6 March 2015 | Leofwine_draca
Stodgy story of a disembodied brain seeking justice from beyond the grave
A stodgy retelling of the classic sci-fi novel, DONOVAN'S BRAIN. Disembodied brains were all the rage when this film was made, with the likes of THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE and various Hammer Frankenstein movies playing with the possibility of life after death. However, this being a UK/West Germany co-production, the narrative actually has far more in common with the German krimi genre than a typical sci-fi movie.
The narrative sees a millionaire being blown up in a plane crash, and it soon transpires that there was a bomb on board. Novelty value comes from the millionaire's brain being used to hunt down the culprits responsible, and he does so by possessing the body of the man (Peter van Eyck) keeping him alive.
The sci-fi elements are kept to a minimum here, with the emphasis instead on the murder mystery genre. As with many krimi films, stark black and white photography is the order of the day, with the cast populated by criminals, detectives and femme fatales. Director Freddie Francis contributes atmosphere to the narrative but this is one of his lesser pieces.
The story just doesn't have much in the way of oomph or excitement to it, even though there are a handful of decent moments. There are a couple of familiar faces in the cast, including Miles Malleson and Bernard Lee, but no performances here to get excited about. Definitely a potboiler, this one, and not a decent one either.