The Brain Eaters
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|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|
|Edited by||Carlo Lodato|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
The Brain Eaters is a 1958 American 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"). The film was released by American International Pictures as a double feature with Earth vs. the Spider
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 (billed as Edwin Nelson)
- Alan Jay Factor as Glenn Cameron (billed as Alan Frost)
- Cornelius Keefe as Senator Walter K. Powers (billed 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 (billed 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, Robert A. Heinlein sued for plagiarism, asking for $150,000 claiming that the film was based on his novel The Puppet Masters. 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". This movie halted actor John Payne's intentions to produce a movie based on Heinlein's novel
In popular culture
- Posters for The Brain Eaters appear in the movie theater from System Shock 2.
- Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p121-122
- "The Brain Eaters (1958) - Notes - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies.
- Gary A. Smith, The American International Pictures Video Guide, McFarland 2009 p 33