THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS (1957) Reviews and Special Edition Blu-ray news

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The Brain from Planet Arous will be released on Blu-ray and DVD Special Editions by The Film Detective on June 21, 2022.

The film has been restored in high definition and both the widescreen (1.85) and full screen (1.33) presentations of the film will be included. Special features:

Audio commentary by film historians Tom Weaver, David Schecter, and Larry Blamire and actress Joyce Meadows
Introduction by actress Joyce Meadows
The Man Before the Brain: Director Nathan Juran featurette
The Man Behind the Brain: The World of Nathan Juran featurette
Booklet by film historian Tom Weaver

Here’s our previous coverage of the movie:

‘It’s becoming an obsession. All this power and money. Who needs it?’
The Brain from Planet Arous is a 1957 American science fiction horror film directed by Nathan Juran [as Nathan Hertz] (The Boy Who Cried Werewolf; 20 Million Miles to Earth; The Deadly Mantis) from a screenplay written by Ray Buffum (Teenage Monster). Produced by Jacques R. Marquette (Attack of the 50 Foot WomanTeenage Monster; Teenage Thunder).

The Howco International production stars John Agar, Joyce Meadows and Robert Fuller.

The soundtrack score was composed by Walter Greene (War of the Satellites; Teenage Monster; Teenage Doll and masses of Pink Panther animated shorts).

An outer space terrorist from a planet named Arous – a brain-shaped creature named Gor – arrives on Earth and possesses young scientist Steve March.

Gor proceeds to use his vast, destructive powers to bend the world to his will, threatening to wipe out the capital city of any nation that defies him.

Meanwhile, another brain from Arous – named Vol – arrives on Earth and eventually inhabits the body of March’s fiancee’s dog. Vol explains that Gor is a wanted criminal on their world. Gor’s only weakness is the Fissure of Rolando and he is only vulnerable during one brief period when he needs to exit his host to absorb oxygen…

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“Nowhere else have I seen Agar give such a gleefully unrestrained performance. Watching him as the possessed Steve March, blustering at a roomful of generals or feeling up Joyce Meadows like there’s no tomorrow, you get the feeling that Agar had never had so much fun on a movie set in his life.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

“Beyond Agar, nobody is really worthy of mention, as they aren’t given any opportunity either to shine or to earn undying ridicule. They’re just the other guys in the movie. The real stars are the brains, but they’re just visual effects all the way through to that overly convenient finale where Gor bounces around Steve’s lab as if he’s a brain balloon on a brain stem string and Vol just disappears.” Apocalypse Later

” …in a field where the physics of the real world are often violated needlessly and harshly […] The Brain from Planet Arous is far, far from being the worst of the offenders. It is also fun, pure and simple, and educational to boot.” The Bad Movie Report

“John Agar, as an actor, never quite seemed to be able to take his roles seriously. Typically, he had a silly smile on his face as if he could never get over the fact that he was acting in a movie. In BFPA, however, the smirk works. Since he was supposed to be possessed by the evil brain-thing, Gor, Agar’s usual smirk at least has a reason to be there.” Classic Sci-Fi Movies

“A bad film that is good because it’s so silly and humorously inept.” Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

“How bad is it? It’s ludicrous and cheap, but well-crafted. Should you see it? Yes. Repeatedly. It’s my favorite bad film.” Down Among the “Z” Movies

“A lot of ’50s low-budget, low-brow monster romps are pretty disappointing affairs, once you get past the misleading advertising and exciting posters.  The Brain from Planet Arous, thanks to its sense of humor and spirit of oversexed fun, is one of the most entertaining of the bunch.” DVD Savant

” …fairly standard power-mad-alien-wants-to-have-sex- with-earth-women nonsense. But it’s redeemed by a few loony plot twists (without giving anything away, the hero has four legs and eats Alpo), nice tongue-in-cheek performances, and the best actor-seen-through-a-water-cooler shot in screen history.” Entertainment Weekly

“The reason Arous stands apart from the Ed Woods is its smart script and its earnest playing. The writing and production knows the whole enterprise is ridiculous but refuses to surrender. Meadows and Agar go at their noble profession even when swinging axes at Gor’s ‘fissure of Rolando’, as if the inflated-looking brain were a party Piñata.” DVD Talk

” …it’s often the earnestness of the proceedings that raises the biggest laughs. And despite everything it has going against it. The Brain from Planet Arous is stupidly entertaining, a ridiculous but likable enough film that you’ll likely forget as soon as it’s over, but which keeps the interest up and the belly laughs coming for a harmless enough 71 minutes.” The EOFFTV Review

brain from planet arous john agar

“The story sounds laughable, but irresistible, and the movie doesn’t disappoint. It has John Agar in one of his best SF roles; he always seemed to me to be better suited for villains than heros, and this movie gives him a great one, and he looks like he’s having a lot of fun, even if those contacts must have been painful.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“There’s some funny stuff in this movie, not the least of which is the climactic scene where John Agar gets a giant axe tangled up in the wires suspending the big, bad brain from the ceiling. Pretty good stuff.” Films in Boxes

“It takes place with a straight-faced routineness and is drearily directed by Nathan Hertz. There are occasional scenes where it is woken up by a certain amusingly crude vigour […] The glowing brain itself looks effective but the effect is ruined by poor and obvious double-exposure effects.” Moria

“You can’t take this one seriously for a moment. But fortunately you don’t need to, as its fundamental goofiness is The Brain from Planet Arous’ greatest charm. I particularly love the giant brain with its big, angry glowing eyes — and the final battle with it, which is ludicrous in the best possible way.” Rivets on the Poster

“Energetic hokum with poor special effects.” Alan Frank, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook, Batsford, 1982

“Nathan Juran directs with admirable briskness (one shot of Agar through a water cooler is especially inspired) and the film is amusingly daft, with a hilarious final line.” The Spinning Image


“Look, the plot is not important. What is important is that this film features two giant brains floating around and arguing. It also features an adorable dog and some atomic weapon testing stock footage. It’s not good but it’s a lot of fun.” Through the Shattered Lens

“Agar’s friends notice a change in him (including his new black eyeballs that can explode airplanes) but they can’t figure out what the problem is. This may be really bad, but it’s good fun for the cult of John Agar fanatics.” TV Guide

Rating based on the film’s fun factor rather than quality!

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Cast and characters:
John Agar … Steve March
Joyce Meadows … Sally Fallon
Robert Fuller … Dan Murphy
Thomas B. Henry … John Fallon
Kenneth Terrell … Colonel in Conference Room
Henry Travis … Col. Frogley
E. Leslie Thomas … Gen. Brown
Tim Graham … Sheriff Wiley Pane
Bill Giorgio … Russian
Kenner G. Kemp … Military Man at Meeting
Dale Tate … Professor Dale Tate / Voices of Gor and Vol

Filming locations:
Bronson Canyon, Los Angeles, California

Technical details:
71 minutes
Black and white
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
Audio: Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

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