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The Brain That Wouldn't Die (Mystery Science Theater 3000) (1988)

Joel Hodgson , Michael J. Nelson , Joseph Green  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

Price: $39.90 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Deal of the Week: Save 55% on "Elvira's Movie Macabre: The Coffin Collection" on DVD
Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark, hosts this frightfully funny collection of 26 B-Movie horror classics with her own unique style, all delivered in this collectible tin coffin. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy, Jason Evers
  • Directors: Joseph Green
  • Writers: Joel Hodgson, Joseph Green, Rex Carlton, Mike Gandolfi
  • Producers: Mort Landberg, Rex Carlton
  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Rhino Theatrical
  • DVD Release Date: April 25, 2000
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RFIF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,783 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Brain That Wouldn't Die (Mystery Science Theater 3000)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Also includes the uncut version of the film

Editorial Reviews

Mystery Science Theater 3000 experienced a changing of the guard with this fifth-season episode. Departed series creator and lead Joel Hodgson was replaced by head writer Mike Nelson, playing a hapless temp named... Mike Nelson, who was sent into space to cover for Hodgson's escape. The opening credit sequence and title theme (warbled by Nelson) were also new, but the show's basic premise--poking fun at atrocious B movies--remained the same.

Nelson's debut "experiment" is the delirious 1960 head-transplant horror The Brain That Wouldn't Die. And while Nelson is occasionally stiff, particularly during the invention exchange (a longtime Hodgson staple, and soon to be excised), he and robot pals Crow and Tom Servo rise to the occasion during the film, which is filled with memorable zingers (Crow: "He's keeping her alive with Grey Poupon!"). Rhino's DVD presents the uncut, slightly gory version of Brain with and without the MST3K treatment. --Paul Gaita

From the Back Cover

It's Mystery Science Theater 3000, America's only show that makes fun of really bad B movies from the comfort of a spaceship floating above Earth. Mike Nelson, along with his mechanical companions, wisecracking Crow and well-read chick magnet Tom Servo, make suffering through Hollywood's worst films a breeze. Adding their own dialogue, barrage of witty remarks, and an occasional colorful skit, they next hour and a half will fly by like it were only 90 minutes. There's no ushers with flashlights, crying babies, or women with big hair to spoil the fun. It's Mike Nelson's voyage on The Satellite of Love, and boy does his crew have a girl for him in The Brain that Wouldn't Die. Unfortunately, she's only a head, but you know what they say, sometimes you have to do things just to get "a head" in this world (har, har). This story finds a young doctor climbing back to his wrecked car only to discover his fiancie has been decapitated. Scooping up her noggin like a linebacker and running off, Crow blurts out "He's at the 20. He's at the 10. No one will catch him." Then later in this flick, as our leading lady floats in a tray of magical life-sustaining liquid, Tom Servo remarks, "Look. She makes her own gravy." If that wasn't enough, don't miss the onboard interview between our three pals and the decapitated diva. It's a hoot!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
[This is a review of the DVD version] If you love old bad SF movies but haven't ever seen them given the Mystery Science Theater treatment, you owe it to yourself to pick up this DVD! Mike Nelson and his robot pals Crow and Tom Servo watch this relentlessly silly turkey of a movie (a scientist saves the severed head of his girlfriend and puts her in a pan, where she pleads with him to let her die. How sloppily-put-together is this film? The filmmakers apparently forgot their own title and call it "The Head That Wouldn't Die" in the end credits.)--and throughout the entire film, Tom and the `bots mercilessly riff on the film with funny comments and jokes that'll have you rolling in your seats. Long a staple of Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel, this is one of the first DVDs of this classic comedy series (many others are available on VHS). In addition to the pristine and clear picture you get with DVD, Rhino has also included the full *original* version of "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" on the flip-side of the disc so you can see it without Mike and the `bots (to riff on your own, perhaps?). The DVD menus are innovative and worth checking out just for the clever swish-pan of the bridge of the Satellite of Love (Crow, Servo, and Gypsy flash past us). If I had any quibble at all it's a minor one... why is the DVD chapter that begins the film entitled "It's Movie Time!" when every MSTie knows it should be "We've got Movie Sign!"? But I'll put up with minor problems like that as long as Rhino continues to give us these great reissues of classic MST3K episodes. Now if they'd only release "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" and "Outlaw"... (Also recommended in this series: the DVD version of "Mystery Science Theater 3000: Eegah.")
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So bad it's great! May 24, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I first saw this movie when I was in the 4th grade or thereabouts, and it scared the living bejesus out of me.
But what do you know when you're in the 4th grade?
Now that MST3K has reissued this movie and I've watched it perhaps 10 times, I laugh all the way through it. The dialogue is awful. The basic plot recalls countless puns about folks who lose their heads and flash-in-the-pan actresses. Mad Scientist Bill Courtner's girlfriend has lost hers in a fiery car crash ("Honey roasted," comments one of Mike's companions). Obsessed scientist that he is, he keeps her head alive in a lasagna pan full of "adreno-serum" in the basement laboratory of his country place. She says, "Let me die!" enough times that you're ready to oblige her, then strikes up a liaison, sort of, with the thing that lives in Bill's closet--the product of an earlier experiment that went awry. (When Bill looks in the closet, you're dying to hear, "Omygawd, it's Rosanne!" but Mike's pals missed that one.) The scene in the seedy strip club sends me into hysterics. Best line here, robot Crow observing one of the girls: "I must have blood before the night is done!"
There are some godawful blunders. For example, the scene in which Bill enters the country place with a new girlfriend follows very closely after his assistant Curt's having stumbled around the same room bleeding profusedly from ... shall we say, a farewell-to-arms type encounter with the thing in the closet. So where's all the blood?
The ending is a bit gory (though tame by today's standards). The thing in the closet certainly wins the ugly award for that year.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ReAnimator fans will cringe... December 1, 2002
Long before Herbet West creeped us out in the 80s, there was Dr. Bill. Bill has been doing some creepy things up at the cabin in the mountains, and this time, he's taking his fiancee up there with him. In an unexplained speeding frenzy up a winding road, they crash; Bill survives, but, well, only SOME of his girl Jan does.
Bill scampers away from the burning mess of the car with a bundle, and we quickly realize it's Jan's head he's hiding in his jacket. Once he gets to the cabin, he sets Jan up with lots of tubes and percolating things and administers her this life-giving 'neck juice.' Is she happy to *somewhat* still be alive? Hell no! She's a freak now and ain't proud of it. The remainder of the film is Jan mocking Bill's eerie assistant and bitching at Bill. Funniest scene: Bill's method for shutting up Jan.
Mike's first episode as the test subject of the 'Mads is definitely worth watching. Crow & Servo do their best to break him in, and it's a really great episode. Fans who find themselves missing Joel should know that, as the series head writer, Mike wrote many of the skits and lines Joel spoke, so while the host changes, not a lot else does. The Invention Exchange--a basic component of Joel shows--is slowly phased out, but Mike's invention is definitely a good one. A cameo at the end by Mary Jo as Jan is hilarious, and as is normal in most of the Mike episodes, Mike manages to tick her off too.
Bill is creepy and easily unlikeable, especially when he goes trolling for a body for Jan! EWWWWW!!!! A must-see for Mike fans!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Willam L. Ewbank
5.0 out of 5 stars MST3 Defines the phrase Cult Classic
My kids grew up watching Mystery Science Theater 3000. It was a much-anticipated weekly family event. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Stephen Rustad
3.0 out of 5 stars So-So
It wasn't the best MST3K film I've seen. Decent... but I'm not sure I have plans to re-watch it like I do so many others.
Published 11 months ago by Jonathan Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic "B" Movies Get A Different Rating Scale
This movie is only "good" because it is so bad. Anything that has been deconstructed by the genius of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) deserves 5 stars. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Murph
5.0 out of 5 stars And the "Mike or Joel" debate begins...
The story's pretty familiar by now..."new guy" Mike Nelson was only "new" in terms of his role as on-camera host. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a FUN Movie!!
This is one of those movies that you watch for a laugh. Its really halarious because it is supposed to be so serious. Read more
Published on June 21, 2012 by silky69
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Mst fan
I loved Mystery Science Theater when it was on television. Good fun entertainment. Take a so so B rated movie from the past and add a hilarious comedic twist. Read more
Published on January 2, 2012 by jbus4323
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Head ... MSTK3 Style
Some bad movies are so bad they are funny; most bad movies, however, are simply bad, and in order to be funny they need a little help. Read more
Published on September 11, 2010 by Gary F. Taylor
I love classic old horror films, but sometimes you need a little cheese in your horror/sci-fi movies. Read more
Published on July 29, 2010 by ! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b
4.0 out of 5 stars GET.... ME... DOOOOOWWWWWNNN!
The fifth season of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" had a big change in store -- Joel was no longer aboard the Satellite of Love.

So of course, Dr. Read more
Published on June 24, 2010 by E. A Solinas
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