[[caption-width-right:300:[[CoversAlwaysLie If only the movie were as entertaining as the poster.]]]]

''The Thing That Couldn't Die'' is a 1958 BMovie horror film directed by Will Cowan.

The plot largely centers upon a college-age girl named Jessica (Carolyn Kearney), along with her greedy aunt Flavia (Peggy Converse). Flavia runs a ranch that doubles as a bed and breakfast. Accordingly, there are several guests at the ranch.

Whilst digging a new irrigation line for a well, aided by Jessica's dowsing ability, a fieldhand finds a chest. Due to the {{greed}} of the ObviouslyEvil fieldhand, the chest is opened...and it contains not gold, but [[LosingYourHead the severed head]] of a Very Evil Englishman. It turns out the NotQuiteDead Englishman, Gideon Drew (Robin Hughes), was beheaded for witchcraft during the expedition of Sir Francis Drake--but as part of his punishment, he's still alive. Can the Very Evil Englishman retrieve his body and live fully again? Better yet, can he pull it off for longer than thirty seconds?

For the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' version, please go to the [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S08E05TheThingThatCouldntDie episode recap page]].

* ArbitrarySkepticism: Aunt Flavia trusts her psychic niece to drowse for water, but when she starts screaming about evil then apparently she's just being silly.
* {{Anticlimax}}: Gordon whips out the holy symbol and - BOOM - Gideon's a skeleton.
* AssholeVictim: Boyd spends most of his screen time peeping on Jessica or plotting to steal the treasure they all assume is in the chest.
* BlackMagic: An early debate on whether Jessica's ability to find things is this. She insists it can only be done of her own free will and she can't accept payment.
* CassandraTruth[=/=]YouHaveToBelieveMe: Jessica's increasingly hysterical warnings to leave the chest alone go unheeded.
* CorruptTheCutie: Attempted with Jessica. The crew of ''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]]'' remark she's become more like a racy nun than actually evil.
* DowsingDevice: Jessica uses a forked stick while 'water-witching.'
* DumbMuscle: Mike the farmhand, who's quite proud of how strong his hands are, but probably can't use his fingers to count with.
* EvilCostumeSwitch: Jessica changes from a white dress to a black one after falling victim to the head's MagicalEye.
* {{Fanservice}}: Two women sleeping in the bed? Oh yeah.
* {{Flashback}}: A lengthy one shows Gideon's judgment and execution.
* HypnoticEyes: Gideon, in life and unlife, has the power to turn anyone who looks into his eyes BrainwashedAndCrazy unless they're wearing or wielding a holy symbol.
* LargeHam: Gideon. Particularly impressive considering he spends most of the movie as a mute severed head.
* MaleGaze: The last shot of the film is the pendant hanging in the deep v-neckline of Jessica's dress.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Gordon removes the cross from Jessica's neck...and ZIP! She's possessed!
* NonindicativeName: Once reunited with his body, Gideon dies just fine. Hell, he's even better at dying than your average villain.
* TheNounWhoVerbed: The title.
* ObviouslyEvil: Boyd.
* PsychicPowers: Jessica...and Flavia as it turns out.
* PullingThemselvesTogether: Once his body is found, it gets up, stumbles about, and once the head is re-attached, Gideon appears fully restored.
* ReasonYouSuckSpeech: After Gideon's head and body are reunited, he "thirst[s] for human blood". He goes around the room, rejecting each person's blood in turn and giving an insulting reason why ("your blood has dried up, and yours has turned to water", etc).
** Earlier, during the {{flashback}}, Gideon does some {{Facing The Bullets One Liner}}s just before his execution.
* SealedEvilInACan: Two cans, actually. The plot is set off by finding the chest that contains the head of Gideon Drew, and the film climaxes when they open his casket, allowing both halves to re-merge.
* WeaksauceWeakness: Faced with a servant of the Devil, whose sorcery is capable of bewitching even the strongest and most noble of souls and even managed to cheat death itself? Well, chuck a cross at him. It worked for [[Franchise/{{Castlevania}} Simon Belmont]]!
* WhyDontYaJustShootHim: Averted; one of the first things they do when Gideon is restored is shoot him. Unfortunately, he happens to be ImmuneToBullets.
** You do have to wonder why the original attempt at execution was so elaborate when all it takes to permanently kill him is a holy symbol from the same era. You'd think they would have done it by accident.
* RevenantZombie: Gideon fits this definition. Not particularly rotted, still intelligent, still has all his powers, etc.