We have had the mysticism and mystery, magic and animation. But before Romero’s ground breaking entry, it’s not like the dead didn’t walk before. And during the 50s it was the era to cast off such superstitions and replace them with science, in more ways than one.
Just look that title, you can’t help but be drawn to something with a title like that.
The year is 1955 the atomic age of horror. Everything was made by science, Werewolves primarily, but I saw a few vampires too. Here we start in the dead of night as a strangely moving man breaks into a house, and with a robotic voice issues the reminder of a promise a man made before killing the man inside.
This is the Creature with the Atom Brain, a film with gangsters, revenge, German scientists and the dead brought back to life with electrodes and atomic power to do the bidding of a gangster out for revenge.
Frank Buchanan is a former crime boss out to kill those who worked to deport him in a way so out there, we won’t see the likes till someone stuffs a plane with poisonous snakes. Working with a German scientist he has found a way to reanimate the dead into near unstoppable killing machines.
Refreshingly though the premise is outlandish, the leads, police and others are relatively quick to come around to what’s going on. It’s good where people are working out ways to overcome the issue and prevent deaths. They get Geiger counters out and do a massive search looking for the source of these atomic zombies…. And then the stupid happens.
Yes, the bizarre premise isn’t the stupid bit, it’s that later when one of our leads is killed to be turned into an atomic zombie, that despite all the warnings well known, the lead’s wife starts blurting out secrets that should never have been told to her to someone acting and looking very suspicious. This results in multiple deaths all because the lead blabbed to his wife and then she was incredibly ill observant… hell the end of the film even has them tell their daughter that for all intents and purposes their uncle has gone to live on a farm.
It’s so depressing when I was enjoying this mad movie that had people doing things so well up till that point had a massive moment of plot required stupidity. They even did a good job of showing the threat these atomic zombies could be by showing just how indestructible they were (no one tried setting them on fire).
Still with a name and premise like that, you can’t help but check it out at least once.