Friday, August 29, 2014

Forgotten Friday Post Apocalyptic Cinema - The Brain Eaters 1958 For Mutant Future & Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

Autumn is almost in the air here in Connecticut and we're already seeing the Halloween candy appearing stores. So its time for me to get another round of 1950's post apocalyptic films ready to go for the traditional PA campaign fest. A film that came up on the rolls happened to be the 1958 science fiction drive in favorite the brain eaters. Its not a bad little alien invasion flick with over tones of Invasion of the Body Snatcher style and a good dose of Robert Heinlein's The Puppet Master's thrown in.
According to Wiki :
The Brain Eaters is a 1958 science fiction-horror film about alien parasites who invade the small Illinois town ofRiverdale and are able to take over any living thing, mind and body, by attaching themselves to their host's back and inserting two mandibles into the base of their spines. The film was directed by Bruno VeSota and stars Ed Nelson, Alan Jay Factor, Joanna Lee, with a brief appearance by Leonard Nimoy (name misspelled in 10th place in the credits as "Leonard Nemoy"

The film's plot is easily adapted to most of the major old school post apocalyptic systems out in the wilds of gaming. According to wiki:
A team of local scientists discover alien parasites when they investigate a mysterious, three-story-tall, cone-like object that has appeared outside of town. It becomes obvious that the parasites' first victims, whose minds have been taken over, are the town's leading citizens

For Mutant Epoch, the Brain Eaters are sight unseen monsters and there are several worm like monsters within the game that make excellent stand in monsters for Brain Eaters themselves. The cone like structures that the monsters appear from could be found anywhere and might be a dimensional invasion rather then one from space.
Full Film 

For Mutant Future, the Brain Eaters are perfect gonzo aliens that might appear anywhere. The few times that I've used these horrors has been as part of convention set adventures and one shots. They make excellent fodder for an evening's one shot Mutant Future adventure encounter. 

Brain Eaters 
No. Enc.: 1d6
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: Special
Save: L9
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: None 
Mutations : mind thrust, possession,  thermal vision, psionic flight, metaconcert,
Brain Eaters make a perfect hazard for the post apocalyptic wastelands. For Mutant Future these alien bio creations are simply another form of Brain Lasher bio technology. These horrors are based upon the alien/human hybrid gene slicing technologies of  these Lovecraftian master horrors. Insidiously these monsters work from within to subvert and make way for their alien masters.
The film was a Roger Corman special and  according to wiki there was some fall out from it: 
Actor Bruno VeSota wanted to direct. He approached Roger Corman with the script and Corman helped him raise the low budget and arranged distribution through AIP. The film was shot in six days.

After the film was released, Robert A. Heinlein sued for plagiarism, asking for $150,000 claiming that the film was based on his novel The Puppet MastersRoger Corman vowed he was unfamiliar with Heinlein's work when presented with the script and during production. He did, however, see the obvious references once he read the story, so he settled out of court for $5,000. Heinlein also demanded that he himself receive no screen credit, as he found the film based on his story "wanting"


  1. I just watched this. Never heard of it before but it's surprisingly above average stuff... moves at a good pace and has characters that a tad more interesting than usual.
    Glad you pointed it out!

  2. Glad you enjoyed this one. I was directed to it way back during the 90's when I was working in a video store in Boston. There was a version of the Puppet Masters as few years away but someone told me about this unauthorized adaptation of that novel and the law suit that went with it.
    So I wanted to see it, at the time and came away pleasantly surprised by the film.
    Thanks for the comment and more PA/50's madness coming up.


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