The Brainiac


1h 17m 1969

Brief Synopsis

Burned at the stake in 1661 as a sorcerer, a baron curses the descendants of his accusers. When a comet passes over the site 300 years later, he returns as a brain-eating monster....

Film Details

Also Known As
El barón del terror
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
Trenton, New Jersey, opening: 9 Apr 1969
Production Company
Cinematográfica A. B. S. A.
Distribution Company
Trans-International Films
Country
Mexico

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m

Synopsis

Burned at the stake in 1661 as a sorcerer, a baron curses the descendants of his accusers. When a comet passes over the site 300 years later, he returns as a brain-eating monster.

Film Details

Also Known As
El barón del terror
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
Trenton, New Jersey, opening: 9 Apr 1969
Production Company
Cinematográfica A. B. S. A.
Distribution Company
Trans-International Films
Country
Mexico

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m

Articles

Brainiac ,The - THE BRAINIAC - 1962 Mexican Horror Cult Fave on DVD


In 1661, the merciless robed initiates of the Mexican inquisition persecute suspicious Baron Vitelius (Mexican horror regular Abel Salazar) for his reputed dealings with Lucifer, an accusation to which he responds by inflicting a curse upon all the descendants of his accusers. Centuries later in 1961, the appearance of a strange comet in the sky portends the much-delayed arrival of this curse by crashing to earth and disgorging a hirsute, big-headed mutation of Vitelius with an insatiable appetite for brains. Disguised as a human nobleman, the Baron throws swanky dinner parties for his potential victims, occasionally reverting into his monstrous state in private to suck out their grey matter with his fork-shaped, skull-puncturing tongue, with leftovers stashed away for late night snacks. Though the police prove to be of little help, harebrained Professor Milan (Luis Aragon), plucky Ronald (Ruben Rojo) and sexy Vicky (Ariadna Welter) try to solve the mystery of the supernatural murders before they wind up next on the Baron's dinner list.

Drawing obvious inspiration from both Universal monster movies and the burgeoning Italian gothic craze (particularly Mario Bava's Black Sunday), this jaw-dropping granddaddy of the Mexican horror cycle quickly became a late night television staple thanks to its heavy American distribution from flashy distributor K. Gordon Murray. The frequent reprinting of grisly stills in publications ranging from Famous Monsters of Filmland to The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film kept generations of young horror fans seeking this one out, usually under the most desperate of circumstances, and it never failed to live up to its reputation. The thick vein of grotesque humor and unexpected surrealist imagery keep the film from becoming dated, and even seasoned trash film viewers can still be thrown by its brutality and odd narrative rhythms. Director Chano Ureta (The Witch's Mirror) once again establishes himself as the prime practitioner of Mexican horror's first great wave, with plenty of expert, atmospheric lighting and effectively weird sets keeping even the most mundane dialogue scenes at a disturbing pitch. And of course, the outrageous flame-throwing climax is not to be missed.

Most widely seen in an English-dubbed version ripe with uproarious dialogue, The Brainianc (El Barón del terror) has been a video staple for years in various murky editions, with an amateurish budget DVD from Beverly Wilshire quickly pulled off the market and a double-bill version from Something Weird announced but never released. CasaNegra's much-needed restoration presents an edition far clearer and cleaner than anyone in America has ever seen, and the original Spanish language track is a bit more urbane and serious than its goofball English counterpart. (Some brief footage trimmed from the US prints is reinstated here in Spanish only with subtitles.) Likewise, the bilingual DVD sleeve can be flipped to either an English or Spanish version.

Pulling the maximum amount of extras out of a title with little promotional history, the DVD augments the main feature with an enthusiastic commentary by "Kirb Pheeler," whose "Brainiac Interactive Press Kit" is also present on the disc. His accompaniment is packed with information and odd bits of trivia and humorous anecdotes, mixing the goofy and the scholarly for a solid listening experience that never takes the film too seriously. Casamiro Buenavista offers a more cut-and-dry Mexican appraisal of the film in an essay, while other extras include a gallery of posters and stills, bios for the actors (including future sleaze director Rene Cardona, who appears in a supporting role here), a double-bill American radio spot, and the usual CasaNegra game card insert.

For more information about The Brainiac, visit Casanegra Films. To order The Brainiac, go to TCM Shopping.

by Nathaniel Thompson
Brainiac ,the - The Brainiac - 1962 Mexican Horror Cult Fave On Dvd

Brainiac ,The - THE BRAINIAC - 1962 Mexican Horror Cult Fave on DVD

In 1661, the merciless robed initiates of the Mexican inquisition persecute suspicious Baron Vitelius (Mexican horror regular Abel Salazar) for his reputed dealings with Lucifer, an accusation to which he responds by inflicting a curse upon all the descendants of his accusers. Centuries later in 1961, the appearance of a strange comet in the sky portends the much-delayed arrival of this curse by crashing to earth and disgorging a hirsute, big-headed mutation of Vitelius with an insatiable appetite for brains. Disguised as a human nobleman, the Baron throws swanky dinner parties for his potential victims, occasionally reverting into his monstrous state in private to suck out their grey matter with his fork-shaped, skull-puncturing tongue, with leftovers stashed away for late night snacks. Though the police prove to be of little help, harebrained Professor Milan (Luis Aragon), plucky Ronald (Ruben Rojo) and sexy Vicky (Ariadna Welter) try to solve the mystery of the supernatural murders before they wind up next on the Baron's dinner list. Drawing obvious inspiration from both Universal monster movies and the burgeoning Italian gothic craze (particularly Mario Bava's Black Sunday), this jaw-dropping granddaddy of the Mexican horror cycle quickly became a late night television staple thanks to its heavy American distribution from flashy distributor K. Gordon Murray. The frequent reprinting of grisly stills in publications ranging from Famous Monsters of Filmland to The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film kept generations of young horror fans seeking this one out, usually under the most desperate of circumstances, and it never failed to live up to its reputation. The thick vein of grotesque humor and unexpected surrealist imagery keep the film from becoming dated, and even seasoned trash film viewers can still be thrown by its brutality and odd narrative rhythms. Director Chano Ureta (The Witch's Mirror) once again establishes himself as the prime practitioner of Mexican horror's first great wave, with plenty of expert, atmospheric lighting and effectively weird sets keeping even the most mundane dialogue scenes at a disturbing pitch. And of course, the outrageous flame-throwing climax is not to be missed. Most widely seen in an English-dubbed version ripe with uproarious dialogue, The Brainianc (El Barón del terror) has been a video staple for years in various murky editions, with an amateurish budget DVD from Beverly Wilshire quickly pulled off the market and a double-bill version from Something Weird announced but never released. CasaNegra's much-needed restoration presents an edition far clearer and cleaner than anyone in America has ever seen, and the original Spanish language track is a bit more urbane and serious than its goofball English counterpart. (Some brief footage trimmed from the US prints is reinstated here in Spanish only with subtitles.) Likewise, the bilingual DVD sleeve can be flipped to either an English or Spanish version. Pulling the maximum amount of extras out of a title with little promotional history, the DVD augments the main feature with an enthusiastic commentary by "Kirb Pheeler," whose "Brainiac Interactive Press Kit" is also present on the disc. His accompaniment is packed with information and odd bits of trivia and humorous anecdotes, mixing the goofy and the scholarly for a solid listening experience that never takes the film too seriously. Casamiro Buenavista offers a more cut-and-dry Mexican appraisal of the film in an essay, while other extras include a gallery of posters and stills, bios for the actors (including future sleaze director Rene Cardona, who appears in a supporting role here), a double-bill American radio spot, and the usual CasaNegra game card insert. For more information about The Brainiac, visit Casanegra Films. To order The Brainiac, go to TCM Shopping. by Nathaniel Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Produced in Mexico in 1961 as El barón del terror. First released in the United States in a Spanish version in August 1963.