Brain of Blood (1971)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Creature Film  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Fred Beldin

Exploitation director Al Adamson never shied away from using graphic violence in his films, making up for cheap special effects with a willingness to go at least one step too far. Still, Brain of Blood rates as one of his grisliest, an elbow-deep wallow through crimson pools of cruelty and sadism. Everything about this slight variation on the Frankenstein riff is just a little nastier than it needs to be. The film's first half is stained with gore, full of close-focus neurosurgery footage (fake, but with enough gruesome detail to make anyone blanch), and frightened, captive girls who are milked for their plasma. The remainder concerns the monster running wild in the forest, as well as characters debating the moral pros and cons of this terrible operation; rest assured that the outcome favors science and politics over God. Famous dwarf Angelo Rossitto is unsettling, cackling insanely as he waddles about with hypo in hand and a golf cap on his head. Except for a brief shot as a corpse, Reed Hadley appears as Amir at the beginning and end of the film only, essaying the bulk of his role as a voice-over (appropriate, since the actor began his career in radio and provided narration for many feature films). There's lots of action, but the plot is less convoluted than the usual Adamson patchwork show, making it easy to follow if one can stomach the sickness on display. The downbeat conclusion is no surprise considering the juicy bleakness of Adamson's vision, giving his faithful drive-in audiences all the depraved shocks they buy tickets for, plus a few extra to make them wish they hadn't.