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The Brainiac is one of those Mexican-made horror movies of the late 1950's and early 1960's that's been kicking around video lists for decades, mostly courtesy of American distributor K. Gordon Murray's English-language version, which adds some entertaining elements of American popular culture -- the dubbing of the two detectives, for example, ends up with them sounding like Joe Friday and his partner from Dragnet in their first scene. The story of a seventeenth century Mexican sorcerer (Abel Salazar, who also produced the picture) who is executed and reincarnated 300 years later, it's an okay, albeit slow-moving low-budget black-and-white chiller (once one gets past some silly special effects and theadbare sets) with some unusually grisly elements, far ahead of their time. The Alpha DVD shows some authoring flaws that made it a little difficult to start up in this reviewer's player, and lock the image momentarily at 29 minutes in and at the very end; in its defense, the release uses a good condition source -- about a match for the last time he saw this movie on broadcast television in the late 1970's -- and treats it well as far as the film-to-video transfer, with a clean (if not always sharp) picture and clear audio mastered at a comfortable volume level. The image is a little dark but not so badly as to interfere with the viewing. Alpha's usual five chapters don't break the movie down too well, but in this case the picture in question is a marginal low-rent genre entry that's hardly a diamond-in-the-rough, just a slightly effective, off-beat chiller.