Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Joseph V. Mascelli|
|Narrated by||Bradford Dillman|
|Music by||Gene Kauer|
|Edited by||Owen C. Gladden|
|Distributed by||Emerson Film Enterprises|
Monstrosity is a 1963 horror film directed by Joseph V. Mascelli. It is perhaps better known under its alternate TV release title, The Atomic Brain.
An elderly woman uses her vast fortune to convince an eccentric yet brilliant scientist to transplant her brain into a new, youthful body. The bodies are provided by three immigrant young women who are hired to be servants. The old woman then chooses which of the girls she finds to be the most beautiful, and sets about replacing the young woman's brain with her own.
- Marjorie Eaton as Mrs. March
- Frank Gerstle as Dr. Frank
- Frank Fowler as Victor
- Erika Peters as Nina Rhodes
- Judy Bamber as Beatrice 'Bea' Mullins
- Lisa Lang as Anita Gonzales
- Xerxes as the Cat
- Bradford Dillman as Narrator
Writing in The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, academic Peter Dendle called it a "deservedly infamous" horror film that includes the earliest explanation that brain decay explicitly leads to zombies' diminished intelligence. In Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For, academic and author Arnold T. Blumberg wrote that the "Mystery Science Theater 3000 version is the only watchable one."
Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode
Under the name The Atomic Brain, the film was shown in episode #518 of Mystery Science Theater 3000, first airing on December 4, 1993. It was accompanied by a short, "What About Juvenile Delinquency?" The episode is not considered to be among the series' high points. It did not make the top 100 in the poll of MST3K Season 11 Kickstarter backers; similarly, writer Jim Vorel, in his ranking of all 191 MST3K episodes, put the episode at #151, claiming, "The film is a slice of dull B&W averageness ... [that] feels interchangeable with any of the MANY other “mad scientist” episodes."
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of the film was released by Rhino Home Video as part of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 3 DVD box set. The collection also included the MST3K versions of The Sidehackers (episode #202) and The Unearthly (episode #320) plus a disc of six MST3K shorts. The four-disc collection was later re-issued by Shout Factory in September 2016.
A 4K restoration of Monstrosity was released on BD-R and DVD-R in 2017 following a successful 2015/2016 Kickstarter campaign by Ben Solovey. It featured an audio commentary by Tom Weaver (talking about the making of the movie) and Dr. Robert J. Kiss (discussing its theatrical and TV release).
The film was adapted into a musical in 2010.
- Dendle, Peter (2001). The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia. McFarland & Company. pp. 111–112. ISBN 978-0-7864-9288-6.
- Blumberg, Arnold (2006). Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For. Telos Publishing. p. 432. ISBN 9781845830038.
- Episode guide: 518- The Atomic Brain. Satellite News. Retrieved on 2017-11-17.
- Ranking Every MST3K Episode, From Worst to Best. Vorel, Jim. Paste Magazine. April 13, 2017. Retrieved on 2017-11-17
- MST3K: Volume III. Shout! Factory. Retrieved on 2017-11-17.
- "Kickstarter: The Atomic Brain 4K Restoration". Retrieved 2017-08-31.
- "Classic Horror Film Board Forums: MONSTROSITY - ATOMIC BRAIN restoration". Retrieved 2017-08-31.
- "The Atomic Brain! the Musical". Retrieved 2017-07-02.
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