The Brain Eaters (1958)

USA, 1958
35mm film, black and white
mono, English

An American science fiction film directed Bruno VeSota.

Plot Summary

A massive structure, possibly alien in origin, is found in Riverdale, Illinois. Senator Walter Powers discovers a race of that have swarmed up from the centre of the earth and are possessing everyone they encounter.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Bruno VeSota
Copyright 1958 by Corinthian Productions
American International Pictures
Executive Producer: Roger Corman *
Produced by: Edwin Nelson
Associate Producer: Stanley Bickman
Screenplay by: Gordon Urquhart
Novel: The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein *
Director of Photography: Larry Raimond
Edited by: Carlo Lodato
Music by: Tom Jonson
Sound: James Fullerton
Wardrobe: Charles Smith
Makeup: Alan Trumble
Art Director: Burt Shonberg

Edwin Nelson (Dr Paul Kettering)
Alan Frost (Glenn Cameron)
Jack Hill [real name: Cornelius Keefe] (Senator Walter K. Powers)
Joanna Lee (Alice Summers)
Jody Fair (Elaine Cameron)
David Hughes (Dr Wyler)
Robert Ball (Dan Walker)
Greigh Phillips (Sheriff)
Orville Sherman (Mayor Cameron)
Leonard Nemoy [sic] [real name: Leonard Nimoy] (Professor Cole)
Doug Banks (doctor)
Henry Randolph (telegrapher)
Saul Bronson (Professor Helsingman)
Hampton Fancher [zombie] *

Alternative Titles

The Brain Snatchers
The Keepers
Keepers of the Earth

Extracts included in
The Day the World Ended (2001)

Production Notes

On 2 January 1960, science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein filed suit against American International Pictures, American International Film Distributing Corp., Corinthian Productions, Roger Corman and Gordon Arquhart seeking $150,000 in damages, claiming that The Brain Eaters bore a resemblance to his serial The Puppet Masters, first published in Galaxy Science Fiction in September, October and November 1951. 1Daily Variety vol.106 no.19 (4 January 1960) p.3. The case was settled out of court and Heinlein's 1951 novel version of the story was later filmed in 1994.



  • Daily Variety vol.106 no.19 (4 January 1960) p.3 – note (150G Suit On AIP, Others By Scifi Writer, Heinlein)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin March p.32 – credits, synopsis, revew


  • American International Pictures: A Filmography by Robert L. Ottoson p.29 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Attack of the Monster Movie Makers by Tom Weaver – note
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.55 – credits, review
  • by Walt Lee p.46 – credits
  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook by Alan Frank p.26 – credits, review