The Brain Eaters
|The Brain Eaters|
|Directed by||Bruno VeSota|
|Produced by||Ed Nelson
Roger Corman (exec) (uncredited)
|Written by||Gordon Urquhart|
|Based on||novel The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein (uncredited)|
Alan Jay Factor
|Music by||Tom Jonson|
|Editing by||Carlo Lodato|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|Running time||60 min|
The Brain Eaters is a 1958 science fiction-horror film about alien parasites who invade the small Illinois town of Riverdale and are able to take over any living thing, mind and body, by attaching themselves to their host's back and inserting two mandibles into the base of their spines. The film was directed by Bruno VeSota and stars Ed Nelson, Alan Jay Factor, Joanna Lee, with a brief appearance by Leonard Nimoy (name misspelled in 10th place in the credits as "Leonard Nemoy").
A team of local scientists discover alien parasites when they investigate a mysterious, three-story-tall, cone-like object that has appeared outside of town. It becomes obvious that the parasites' first victims, whose minds have been taken over, are the town's leading citizens.
- Ed Nelson as Dr. Paul Kettering (as Edwin Nelson)
- Alan Jay Factor as Glenn Cameron (as Alan Frost)
- Cornelius Keefe as Senator Walter K. Powers (as Jack Hill)
- Joanna Lee as Alice Summers
- Jody Fair as Elaine Cameron
- David Hughes as Dr. Wyler
- Robert Ball as Dan Walker
- Greigh Phillips as the Sheriff
- Orville Sherman as Mayor Cameron
- Leonard Nimoy as Professor Cole (as Leonard Nemoy)
The movie was known during production as The Keepers, The Keepers of the Earth, Attack of the Blood Leeches and Battle of the Brain Eaters.
After the film was released, it was clear that writer Gordon Urqhart had based his screenplay on the novel The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein. Heinlein sued for plagiarism, asking for $150,000. Roger Corman vowed he was unfamiliar with Heinlein's work when presented with the script and during production. He did, however, see the obvious references once he read the story, so he settled out of court for $5,000. Heinlein also demanded that he himself receive no screen credit, as he found the film based on his story "wanting".
- Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p121-122
- Gary A. Smith, The American International Pictures Video Guide, McFarland 2009 p 33