If your hankering for a big daft horror movie with very mild sci-fi elements. Well; in 1971, Al Adamson delivered in spades when he released ‘Brain of Blood’ to an unsuspecting public. a film that…well, it’s not great, but it’s at least vaguely trying something.
The plots a bit odd for this one I think it’s fair to say, it largely revolves around a doctor and his assistants who are working on an experimental procedure to transfer the brains of dying patients into healthy, but deceased bodies, with the aim of extending their lives. Natrually, the film focusses on the leader of a rich and powerful country who managed to pull his land up from the fringes of poverty into a powerhouse of economic growth. He also has terminal cancer and has arranged to be the doctors first *proper* experiment in doing a bit of the old ‘body swapping’
Things dont quite go to plan, stuff gets a bit crazy. it’s a bit of a monster movie, but not really and honestly? I kind of felt a bit ‘meh’ about this one in terms of Adamsons works that i’ve seen.
The plot isnt particularly well defined and it is, in effect just a bit of a runaround. It takes the first act and a bit of the Universal ‘Frankenstein’ adaptation, and bolts on literally half an hour of running around in the woods and a dungeon sequence, then calls it a day. As such its unevenly paced, doenst really set anything in the way of a distinct tone, has middling dialogue and largely coasts on gore, weirdness and the absurd to get it by.
Its easily 20 minutes longer than it needed to be, whether thats due to budget limitations meaning they didnt have scope to do anything other than running around in the woods and maybe a car chase, I cant honeslty say. But the end result is a cheap feeling film that just never really seems to hit it’s stride. it just idles for 86 minutes and then closes. In fact, if it wasnt for the weirdness, it’d just have been a very dry affair truthfully.
The directions a bit lifeless as well, Adamson usually has a quite distinct way of shooting movies like this, but it really feels like a film in autopilot for most of the runtime. it’s working to get the job done, but non of the elements on screen work particularly well together and even the cast seem a bit aimless in knowing exactly what to exepect.
The same can be said for the cine which is also fairly flat, they have some colour usage here to help at least make the beige hell seem a bit more vibrant but all the lighting is floodlit or flat profile, shots have almost no depth of field or experimentation to them and barring literally a handful of scenes that do feel a little bit more considered. This whole thing basically feels ultra slow, plodding and pretty muted on any kind of distinction.
Non of the performances are particularly memorable and the scores pretty much non existent. I just…I didnt really get on with this thing. Like, I didnt actively hate it, if it was on in the background I wouldnt take umbridge with it. But Its just very generic and not really worth going out of your way for. Not one I can recommend, if you want a film with a similar vibe that, in my opinion is better made. I’d say check out ‘Freakmaker’