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Creature with the Atom Brain

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1955). Clover Productions/Columbia Pictures. Produced by Sam Katzman (uncredited). Directed by Edward L Cahn. Written by Curt Siodmak from his own original story. Special effects by Jack Erickson. Cast includes Richard Denning, Gregory Gaye (credited as Gregory Gay), Michael Granger and S John Launer. 69 minutes. Black and white.

Gangster Frank Buchanan (Granger) has been exiled to Europe after rival gangsters betrayed him to law enforcement authorities. There he meets the former Nazi Scientist Otto Steigg (Gay), who has developed a process that uses Nuclear Energy to reanimate the dead and subject the resulting Zombies to remote control by verbal commands. Buchanan agrees to finance Steigg's experiments to gain revenge on those who betrayed him; the two return to the US where Steigg soon assembles a small force of these revenants. Buchanan uses them to wreak havoc on his former partners, and on the law as well until a way of locating his lair is found. The atomic zombies leave a distinctive trail of radiation which, with help from Dr Chet Walker (Denning), leads Captain Dave Harris (Launer) and his police team to the criminal's hideout. There Buchanan and Steigg perish as the zombies are destroyed along with Steigg's laboratory.

This film is an average example of 1950s US Horror in SF films, slightly more innovative than some for combining fears about atomic energy with the crime genre. [GSt]


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