El Baron del terror – The Brainiac (1962)
Hurray, it’s Mexican horror Monday. I don’t have any real plans to continue that tradition but right now it’s Monday and The Brainiac WAS Mexican until they dubbed over it which turned out to be one of the movie’s redeeming qualities.
The year is 1661 and the holy inquisition is travelling Mexico killing off witches and the like. We’re introduced to Baron Vitelius d’Estera (Abel Salazar) who’s reprehensible crimes include dogmatism, godlessness, necromancy and telling the future through the use of corpses. When the inquisition discovers that Baron is also a masochist and has loved every minute of torture they decide that the only logical punishment is to dress him up like the Pope and set him on fire. Makes sense to me.
Luckily just as he’s happily smoldering a comet comes by and after some erotic glances are exchanged between the man-witch and the space rock he curses his executioners families and disappears.
The dubbing makes the movie play out like a skit on “Who’s line is it anyway?” but the music is brooding and threatening which gives the movie some sort of balance. That is until 300 hundred years have passed and the Baron returns to earth in his rock. Some young astronomers catch site of the glass smudge that represents a comet and go in search of it? They lose it when it crashes to earth and dissolves revealing the Baron in his new Satan/Brundlefly/Dr. Zodberg form.
The Baron wastes no time and begins hypnotizing victims (by having someone off screen flash a light in his face) transforming from his man form into his creature form and sucking out their brains. Now although he just crash landed back on earth after 300 years he now has a large mansion, he’s so happy that he throws a party and invites all of the inquisitors decendants.
One he’s met them all, he’s SO charming that they all invite him over to their homes. Now for the next 25 minutes he visits with rich folk, seduces the women and then kills them. Each couple have their brains removed before Baron Von Squid Hands sets them ablaze trying to hide the evidence.
Luckily the bumbling local police force has made the connection between the deaths and the 300 year old inquisitors and arrives just as the Baron is trying to kill the pluck astronomers. Using police issue flame throwers they reduce the Baron to his human form, which then turns into a skeleton, eek, a skeleton.
The was cheesy but not any worse than anything else low budget popping up in the early sixties. I’d say the acting was solid but you would have look past the hilarious dubbing. The music was brooding and beautiful in a generic instrumental way. Definitely the best Mexican horror movie from the sixties I’ve ever seen.