The Brain Eaters (1958)

Genres - Horror, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Horror  |   Release Date - Sep 1, 1958 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Bruce Eder

At its best -- and that's a lot of the time in its 60-minute length -- The Brain Eaters resembles a decent episode of The Outer Limits, its stripped-down production values and the obvious fast pace of filming anticipating that legendary early-'60s series. The use of single takes and the obviously threadbare sets give the whole film an unsettling, at times dream-like, texture, very unmovie-like (or, at least, refreshingly unpolished) for much of its length. A lot of the time, the footage looks like someone's home movie of an event, somewhere midway between professional newsreel footage of the time and the Zapruder film or alleged UFO footage of the period. In other places, it's as suspenseful as The Outer Limits. In still others, it seems silly, but what science fiction movie of this era didn't at some point? It's all worthwhile watching, and also listening, as Tom Jonson's score, sounding like boiled over Stravinsky and Sibelius at various times, lends an eerie tone to the visuals. The movie has achieved a certain following over the years as an early science fiction vehicle for actor Leonard Nimoy (barely recognizable under heavy make-up), but it offers more than that curiosity value.