THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE (2020) Reviews and overview

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‘She was head over heels. Now she’s just a head’

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die is a 2020 American satirical science-fiction horror feature film and a remake of the 1959 movie of the same name.

Produced, directed and edited by Derek Carl (short: Bad Seed) – making his feature debut – from a screenplay written by Hank Huffman, based on the original story by Rex Carlton and Joseph Green, the Flagship Features-Hyperbole Productions movie stars Rachael Perrell Fosket, Patrick D. Green (Jason Rising; Vicious; The Devil Knows His Own), David Withers (Vicious; Bad Exorcists; Exorcist: The Fallen) and Jason Reynolds (I Need You Dead!; Carnivorous Love; The Blair Witch Legacy).


After his fiancée Jan is in killed a car accident, a gifted surgeon Bill Cortner revives her severed head in hopes of finding her a new body.

Knowing full well that he will have to murder an innocent woman to do so, Bill’s intentions are revealed to be less than noble, especially after it becomes clear that he seeks not only a viable body but a “perfect body” – a quest that takes him through the seedier parts of the city, from smoky cabarets to sleazy swimsuit competitions.

All the while, Jan, determined to bring an end to her suffering, uses her newly acquired psychic abilities (because why not) to communicate with another of Bill’s botched experiments. Together, they plot their revenge…


“This movie is an overwhelming success in the sense that it’s a stone-cold blast […] They took one of the ultimate classic cult b-mad-scientist-horror-movies and made a modern b-mad-scientist-horror-movie, destined to find cult status.” Blood Brothers

“It could have easily gone wrong: it’s a very simple thing to overdo the humor and, along the way, lose the essence of what made the original great. I’m happy to report that this is not the case, however. The film is much more light-hearted than what came before it, sure, but in a way that celebrates the source material rather than ridiculing it.” Dread Central

“An energetic and fun throwback to the golden days of camp, kitsch, and mad scientist horror, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die is a humourful, though slightly stodgy, delight.” The Hollywood News

“The lead played by Patrick Green is pitch perfect, and the acting from the rest of the cast really sells the serious, but not serious tone of the movie. Definitely go see it if you can. If you are a fan of Mel Brooks style humor, this is well worth your time to seek out.” Horror Movie Talk

“Derek Carl’s remake is the Gus Van Sant’s Psycho of fringe cinema, in colour and with a few new jokes – the knock-out drug administered to exotic dancers is ‘cosbynol’, and there’s a sweet musical cue lifted from The Man With Two Brains – but as close as the makers can manage to the style of the original, though of course, this means more knowing performances…” The Kim Newman Web Site

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die plays up the humorous nature of the ’62 film and the cliches of 60s sci-fi B-movies, this remake never parodies Green’s movie, instead homaging and celebrating it in the best way possible. Making this one hell of a successful remake!” Nerdly

” …Hank Huffman’s emerging alterations to the original script bring the comedy thick and fast, as the source story is exposed to the twin forces of irony and revision. Soon, alongside scenes that closely reproduce Carl’s film, we also notice new lines, new characters, and wholly new sequences, all of which bring a post-millennial perspective to these post-war materials.” Projected Figures

“An affectionate and intelligent remake of the 1962 film with added humor. Looks great and works well, and the additional elements mean no fan of the original can entirely know what’s about to happen.” Ready Steady Cut!

“This is a film that capitalizes on what we loved about the B-movie original and then infusing it with clever wit and visual flair to make it a more enjoyable experience.” The Scariest Things

“They add satire to the melodrama as cappers to scenes point out the absurdity of the scene to which the characters have committed seriously. They even watch the 1962 original at one point, making it both meta and canon. Yet, this also works as nostalgic melodrama for an era when movies weren’t over being sincere about absurd premises.” Showbiz CheatSheet

” …more akin to watching the film as a stage play, with plenty of knowing moments, some that don’t work – the original film is seen on the TV at one point; an in-joke too far – but occasionally, this new version hits the mark. Added gore will bode well to an audience not familiar with the original.” Starburst

Main cast and characters:

Rachael Perrell Fosket … Jan Compton
Patrick D. Green … Dr Bill Cortner
David Withers … William Cortner
Jason Reynolds … Kurt
Robert Blanche … Detective Mancini
Mia Allen … Doris Powell
Julia Bray … Roxanne
Gaelle Lola Beauvais … Lady Marmalade
Alex Tiefenthaler … The Thing
Kristen Mortensen … Donna
Kelsey Norene … Jeanie
Bethany Jacobs … Bonnie
Devon Rawlings … Paula
Daniel Timothy Treacy … Rookie Cop
Bruce Jennings … Jeweller
Josh Rice … Hugh
Brian Sutherland … Thad Chaderson
Jeffree Newman … Blind Street Preacher
Tom Avila … Malcolm
Greg James … Bartender
Paul Avallone … Professor
Sharae Foxie … Bettie
Nikita Price … Peggy
Kate Hanson … Terri
Chris Ihlenfeldt … Burlesque Patron
P.E. Ingraham … Club Patron

Technical details:

97 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
Audio: Stereo

THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE (1959) Reviews and free to watch online in HD

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