“You acted funny — and that way you kissed me…”
When a nuclear physicist (John Agar) and his colleague (Robert Fuller) explore a sudden source of intense radiation at a cave near Mystery Mountain, Fuller is killed while Agar’s body is taken over by a nefarious disembodied alien brain named Gor. Concerned about Agar’s sudden aggressive change of character, Agar’s fiancee (Joyce Meadows) and her father (Thomas B. Henry) go to the cave to investigate, and meet a well-meaning brain named Vol who decides to inhabit their dog. Can Vol-as-dog prevent Gor-as-Agar from destroying Earth for the sake of his own ambitions?
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Disembodied Parts
- John Agar Films
- Mad Doctors and Scientists
- Mind Control and Hypnosis
- Nuclear Threat
- Science Fiction
- World Domination
Nathan Juran — a.k.a. Nathan Hertz — directed a number of Peary-listed sci-fi and fantasy films throughout the 1950s and ’60s, including Hellcats of the Navy (1957), The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958), Jack the Giant Killer (1962), and First Men in the Moon (1964). This irresistably titled flick is sure to appeal to fans of its unique sub-genre — talking disembodied parts — and/or those interested in viewing all manifestations of The Red Scare through cinematic depictions of alien mind control and possession, such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and I Married a Monster From Outer Space (1958). On its own merits, TBFPA is ridiculous (of course) but competently enough made that it’s easy to sit through. As Agar is violently possessed by Gor, he suddenly experiences wild passion for his plucky fiancee, demented joy at his ability to take down planes through the power of his glowing eyes, and gleeful anticipation at the thought of world domination: there’s no mistaking the metaphor here of the danger humans face of being not-so-secretly taken over by nefarious forces eager to exploit our weaknesses.
Note: Juran’s work in Hollywood was multi-faceted: he won an award for Best Art Direction for How Green Was My Valley (1942) and was nominated for his work on The Razor’s Edge (1946).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- John Agar’s amusingly campy performance
- Some clever directorial moves
No, though it’s a hoot in its own way. Listed as a Camp Classic in the back of Peary’s book.