When selecting the best of the "Brain" films, one must bear in mind that many of the grisly elements indigenous to low-budget shock movies overlap. A few simple ground rules are in order: No transplant films (that's a genre unto itself, including The Thing With Two Heads and The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant). Decapitation and disembodiment (Man Without a Body, Thing That Couldn't Die) only marginally qualify (They Saved Hitler's Brain makes the list on the strength of it having that eminently exploitable word, "Brain," in its title). Got it?

10. Brain of Blood (1971)
That terrifying team of Sam Sherman and Al Adamson, who kept the low-budget horror film breathing throughout much of the '70s, cooked up this low-rent mad doc shocker featuring Kent Taylor, Grant Williams and Reed Hadley. Taylor sets about transplanting brains but comes up with Gor, a mindless monster played by John Bloom.

9. Monstrosity (1963)
Retitled Atomic Brain for TV release, the torpid story centers around a dying millionaire crone who suckers au pairs into employment, sizing up their bodies as prospective homes for her elderly brain. Character actor Frank Gerstle is the atomic doc conscripted to perform the transplant.

8. The Brainiac (1961)
Mexican horror maestro, actor/producer Abel Salazar, served up this disturbing south-of-the-border shocker, originally titled El Baron del Terror. Salazar stars as a resuscitated nobleman with bushy eyebrows, a pointy nose and a very long tongue, the better to slurp the gray matter from the skulls of his victims.

7. The Brain Eaters (1958)
Not necessarily a "Brain" film, but worthy of the list by virtue of its alien mind-control scenario. This time, the invasion originates from within the earth, in a plot with striking similarities to Heinlein's The Puppet Masters. A vivid, crudely exciting little movie.

6. They Saved Hitler's Brain (1963)
A piece of this and a piece of that movie, this fiasco was cobbled together from new footage, stock footage and hunks of an early-'60s thriller called Madmen of Mandoras. It's junk however you slice it with the goofy, grinning Fuhrer's head snarling telepathic orders from a bell jar.

5. The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1959)
A truly sleazy cult item with much to recommend it. Kooky surgeon Herb Evers keeps the jabbering head of his decapitated fiancee alive in his lab while stalking the strip clubs in search of a replacement body. One or two moments of genuine gore, the work of the whatzit in Herb's closet, highlight the action.

4. Donovan's Brain (1953)
Dedicated doc Lew Ayers keeps the titular gray matter alive in a jar, but soon finds himself possessed by the manipulative brain of the deceased millionaire, Donovan. From Curt Siodmak's influential novel, this flick is moody and gripping in all the right places.

3. Creature With the Atom Brain (1955)
The formidable team of Katzman and Cahn (producer and director respectively) turned out this sturdy shocker about a herd of zombies with atomically-enhanced noggins. Plot holes galore, but who cares? The great Richard Denning, as a two-fisted pathologist, is at his best!

2. Fiend Without a Face (1958)
Producer Richard Gordon was one of the brains behind this visceral British shocker, starring American actor Marshall Thompson. The spectacle of dozens of human brains, leaping at victims, their spinal cords trailing behind them like tails, scared the hell out of many an impressionable young "Boomer."

1. The Brain From Planet Arous (1957)
It's got to top the list, what with Agar, Fuller, Joyce Meadows and a huge, translucent brain with beady eyes and a commanding voice. In addition, it features the three greatest supporting players in B-movie history: Thomas Browne Henry, Morris Ankrum and Bronson Canyon. Ya can't beat it!

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