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Brain Eaters

USA 1958
produced by
Ed Nelson, Roger Corman (executive) for AIP
directed by Bruno VeSota
starring Ed Nelson, Alan Frost, Cornelius Keefe (as Jack Hill), Joanna Lee, Jody Fair, David Hughes, Robert Ball, Greigh Phillips, Orville Sherman, Leonard Nimoy, Doug Banks, Henry Randolph, Saul Bronson
screenplay by Gordon Urquhart

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When near the small village Riverdale, Illinois, a weird cone, 50 feet in diameter, that might be a spaceship (or some devilry from Russia) is found & at the same time lifestock & even some people turn up dead, the government sends two-fisted no-nonsense senator K.Powers (Cornelius Keefe) to sort things out.

He & scientist Kettering (Ed Nelson as the young hero) soon discover the problem is on a lmuch larger scale than they have imagined when they witness Riverdale's mayor (Orville Sherman) going wild before their eyes in a manner that he has to be shot dead. Once he is dead though they discover a parasite (or brain eater) attached to his neck who might have been the reason for all this. & that's only the beginning, as other brain eaters seem to have found other hosts & they are slowly traing to take over Riverdale - & hereafter, the USA (?).

& while Riverdale is slowly taken over, first & foremost all telecommunication services, cutting the village off from the rest of the country, Kettering & Powers, supported among others by the mayor's son Glenn (Alan Frot) - who also narrates the story offscreen -, his wife Elaine (Jody Fair) & Kettering's girlfriend Alice (Joanna Lee) find Doctor Hensigman (Saul Bronson), a scientist who has disappeared from the face of the earth 5 years ago & who was obviously abducted by the beings inside the cone - which turns out to be not an UFO at all but some kind of drill from the earth's core, housing beings of the earth's carnivourous age (don't ask) - & they have come back to re-claim supremacy of the planet.

So our heroes decide to enter the cone to find some answers´... & there find another scientist who has disappeared 5 years ago, doctor Cole (Leobnard Nimoy) who has become sort of an emissary of the brain eaters (complete with toga & white beard), & offers humanity a true utopia ... even if that utopia involves brainwashing. Of course our heroes decline, & Kettering won't even flinch when the braineaters abduct his girl Alice.

In the end he devices a plan to electrocute the cone - even if he has to give his own life in the process - to free the world of the brain eaters.


Though back in the 50's, sci-fi-writer Robert A.Heinlein has sued AIP for using his novel The Puppet People as a major influence, Brain Eaters was rather obviously inspired by the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, & it presents essentially the drive-in version of that story - complete with shoot-outs, fist fights & an explosive (in the sense of the word) finale. As such, Brain Eaters is pretty enjoyable though, despite some quite obvious leaps of reason & unconvincing plottwists.

Interestingly, Leonard Nimoy, who played Cole the emissary here, played a role in the 1978-remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers that is in some ways pretty similar to the one he played here (though without beard & toga).


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD