19 April 2024
The Brainiac (1962)
77 min.
Directed by Chano Urueta.
With Abel Salazar, Rosa María Gallardo, Rubén Rojo, René Cardona, Germán Robles, Ariadna Welter, Luis Aragón, David Silva, Ofelia Guilmáin.
No, this isn't a horror flick about Superman's arch enemy.

Instead, it's a crazy south-of-the-border terror yarn about a powerful magician named Baron Vitelius (played by Salazar) executed in 1661 for crimes of depravity and for practicing black magic.

Even as he's being burned alive at the stake, the evil Baron vows to return 300 years later and exact deadly revenge upon the descendants of those judges who've condemned him. As luck would have it, a mysterious comet is passing overhead at that same moment, and seems to absorb the malicious spirit of the Baron.

Flash forward to 1961: the weird comet revisits Earth and deposits a reincarnation of the Baron. But now he's a hideous monster with a huge forked tongue which he uses to suck the cerebral matter out of his helpless victims!

Sound bizarre? It is, but this Mexican silliness is also hilarious fun thanks to its shameless ability to discard logic behind its pseudo sci fi plot; Salazar delivers an unflinchingly serious performance as the 'Brainiac' while director Urueta (1963's The Living Head) laces the whole thing with a pleasing vibe courtesy of '50s monster classics.

Also known as The Baron of Terror.

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