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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Is An Atom Brain Better Than None?


Home Lab Yields Undead in Creature With The Atom Brain (1955)

Some accounts would have us think that American-International pioneered the cheap sci-fi combo, but Columbia was ahead of them, and probably gave inspiration for double-features where a whole show could be watched inside of two and one half hours. Creature With The Atom Brain was back-stop for It Came From Beneath The Sea, posters lurid in accord with school's out expectation for summer 1955. The majors had spent money on sci-fi in the past, with diminishing returns, and would surrender the genre to budget-makers, then imitate the latter when it became clear what economy merchandise could earn. Creature With The Atom Brain was another from Sam Katzman's wing of Columbia, his Clover Productions an independent maker of whatever sold at given moments. Right now it was chillers, so he made them. Sam used the Columbia lot and had an office there, but tapped banks for much of financing so as to soften pressure of the distributor's thumb he was under. Creature With The Atom Brain earned an impressive $415,000 in domestic rentals, likely four times what Katzman spent to produce it. Overstuffed A's could hope to do half so well. The plot has something to do with dead bodies reanimated for use as remote control killers. Curt Siodmak wrote it and results aren't bad, provided you make plenty of allowance. Kids that spent theirs in 1955 were likely pleased, as I was with Columbia's entire Sam Katzman Collection on DVD.

2 Comments:

Blogger Randy Jepsen said...

I wish I could have seen that double bill in a theater. I first caught ATOM BRAIN on the late show in the mid-60s. Perfect schlock sci-fi. One of my favorites.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Bill O said...

Credited as the first film to use blood squibs - the censor maybe more lenient on the already dead.

4:23 AM  

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