The Atomic Brain (originally released as Monstrosity) is a low-budget 1963 sci-fi/horror film.
Hetty March (Marjorie Eaton) is a rich old lady with plenty of money. With the help of Dr. Otto Frank (Frank Gerstle), a rogue scientist kept on retainer, she intends to have her brain (through the miracle of modern 1964 atomics) transferred into a young body. The body is to be selected from three candidates. Which one will it be? Anita from Mexico, Nina from Austria, or Bea from England? What does her aged companion think of this? Will the scientist be able to gain something from this? And do the three donors suspect what awaits them?
The film was nearly lost since its debut in 1963, before being introduced to a whole new generation thanks to Mystery Science Theater 3000. In 2015, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to remaster the film in 4K resolution and clean up the film artifacts and scratching. The crowdfunding project was successful.
The Atomic Tropes:
- As Himself: Xerxes the Cat.
- Black Dude Dies First: The first of the three girls to die is Anita from Mexico—the only non-European, non-American character.
- Diabolus ex Machina: When Bea (inexplicably) goes back to grab something (presumably her severed eye), a power surge from the atomic chamber fries her.
- Cats Are Mean: When Mrs. March's brain is put in the body of Xerxes the Cat.
- The cat's own personality wasn't much nicer, if "Anita"'s behavior is anything to go by.
- Death by Disfigurement: Bea loses an eye midway through the movie and is pointlessly killed off at the absolute last second before the end.
- Eye Scream: Anita, her brain replaced by a cat, gouges out Bea's eye.
- Evil Old Folks: Hetty March is an evil crone paying a Mad Scientist to rob graves and perform immoral and illegal research on helpless young women so she can steal a youthful body for herself.
- Evil Plan: Mrs. March's big plan - kidnap the prettiest girl who'd answer an ad, transfer her brain to said body, then fake her death and reappear as a long-lost relative to collect her fortune.
- Grand Theft Me: Mrs. March's ultimate goal is to transplant her brain into a young woman's body.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Nina's name is pronounced "NINE-uh" instead of "NEEN-uh" for some reason.
- Kill 'Em All: Of the six (human) characters, only one is still alive (and still human) by the end.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After he double-crosses Mrs. March and is busy gloating about how he's going to control her fortune through Nina, March (in the cat's body) locks Dr. Frank in the atomic chamber and cranks the power, frying him.
- Leitmotif: A back-and-forth shift in music as Bea and Nina attempt to flee with Mrs. March in pursuit. Happens again when Nina hunts down the cat-brained Anita.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Frank who rationalizes his experiments as being ultimately for the benefit of mankind.
- Meaningful Name: Bea's full name is Beatrice Melons.
- Although it could be Mullins. Her last name is only said once and the movie's sound isn't too good.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Bea's accent is inconsistent.
- Sequel Hook: The narration exposits that the cat with the mind of Mrs. Marsh will pursue Nina to get revenge.
- Spanner in the Works: Many things happen to ruin Mrs. Marsh's plan—her original choice, Bea, has her eye gouged out. Mrs. March's companion falls for Nina and plots to murder March so she could take the money (fails), then Dr. Frank traps March in the cat's body and plans to use her money through Nina (also fails).
- Working for a Body Upgrade: Inverted; the body-upgrading Mad Scientist is working for Mrs. March.