THE FROZEN DEAD (1966)
Article #1162 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-20-2001
Posting Date: 10-17-2004
Directed by Herbert J. Leder
Featuring Dana Andrews, Anna Palk, Philip Gilbert
A Nazi scientist needs a brain in order to test his experiments with which he hopes to revive 1500 frozen elite Nazi officials.
It seems positively perverse to me that this glum, turgid movie doesn’t have the word “brain” in the title; after all, its plot plays like a cross between DONOVAN’S BRAIN, THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE , and THEY SAVED HITLER’S BRAIN. Unfortunately, the movie is a little closer in quality to the latter two than to the former, and even at that, it lacks somewhat the chutzpah that make those two fairly memorable. Dana Andrews does all he can to keep his dignity throughout; but he’s a long way here from NIGHT OF THE DEMON. The real villain here is his assistant, Karl who (like his namesake in BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, another movie that deals at least partially in brains) is not only homicidally proactive but dumb as a keg of neck bolts as well; he claims he’s doing it out of loyalty to the party, which just goes to show the dangers of blind adherence to party platform. It’s all in the cause of reviving frozen elite Nazi party members, most of whom are in Germany but the rest are scattered around the globe (so check your refrigerator). So far, his attempts at revival have resulted in a basement full of subhuman idiots (like the basement in Dr. Cadman’s castle in THE BLACK SLEEP, who got that way from operations on their – you guessed it – brains). And this isn’t even mentioning the wall of arms, which reminds me of a similar wall in Cocteau’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (a movie that has nothing to do with brains, but whose title is remarkably similar to that of THE LADY AND THE MONSTER, an early version of DONOVAN’S BRAIN).
Suggested retitling: I’VE GOT BRAINS ON MY BRAIN AND IT’S HURTING MY BRAIN.