The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1960)

USA, 1960
35mm film, black and white, 1.66:1
mono, English

An American science fiction/horror film directed Joseph Green.

When his girlfriend Jan is decapitated in a traffic accident, Dr Bill Cortner uses his experimental surgical technique to preserve her severed head while he searches for a new body.


Directed by: Joseph Green
Copyright MCMLX [1960] Rex Carlton Productions
Produced by: Rex Carlton
Associate Producer: Mort Landberg
Screenplay by: Joseph Green
Original Story by: Rex Carlton, Joseph Green
Additional Dialogue: Doris Brent
Director of Photography: Stephen Hajnal
Special Effects: Byron Baer
Supervising Film Editor: Leonard Anderson
Film Editor: Marc Anderson
Theme Music: ‘The Web’ by: Abe Baker, Tony Restaino
Sound: Robert E. Lessner, Emil Kolisch
Make-up: George Fiala
Art Director: Paul Fanning

Herb Evers [real name: Jason Evers] [Dr Bill Cortner]
Virginia Leith [Jan Compton]
Leslie Daniel [real name: Anthony La Penna] [Kurt]
Adele Lamont [Doris Powell]
Bonnie Sharie [blonde stripper]
Paula Maurice [brunette stripper]
Marlyn Hanold [real name: Marilyn Hanold] [Peggy Howard]
Bruce Brighton [Dr Cortner]
Arny Freeman [photographer]
Fred Martin [medical assistant]
Lola Mason [Donna Williams]
Doris Brent [nurse]
Bruce Kerr [beauty contest M.C.]
Audrey Devereau [Jeannie Reynolds]
Eddie Carmel [monster]

Alternative Titles

The Black Door – working title
El cerebro inmortal – Mexican title
O Cérebro Que Não Poderia Morrer – Brazilian television title
O Cérebro Que Não Podia Morrer – Portuguese title
O Cérebro que Não Queria Morrer – Brazilian title
El cerebro que no podía morir – Spanish title
Il cervello che non voleva morire – Italian title
Le cerveau qui ne voulait pas mourir – French title
O dolofonos tou call girl – Greek title
The Head That Wouldn’t Die – closing credits title
Der Kopf, der nicht sterben durfte – German title
Mózg, który nie moze umrzec – Polish title
To myalo pou den pethaine – Greek DVD title
Το μυαλό που δεν πέθαινε – Greek title
Мозг, который не мог умереть – Russian title
死なない頭脳 – Japanese title

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (2020)

Extracts included in
Bride of Monster Mania (2000)
Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Hellbound, Flesh-Eating Subhumanoid Zombified Living Dead, Part 3 (2005)
The Brain That Still Wouldn’t Die Again Anymore! (2009)
A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste (2012)



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.3 p.4 – note (Frankenstein movieguide)
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.4 p.5 – note (Frankenstein movieguide)
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.7 p.11 – note (Frankenstein TV movieguide)
  • Fangoria no.197 (October 2000) p.63 – illustrated DVD review (DVD Dungeon by Matthew Kiernan)
  • Filmfax no.61 (June/July 1997) pp.28, 29 – illustrated credits, review (The Brain That Wouldn’t Die by Bryan Senn)
  • Outre no.1 (1994) pp.65-77 – illustrated novelisation (Public Domain Theatre: The Brain That Wouldn’t Die by Ekim Niets)


  • American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography by Rob Craig pp.75-76
  • American International Pictures: A Filmography by Robert L. Ottoson pp.77, 78
  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.187
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.163
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.80, 285
  • Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures by Mark Thomas McGee pp.304
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.46
  • Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990 by Brian Albright p.247
  • Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn pp.79-80