They Saved Hitler’s Brain: It Earned 37 Green Stamps!   7 comments

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Filmed almost entirely at dusk, They Saved Hitler’s Brain picks up where The Madmen of Mandoras leaves off. Well, to be more accurate, it starts before The Madmen of Mandoras begins.

Madmen, originally released in 1963, clocked in at 64 minutes. At the request of the producers, director David Bradley and a handful of his UCLA students added 30 minutes to the film for television broadcast in 1968. His added footage appears at the beginning of the film and isn’t exactly seamless despite the skill of cinematographer Stanley Cortez (Night of the Hunter, Chinatown).

As the film opens, we see Dr. Bernard remove papers from a safe, go to his car, and blow up. In the briefing at CID headquarters which follows we learn that Bernard had been working with Professor Coleman on the L7 Project looking for the antidote to G gas. What is G gas, you ask? The head stiff explains that “…loss or destruction of this antidote could mean the complete annihilation of the world.” So there’s that. To prove the lethal power of G gas, Science Guy shows a filmstrip of an elephant lying down. Then, we meet Vic and Toni. Vic and Toni work as agents for the CID. Vic and Toni were not in the original film. Vic and Toni were filmed in different light wearing a completely different style of clothing from the people in the 1963 film. Vic and Toni are doomed.

victoni
Vic and Toni chat about the mission.

Anyway, Vic and Toni begin working on the case of the exploding professor. They drive around in Toni’s VW Beetle looking for clues until they’re chased by some guys in ill-fitting hats. Things go downhill from there for our intrepid duo. At this point the original film starts and it’s The Madmen of Mandoras from here on in.

The Madmen of Mandoras (1963)

Professor Coleman invents an antidote to the powerful nerve gas PAM. PAM, of course is an acronym and don’t ask me for what. It’s also a cooking spray so it’s clear ConAgra never saw this movie.

pam
All this fuss over me?

Anyway, bad guys want the formula so when they release PAM, no one gets out alive. To lure the professor into their clutches, the criminals kidnap his Valley Girl (circa 1963) daughter and take her to the South American country of Mandoras. The professor’s older, more sensible daughter and her husband hop a plane to Mandoras after a foreign guy holds them at gunpoint, then dies in their car.


“I’ll be fine.”

Down in Mandoras, the couple is reunited with their dippy sister. After a weird gunfight in a nightclub where Carmen Miranda’s less talented cousin performs, some guy we don’t know takes a bullet and the local sheriff, portrayed by local sheriff portrayer Nestor Paiva, rounds up our trio of nitwits and brings them to the hoosegow. There we meet the president, who resembles the Hispanic version of Colonel Sanders, and find out the real power behind this incredibly contrived plot. A band of Nazis holed up in the presidential palace plot to gather the rest of their evil gang, drop PAM, and take over.


Nazis have the weirdest cotton candy machines.

Once they’ve laid waste to the world as we know it, they plan to put their own guy in power. Since they’re Nazis, three guesses as to who they’ve chosen to lead them. Yup. The Big Kahuna himself, Adolph. It seems scientists collected some cells in the fabled bunker and used them to…um, grow a new Fuhrer. They didn’t exactly grow a whole Hitler, just a head. So we get some hilarious scenes with a head under glass making odd expressions, looking around curiously, and barking orders. There’s even a carrying case with handles for when the head has to ride in the back of a limo. More stuff happens but who cares? You watch this film to see Hitler’s head scream, “Mach schnell!” to his underlings from under a pastry cover.


“Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!”

According to imdb, Steve Bennet and Richard Miles wrote the screenplay for this and They Saved Hitler’s Brain and not much else. Often hard to follow, the story meanders and the audience feels just as out of it as the cast. The Madmen of Mandoras has, as Joe Bob Briggs says, “too much plot getting in the way of the story.” David Bradley directed The Madmen of Mandoras as well as They Saved Hitler’s Brain and used some scenes for both films. I guess with gold like that you want to get as much mileage as you can out of it. I’d recommend this for the weirdness quotient alone.


Added observations:

It may be because I just watched Glen or Glenda and Plan 9 From Outer Space recently, but the double agent who claims to work for the CID, but is really Hitler-Under-Glass’ chauffeur looks like a cross between Bunny Breckinridge and Criswell.

chauffeur hitler
This guy. You’d agree with me if he took off his hat.

David Bradley directed Charlton Heston in the 16mm student productions of Peer Gynt and Julius Caesar while they attended Northwestern University. I thought that was pretty cool.

I wrote this piece for the Accidentally Hilarious blogathon hosted by Movies Silently. She runs a terrific blog about classic film. moviessilently.com/

Find me on Twitter. @echidnabot

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It’s beautiful!

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7 responses to “They Saved Hitler’s Brain: It Earned 37 Green Stamps!

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  1. Oh my word! Yeah, I can imagine having something like this on your resume could really hamper your writing career. Makes me sad that Stanley Cortez was involved but I guess we take what we can get, right? Thanks so much for the review and the background info on this notorious cheeseball. Glad you could join the party!

  2. Really enjoyed this review. You’ve sold me on this film! I actually cannot wait to see it.

  3. Fantastic post. Really enjoyed the backstory, description of the plot (I was one of the lost viewers), and wit. Bravo!

  4. Pingback: They Saved Hitler’s Brain (1968) – BMovieManiacs.com

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