“They Saved Hitler’s Brain” (1963)
Studio: Crown International Pictures
Starring: Walter Stocker, Audrey Caire, Carlos Rivas, John Holland
Directed by: David Bradley
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 73 min.
Synopsis: Nazis have saved Hitler’s brain and kidnap a professor who has something that can help them take over the world.
With a title like They Saved Hitler’s Brain, you think going in this movie is going to be cheesy, but good or it’s just going to be really bad. Well, the film turned out to be really bad. This film could have been a great schlock film, but it did not deliver in the end. The film was originally called The Madmen of Mandoras, but years after its release it was given this eye catching title. That’s the only thing eye catching about this movie.
The film is about a U.S. military group that has discovered an antidote to a lethal gas that could kill millions if ever put in the wrong hands. The professor that created the antidote is kidnapped along with his daughter and her boyfriend and brought to a tropical island. The professor’s son-in-law, who also works with him and the professor’s other daughter try to track them down and travel to the island. It turns out the people behind this all are Nazis who want to rise up again and conquer the world. They are after the antidote for they can release the lethal gas across the globe and they won’t be affected. Another twist to this is that the Nazis have saved Hitler’s head that lives in a jar. Hitler is still with it, even though he lives in a jar and is just a head, he commands this whole invasion.
As I mentioned before, this film could have been a whole lot better. I was expecting a film about how they were trying to bring Hitler back to life or something, but the whole thing fell flat. I do have to say that the beginning was pretty good and there was promise for the film. The acting over all was good for most of the cast, which made it more watchable. The film also had this great black and white film noir look throughout, but with a very weak story and lack luster ending, the good elements of the film couldn’t save it.
What was really bad about the film was the story. You kind of got it as the film went along, but its whole direction was terrible. They were also different characters mixed in and you didn’t really know whose side they were on. Some were introduced late in the game, which at that point they didn’t really matter. Others were brought it thinking they were going to be key players, but they turned out to be nobodies.
There was also an odd part with the daughter that was kidnapped. She wasn’t even held captive on the island. Her sister and brother-in-law find her in some bar just hanging out having a good time. Then her boyfriend that was kidnapped as well turns out to be a Nazi. After that relationship is broken off she’s suddenly involved with the island’s president’s son (who is helping the others stop Hitler) and this is very sudden. There’s not even a scene with these two together until up until the end when she kisses him good luck and that she loves him. I didn’t even know these two knew each other. Then at the very end of the film everyone is looking for her when they get a phone call from her telling everyone she got married to that guy. That whole thing was unnecessary for the movie.
One strange thing about the movie was the head of Hitler. They had a flashback where Hitler wanted doctors to find out a way to keep him alive forever. Somehow they decided to sever his head and keep him alive in a jar. They don’t really show the head until toward the end, which is just the actor’s head, superimposed on the jar and some scenes used a dummy head. The close ups that they show of the head are first off kind of creepy, but then the rest of them just have him making stupid faces.
The people at Crown International, which still today I can’t find one really good movie made by the company, also made this film. Most films that were distributed by Crown often wind up on box sets, which I have a couple and most of their films range from decent to really bad. Maybe only their bad stuff winds up on all these DVD box sets and their better product is on its own, but I doubt that.