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Movies 4 You: More Sci-Fi Classics [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Still galleries
  • Additional scene from The Brain That Wouldn't Die (International version)

Synopsis

The Neanderthal Man
In a mountain home, Dr. Cliff Groves (Robert Shayne) is working hard on the theories that have driven him to the point of overbearing obsession, frightening his sister Jan (Joyce Terry), who lives with him. When the local game warden is shocked to see what looks like a saber-tooth tiger in the area, he consults scientist Dr. Ross Harkness (Richard Crane) about the mysterious animal, and the two men decide to find the tiger and kill it. Meanwhile, Groves' experimentation has escalated. One night he injects himself and turns into a savage Neanderthal man who commits a murder and a rape then quickly returns home and transforms back into Groves. When Dr. Harkness finds evidence to incriminate Groves, he confronts the madman, who transforms again, kidnapping a woman and fleeing into the woods. Unfortunately for Groves, a second saber-tooth tiger, created by injecting a housecat with his own formula, tears him to pieces; transforming back to himself, he murmurs "It's better this way," as he dies. This wearily routine variation on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was directed by E.A. Dupont, who once had a substantial reputation, based on his film Variety; his work here is indistinguishable from that of any standard low-budget hack. However, the dialogue by producers Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen is, if nothing else, highly identifiable -- they wrote some of the most ponderous, hard-to-say lines in movie history. "All I can say," poor Robert Shayne has to say, "is that I cannot determine now which I admire less in you, your humor or your wit." The makeup transformations are weirdly elaborate, though the end result -- the Neanderthal Man himself -- is rendered by a standard rubber mask. The script is not only badly written, it's clumsily organized, with way too much time spent on the saber-tooth tiger, and very little, relatively speaking, on the menace of the title. Intrigued, Ross heads up to the town, and meets Ruth Marshall (Dorris Merrick), Groves' fiancee, who has him drive her to the Groves home. Groves himself becomes furious when a group of Los Angeles scientists refuse to believe his theory that Neanderthal Man had a larger brain than human beings today. He stays furious when he meets Harkness, and when the game warden and Ross kill the saber-tooth tiger, he's initially still angry -- but is in a better mood when the body proves to have vanished., Rovi

Reptilicus
The tail of a dinosaur is excavated from the frozen tundra in Lapland and shipped to the Danish Aquarium in Copenhagen for safekeeping in this hilarious sci-fi mess. Someone turns off the refrigeration, alas, and the tail thaws. Regeneration sets in with alarming dispatch and soon the serpent-like monster, named "Reptilicus" by the learned paleontologist in charge, is devouring a paper mache Copenhagen. Written in Hollywood by Danish-American Ib Melchior (the son of Wagnerian opera star Lauritz Melchior) and produced in Denmark by Saga Films and American Sid Pink Productions, Reptilicus contains filmdom's perhaps least convincing monster and some of the worst performances imaginable from a hard-working Danish stock company. Carl Ottosen stars as the American General Grayson, angrily shouting his every line for unexplained reasons. Ottosen's wooden performance is second only to that of Bodil Miller, a former Universal starlet who appears here for no apparent reason other than to accompany Ottosen's general on a pleasant night out at the Tivoli amusement park. (A low point of the film is pop star Birthe Wilke's rendition of a ditty, "Tivoli Nights", to a visibly dazed audience.) The monster, meanwhile, fights his battles in what appears to be a child's model train landscape while hundreds of extras do their utmost to look sufficiently frightened. Considering that Reptilicus himself is never in the same frame as any humans, what causes the good citizens of Copenhagen to flee in such panic must be the strange sight of Carl Ottosen brandishing a bazooka while barking orders at the fashionably gowned Miller. Reptilicus was such a financial bomb that employees at the Danish production company, Saga Films, were prohibited from speaking the name for several years. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Brain That Wouldn't Die
An arrogant scientist brings his fiancée back from the dead in this vintage cult horror film. Dr. Bill Cortner (Jason Evers, here billed as Herb Evers) performs medical experiments despite the trepidation of his surgeon father (Bruce Brighton); transplantation is Bill's main area of interest, but he's also had some success using electric shock to restore life to the recently deceased. When Bill causes a car crash that decapitates his fiancée, Jan Compton (Virginia Leith), he spirits her head off to his secret laboratory and keeps it alive with the help of an experimental new serum. Soon, the doctor begins scouring the dives, strip clubs, and suburban streets for an attractive woman whose body he can steal to restore his lady love to her full, ambulatory glory. Meanwhile, back at the lab, Jan grows to hate Bill for refusing to let her die. Developing telepathic powers that allow her to communicate with one of Bill's failed experiments -- a snarling creature kept locked up under the stairs -- she begins to plot her revenge. Things come to a head when Bill returns to the lab with his intended victim: a bitter, disfigured, man-hating figure model (Adele Lamont). The promotional tagline for The Brain That Wouldn't Die was "Alive...without a body...fed by an unspeakable horror from hell!" The film helped provide the inspiration for '80s horror/comedy director Frank Henenlotter's Frankenhooker and Basket Case 2. The former includes a decapitated woman restored to life by her lover, while the latter features both a cameo from Brain star Jason Evers and another character who looks like the twin brother of the monster under the stairs. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

The Amazing Transparent Man
This appallingly bad sci-fi film about an invisible bank-robber (Douglas Kennedy) was shot back-to-back with Beyond the Time Barrier on the grounds of the Texas State Fair in Dallas. The usual cackling and crime is included, most of which was done better in The Invisible Man. Marguerite Chapman is the film's one bright spot as Kennedy's lowlife girlfriend, but the rest of the characters are annoying and unsympathetic. Unpleasant, downbeat, and badly produced, it is hard to see the appeal of this one, even for genre completists. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Richard Crane
    Richard Crane - Dr. Ross Harkness
  • Robert Easton
    Robert Easton
  • Beverly Garland
    Beverly Garland
  • Image coming soon
    Robert Long - Jim
  • Doris Merrick
    Doris Merrick - Ruth Marshall
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.