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BRAIN OF BLOOD (1972) ** ½

Eddie Romero’s shot-in-the-Philippines “Blood Island” trilogy made a buck for somebody back in the USA during the late 60’s, so the producers wanted another film for the franchise.  They were too cheap to go back to the Philippines to film it, so instead they hired director Al (Blood of Dracula’s Castle) Adamson to helm it in his own backyard for $12.  The results are somewhat of a mess, but it’s still one of Adamson’s best movies. 

 

A dictator of a fictional country (Reed Hadley) dies and his sons (The Incredible Shrinking Man’s Grant Williams and Zandor Vorkov) hire a mad scientist (Kent Taylor from The Mighty Gorga) to perform an illicit brain transplant to save his life.  The first step is naturally to wrap his corpse head to toe in aluminum foil like a baked potato; then Taylor sends out his hideously deformed assistant Gor (John Bloom) to get a (unwilling) donor body.  After Gor drops his potential patient from a fire escape and fractures his neck, Taylor decides to put the dictator’s brain into Gor’s body, which complicates things with his fiancée (Regina Carrol, the director’s wife). 

 

There’s also a subplot involving Taylor’s midget assistant (played by who else, Angelo Rossitto) who keeps women chained up in the basement, a great flashback where a bunch of rednecks pour battery acid on Gor’s face, and some pretty memorable and messy brain surgery scenes. 

 

Taylor is pretty great as the demented doctor (he was in SIX Adamson movies altogether), but the rest of the cast (most of whom appeared in Adamson’s Dracula vs. Frankenstein the previous year) is uneven to say the least.  I guess that’s to be expected when you cast your wife and friends in your movie instead of experienced actors.

 

The goofy premise and funky performances will keep you snickering, but it’s Gor’s get-up that receives the most laughs.  The make-up is positively awful and he resembles a close cousin of the monster from The Brain That Wouldn’t Die; and just like that monster, you can see the actor’s hair showing through the bald cap. 

 

Brain of Blood loses points for it’s slapdash storytelling and erratic editing, but ironically, it’s one of Adamson’s more coherent efforts.  It moves along at a steady pace, and if you have a high tolerance for Adamson’s ineptitude, you’ll probably find yourself in Bad Movie Heaven. 

 

AKA:  Brain Damage.  AKA:  The Brain.  AKA:  The Creature’s Revenge.  AKA:  The Oozing Skull.  AKA:  The Undying Brain.

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