him in "Journey to the Seventh Planet" (although I paid slightly more attention to the hot babes in that one). Maybe he starred in '50s and '60s B-sci-fi movies because his reputation as Shirley Temple's ex limited his opportunities (actually, I don't know whether that limited his opportunities). Also starring are Joyce Meadows as Steve's hubby Sally Fallon, Thomas Brown Henry as her father John, and Dale Tate as the voices of Gor and Vol. If this had ever gotten shown on "MST3K", Mike or Servo or Crow probably would have said "If Planet Arous has a brain, why didn't the people behind this movie?" But I personally didn't think find this a bad movie. Like any '50s sci-fi flick, you have to accept it for what it is.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The first few minutes of this film had me thinking maybe I was about to see an unappreciated gem. The science actually made some sense, and the banter between the leads was fairly sharp and believable. This all changed a few minutes into the movie when the most likable character, the scientist's assistant, is unceremoniously killed. After that, the once-promising movie degenerates into the usual 50s sci-fi silliness, still amusing and worth seeing through, yet sadly lacking the promise of those first few shining minutes.

    I will say it was heartwarming to see how quickly the girlfriend and her father accept the presence of the second, good alien brain. They would be ideal emissaries to alien worlds in view of their great flexibility of mind. The desert settings used in this film are also attractive. Finally, I must hand it to the U.S. military for being so quick to deduce that an alien invasion of some sort was taking place.
  • jonbecker0316 November 2010
    This film has a reputation as one of the all-time stinkers, a reputation that it in no way deserves. How many stars should i give it? At least eight, but should I go as high as nine? Or even ten? Arguably it DOES deserve ten stars, as it compares favorably with such fifties sci fi classics as "Earth vs the Flying Saucers" (a definite "ten" film in my book). I've seen most of the John Agar science fiction films and i'm quite impressed with them. The man does reign as one of the great sci fi film icons of the fifties and sixties. Most of his sci fi films follow a formula. The idea is to contrast the charming Mr. Agar, the epitome of Midwestern normality, with the outrageous, literally out-of-this world goings-on featured in these pictures. And this formula almost always works. This time it's disembodied brains from outer space, a "good" brain and an "evil" one. The evil one ends up residing in Agar's body, so the actor ends up giving TWO performances in essence. He acts as his usual self, and as a maniacal power-crazed version of himself. (Picture McLean Stevenson playing the role of an out-and-out villain.) "Arous" has developed a cult following, but for all the wrong reasons. It shouldn't be noteworthy for being bad. It should be remembered as a very successful example of fifties-style formula science fiction.
  • Now this is the ultimate in 50s low budget drive-in outer space silliness. A rogue Brain from planet Arous comes to Earth to overtake body of an good boy atomic scientist and (surprisingly) conquer the Earth! Later, second Brain arrives to stop him, overtaking the body of poor doggie. Special effects look like the ones from Attack of the 50ft Woman (see-through monsters etc.) and the plot is similarly goofy. John Agar´s performance as an atomic scientist turned fiend is overacted as ever, which but adds to whole goofiness of the film. Recommended to any 50s B-movie fan.
  • aramm623 April 2006
    "The Brain From Planet Arous" is one of the best 50's sci-fi films of that genre. In the 60's and 70's it was on WOR, or WPIX TV about twice a month. If you are a fan of this film, you should absolutely buy the DVD. It's part of the Wade Williams Collection, and put out by Image Entertainment. The DVD transfer is excellent! One of the better things about this film, is that it is in B & W, not color. John Agars' performance is the ultimate campy overacting, but it fits in just great! There is a small, but good part played by a very young Robert Fuller in the beginning. This film rates up along with another from that time period. "Attack Of The Crab Monsters!" aramm6@yahoo.com
  • This movie has a very simple plot-it provides for a lot of drama: A bad brain takes over John Agar's body and tries to take over the planet and a good brain takes over his girlfriend's dog's body-the good brain has to try to stop the bad one. But it is a crazy film because you get to actually get to see the brains-at the beginning and at the end of the show- flying around. I recommend watching this show if you haven't seen it before,especially if you get in a mood to watch a wacky film. I own this film and am proud of it- my favorite scene in the film is when John Agar(who is being controlled by the bad brain)-tells an assembly of foreign ambassadors to conform to his demands;the Russian guy stops and says "...that's impossible, Russia will never stand for this..." John Agar replies "I have a simple solution to that- th'ill be no more Russia." I am not sure- but the dog in this movie looks exactly like the one in "Revenge of the Creature" John Agar stars in that one too.
  • This film gets off to a decent start. I like films set in the desert. And the acting of Robert Fuller is adequate. But too soon, we leave the desert, Fuller leaves the movie (to save his career no doubt). And we're left with a dimwitted plot, campy looking aliens that wouldn't scare a bird, and John Agar's "acting".

    All suspense is lost early on when we see the evil alien, an uninspired floating ball with two sleepy eyes. And of course the ball speaks English, convenient for the film's characters --- and the intended audience. Near the end of the film, the alien makes a little speech (in English of course), rambling on about Caesar, Napoleon, and Hitler. Seems our alien is both talkative and well educated.

    The film's plot is painfully anthropomorphic. The idea of a criminal "brain" hungry for power is hardly alien; it's all too human. And John Agar's performance has to be seen to be believed. His facial expression right before he kills the sheriff is true camp. The abrupt ending of the film gives the impression that it ended simply because the producer ran out of money.

    This campy, 1950's sci-fi flick is a lot of fun. I get more laughs out of it than I do out of some contemporary comedies.
  • As a kid growing up on Long Island in the 1970s, I was lucky enough to watch TV shows like "Creature Features" on Channel 5 and "Chiller Theater" on Channel 11. Movies like "Brain from Planet Arous" were staples of these SciFi and Horror- themed formats....

    I have just ordered a copy of this movie and am anxiously awaiting seeing it for the first time in probably 30 years! I don't remember a ton of the plot details but I do remember that John Agars silver/black eye pupils were FREAKING CREEPY LOOKING, and the "Brain" monsters were pretty scary... at least to a 10 year old. Definitely a MUST SEE MOVIE for any serious SciFi buff!

    If I had to list the Top 5 Best / Scariest SciFi movies from when I was a Kid they would be:

    #5)"Fiend Without a Face / Night of the Blood Beast" - 2 different movies; one of these was pretty scary. (I just don't remember which one...)

    #4)"Attack of the Crab Monsters" - The giant crabs faces and voices were pretty scary, as I recall...

    #3)"Brain From Planet Arous" - As a kid, I used to imagine Gor (the evil Brain) was hiding in my bedroom closet, waiting to "get me"...

    #2)"The Killer Shrews" - our basement was dark, had a space under the stairs AND a wet bar; just like the one where the Killer Shrew hid and waited to bite his victim!

    #1) My ***All - Time Favorite Scariest B-Movie*** is "Terror From the Year 5000", with the mutant woman who fries you with her shiny Lee Press-On Nails and then steals your face!!! (Salome Jens, you totally hot mutant babe, you!)
  • The concept, though not brilliant, could have worked -- but the amateurish treatment spoils the effort. While conducting field work in the desert, scientist John Agar encounters a huge floating brain which turns out to be a sadistic, power-hungry alien name Gor, a fugitive from it's home planet. The alien can become translucent and fade into Agar's body, controlling him while it uses its telekinetic powers and delights in the pleasures of human flesh. But it has to come out every twenty hours to `re-oxygenate' (?). Admittedly the alien is not badly designed (the brain has strange glowing eyes with no pupils).

    Whenever Gor/Agar is using his telekinetic powers, Agar's eyes become shiny black orbs (an nice bit of makeup). Gor/Agar demonstrates his mental powers of destruction for a group of generals and diplomats by `willing' an atomic explosion to occur in the nearby desert (great stock footage of buildings being destroyed by shock waves and heat flashes). Then Gor/Agar orders them to put Earth's population to work creating a space fleet so he can return to his own planet and conquer it.

    Meanwhile, a second alien name Vol comes to Earth to save it from Gor. To spy on Gor, Vol takes control of Agar's dog. Vol/dog elicits the aid of Agar's fiancé (lovely Joyce Meadows). She's glad to help, because she already knew SOMETHING was wrong with Agar after he turned kinky and tried to rape her on a lawn chair.

    Beware: the finale is a short and unexciting struggle between Agar (armed with an ax) and the floating Gor brain. And Agar's closing line to his fiancé' is painfully stupid. When she tries to tell him that a good-guy alien has been in control of the dog, John doesn't believe her. He just laughs and says, `Oh, honey -- that imagination of yours!'

    If you're absolutely desperate for a 1950s sci-fi flick you haven't already watched to death, this one might be worth watching -- but only to laugh at.
  • sreyno-221 April 1999
    As a boy this movie scared me to death! Now as an adult with better video sources I can say: "You can hardly see that string!"
  • That's right--"The Brain From Planet Arous" is _indeed_ John Agar's best science-fiction movie...but that's not saying very much. While it is undoubtedly _cheap_ (the giant alien brains in their natural form look a lot like balloons!), and while the storyline is sheer goofiness bordering on surrealism (one of the brains inhabits the body of a dog!), it _is_ somehow fun to watch, in spite of (or more likely because of) its low-budget limitations. And John Agar IS fun to watch; you can tell that he's doing his best here--in the scenes where he's possessed by the evil brain, he had to wear some very uncomfortable silver contact lenses--but the odd, yet by-the-numbers script doesn't give him much to work with. Still, if you're willing to put your own brain on hold for a little while, you might get a kick out this movie.
  • Brain from Planet Arous, The (1957)

    ** (out of 4)

    Silly sci-fi tale of a scientist (John Agar) who goes into a new cave to see what made it and discovers that it was a large brain (with glowing eyes) from outer space. The brain takes control of his body in hopes of learning the various secrets of Earth but fear not because space also sends a good brain to help. Just reading a plot like that lets you know that you're watching a "B" movie from the 1950s that probably thrilled and scared thousands of kids who were taken to the drive-in by their parents. When seen today these movies certainly don't have the ability to scare and more likely than not they're laughed at due to how melodramatic their story lines are. THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS isn't a very good film but there are a few good things that make it worth viewing. Needless to say, with such a low budget the special effects really leave a lot to desire and this includes our friend, the deadly brain. The effect of the brain is quite simple but my one real question is why on Earth they decided to give the thing eyes. The site of a flying brain is silly enough but to then give it eyes wasn't really a smart move but it does provide a few laughs. Another silly aspect in the story is that Agar's character becomes possessed by this thing and is given the ability to blow things up with his eyes. There are scenes towards the end when he's showing the government his "power" and you have to wonder why they all just sit around and let him do this stuff without even attempting to stop him. Speaking of Agar, he's certainly the main reason to check this film out. Fans of the genre are certainly going to know him from his countless entries into the genre but this here is a rather unique way to see him. For the most part he was always playing the good guy trying to stop the evil monsters but here he gets to play a real jerk and he does a wonderful job with it. There are several scenes where he's abusing his girlfriend (Joyce Meadows) and they're actually quite effective. I thought the actor did a very good job playing bad and it's a shame he wasn't given more opportunities to do this. Meadows is decent in her role of the love interest but you have to admit that she's one of the dumbest girlfriends from this era of films. Robert Fuller, Henry Travis and Thomas B. Henry co-star. Fans of the genre will probably want to check this out simply for the silly nature of it but I'm sure most others will want to skip it and check out something better.
  • In the 1950s and 60s, John Agar made a ton of ultra-low budget horror films of varying quality (though most were pretty poor--at least when it came to the technical aspects of the films). While many would make fun of the films, I like them because of their campy qualities and sense of nostalgia. So, when I found THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS, I was thrilled to see it. Oddly, however, the film is a combination of an excellent and rather original plot and super-duper cheese!

    The film begins with some sort of light crashing in the nearby desert. Agar and an expendable friend go to investigate. It turns out that there is a giant translucent brain with eyeballs named Gor who is waiting to be "rescued"--because he plans on taking over a body and setting about taking over the Earth. You really have to see this stupid special effect to believe it--it's incredibly dumb. Also, having already seen the really bad Peter Graves sci-fi film, KILLERS FROM SPACE (1954), I knew that nothing good would be waiting for him in this cave!! Too bad Agar's character hadn't seen it--he would have known that only bad things are waiting inside!

    Once back home, you know that the alien living within Agar is evil, as the dog doesn't like him and Agar is really interested in sex---reaaallly interested! This SHOULD have let his fiancée know that he was an alien or a Communist or something bad (as every clean and good American can only think of sex once legally married) and eventually she and her dad go to the cave themselves. This is an interesting point in the film, as ANOTHER floating eyeballed brain appears to them, but this is a good one. It seems that Gor is an evil being that escaped from his prison and he's come to help the Earth rid itself of this over-sexed alien.

    Who will prevail? Will the evil Gor become our overlord? Is the nice alien really nice or able to defeat Gor? Will Gor get laid? Tune in and find out for yourself! Just be forewarned that the final scene with the inflatable brain suspended by wires is a sight you won't soon forget!! Overall, while silly and cheesy at times, the plot is interesting and it's fun to watch Agar, as he really does great in this sort of role. In other words, while a low-budget horror film, Agar puts a lot of energy into it and plays up the "evil Agar" to the hilt! While for years he's gotten a lot of ribbing for bad acting, in this film he was perfect for the role and I think that sometimes he's unfairly attacked. While certainly no thespian, what could you expect from Agar with the sort of parts he was offered in the years following his divorce from Shirley Temple? Plus, his antics as Gor were just darn funny--and were meant to be.

    While not a film I'd recommend to the average person, for lovers of 50s sci-fi, this is an absolute must!
  • This is a surprisingly entertaining sci-fi flick from the 50s despite some very obvious shortcomings such as the actors walking off camera leaving us with no action or the brain suspended with visible filament. It's also refreshing when the military and politicians readily accept extra-terrestrial causes for some unexplained events. And with scant evidence to boot! All this is laughable but in a way charming in an innocent way, as if a child's imagination had been allowed to run wild.

    The main actors were rather enjoyable as well. John Agar plays his part with gusto and his evil genius laugh is classic. But it is the shapely Joyce Meadows who raises this movie above the pack. Her scenes with Agar exude sensuality, especially while Agar is inhabited by the evil brain. In the first one Agar becomes so passionate that Meadows wonders what has possessed him. This of course begs the question as to how he could have helped been passionate before. Meadows is not a classic beauty but she is hot! This is definitely a fun movie. It doesn't take itself seriously and when one comes into it with no expectations it proves to be a surprise find.
  • This is yet another underrated John Agar Schlocko-Sci-Fi Movie from the Fifties and Sixties. Its pacing appears immediately as a problem(far too SLOW in building towards the film's plot points and overall plot), but, to paraphrase past video/movie reviews from "Video Review" magazine, of the no less SCHLOCKO and Rather-Reaganesque, uber-CONFORMIST 80's, ... if you're looking for some "Vegematic movie" Laughs, "The Brain From Planet Arous" will NOT let you down!

    "The EVIL Brain" of course, steals the cinematic show, even from the flick's star, Mr. Agar, whose body this "Salacious, and Sex-Starved, Fiend from The Deepest Fathoms of Space" has tragically, ... overtaken.

    Will leave the rest of the story of this again, underrated John Agar flick, to You, The Viewer, to decide IF this really is an underrated work by Agar, and this film's also, often too underrated Director, NATHAN H. JURAN.

    Mind you, Dear Viewer, this movie is not as effective as Agar's starring roles in such SCHLOCKO Masterpieces as "Tarantula," or "The Revenge Of The CREATURE," ... but still on my "Schlocko-B-Movie Scale," it's gotta rate, a well-earned 8 out of 10! Alright, so I have far less TASTE and "Culture" than that-there LEONARD MALTIN Lad!

    So what! I still appreciate the STRONG acting PERFORMANCES, in this Fifties Sci-Fi movie, as well as in many other such flicks, wherein the actors, the entire CAST is challenged by the truly cheesy "Special Effects"(well by our now, 21st Century Standards, of course they're cheesy!), to truly convince "We the viewers," that there IS indeed a real existential threat coming "right at us," from this "Womanizer-Wanna-Be' of a "Brain," ah-hem, from indeed, HIS{and it IS surely a MALE Brain, Folks!) Planet, of "AROUS"!

    Wonderful performances are turned in as well by JOYCE MEADOWS as the attractive source of the Ever-Loving Lustfulness, from this disgustingly, sexually AGGRESSIVE, from this "Interstellar SEX-ADDICT," really, from this Stinkin' Space CADET, ah-hem, I mean, from the "Space Brain," and yes, I do believe that IS, the notable B-Movie Actor Thomas B. Henry, who plays Ms. Meadows' Dad.

    Enjoy it! And it's NOT only for kids and CHRONICALLY-WACKY, Emotionally IMMATURE "Adults," like me, either, folks, believe me, ... it is not.
  • There is a very brief scene from this movie in the opening credits of Malcolm in the Middle. You must look quickly to see it in the upper right corner of the screen. It is the scene where the evil Gor finally gets chopped up.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    John Agar stars in this quintessential mix of '50s sci-fi themes. Tracking an object from space that disappears from the desert sky into a mountain; something's there. Steve (Agar) and colleague Dan (Robert Fuller) explore. In a cave, The radioactivity jumps.

    And there it is--the evil brain from Arous (Gor)--that absorbs itself into the injured Steve. Returning, Steve necks with girlfriend Sally (Joyce Meadows). That's pretty spontaneous for him; he's different in other ways too. "I know you Steve, and I know when there's something wrong." He gets more aggressive; her dog attacks him. He's out of there. At home, the brain floats off: "who are you?" demands Steve. It seems that the "savage" human Sally is attractive to this alien. Anyway, the brain needs his body because he's a nuclear scientist.

    When Sally's dad, John Fuller (Ken Teller), gets home, she tells him that Steve went nuts. John goes to see Steve to check him out. Obviously, the brain wrenches him whether he tries talking as good old Steve. "Don't you think we should do something?!" Sally tells John later. Her dad's oddly blase about it, though. But she thinks that if they go to the mountain, they'll find something out.

    Ascending to the same spot as Steve and Dan, they find the mysterious cave. We know something's going to happen. There's the same flash of light...they see Dan's corpse. "Earthlings..." It's alien brain #2 (Val); he's after the criminal brain. John and Sally agree to meet the "thing" again the next night. Meanwhile, Steve is calling the local base commander. Seems that his brain wants to spy on the earthlings' nuclear test. Steve gets the usual Faustian bargain from the alien: your body/soul for unlimited power. As arranged, the Val visits John and Sally.

    Somewhat whimsically, it's decided that Val will inhabit the dog's body; it should be above suspicion around Steve. Seems that the aliens should have no trouble sensing each other's presence, but apparently not. Steve's up to no good: he drives out to a spot where he looks up at a passing plane, making it explode. Later, he takes Sally (and the dog) out on a drive. "That's our world out there, Sally, yours and mine!" And then he puts the moves on her again. He tells her about the A-bomb test--his "discovery" will overshadow that puny bomb.

    Getting aggressive with her yet again, the dog growls at him. They go to the plane crash site. The Colonel (Henry Travis) is there; radiation is involved in the crash. "It could be the beginning of the end," Steve says melodramatically. Returning home, we see that Val tells them how Gor can be killed. Now the sheriff (Tim Graham) comes to talk to Steve about Dan's death. Dan's body shows the same burn marks as the victims of the plane crash. It seems that since Steve and Dan both coveted Sally, there's a mighty conventional motive for killing Dan.

    No problem, as Steve (speaking for Gor), proudly admits to the murders of Dan and the airplane victims. The upshot is that the Sheriff gets toasted too. Ok, on to Washington D. C., and the investigation into the airplane crash. The conclusion is that the attack was from an extra-terrestrial source. Back home, Steve shows up for a bbq at the Fullers, bragging about the nuke test the next day. He promised an alarming "demonstration." He seems to think that he'll be needed in D. C. "all this power and money..." is exactly what she doesn't want to hear about.

    It's hard to believe she wouldn't distance herself from her: he's been annoying, borish, not to mention abusive. At the nuclear test HQ the next day, Steve meets the general in charge. Although he's not invited to the top-level meeting, Steve's got his own agenda. He's in. So, watching a TV broadcast of the test site, he makes his own blast. They're astounded, naturally. One officer tries to shoot him, but that guy's immediately obliterated. Steve's demands: a meeting with reps from all the nuclear powers.

    Immediate panic. If any country doesn't show, their capital will be obliterated. Absurdly, though, he's soon back to a scene of everyday bliss with Sally. But, she's clued in about how to destroy Gor. Well, the representatives of the Powers indeed show up for the big meeting. Uh, oh, another demonstration is in order. Scratch another airliner. Steve (Gor) demands all of the nuclear powers strategic assets. We're to build spaceships to retake Arous, his home planet.

    The Earth's to be retained as a colony. Not so fast: Sally's sneaking around in the !ab, making notes on Gor's vulnerability. When Steve returns, Gor has to exit his body to keep his strength. Sally, who's been hiding, screams. The brain attacks her, but the 'real' Steve hacks at it with an ax. He eventually gets it in the weak spot, and kills it. The end.

    This was very well-done; much better than expected. Agar's character is a classic tragic hero: reminiscent of Dracula for his seductive desire for power over women, as well as Faust or Prometheus earthly power (otherworldly too, in this case), if not a god-like immortality. For the most part (minus the inexplicable loyalty Sally continues to show for Steve/Gor), the plot retains an consistent inner believability. There's no wasted scenes; the pacing never lets up. Agar is the perfect ordinary guy turned mad scientist bus alien possession; only Ray Milland's Man With the X-Ray Eyes gives a comparable stare of evil power.

    The outer world (the nuclear test business, subsequent big-shot meeting, and DC. Investigation) is blended in well with the basic Gor/Steve, Val and Sally plot. Except for the shots of the actual blast, there's no annoying stock footage, no intrusive narrator. The aliens themselves are admittedly a bit ludicrous; but by just making them brains, the simulation is simplified--we don't need a guy in a suit awkward monster.

    The idea of a friendly alien, which could've been a silly ploy, is well thought-out; we learn the backstory while fleshing-out (with brain matter?) the main plot with a more mature theme. That is, unlike many films of this type, the aliens aren't completely evil and without motive. The Brain From Planet Arous takes the conventions of space-age sci-fi, and arranges them astutely, giving us an entertaining and familiar treat.
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