The Brain Eaters is a 1958 independently made American black-and-white science fiction–horror film, produced by Ed Nelson (and Roger Corman, uncredited), and directed by Bruno VeSota. The film stars Nelson, Alan Jay Factor, and Joanna Lee and includes a brief appearance by Leonard Nimoy (name misspelled in film credits as “Leonard Nemoy”). The Brain Eaters was distributed by American International Pictures as a double feature with either Earth vs. the Spider or Terror from the Year 5000 in different markets.
The Brain Eaters was known during production as, variously, The Keepers, The Keepers of the Earth, Attack of the Blood Leeches, and Battle of the Brain Eaters.
Actor VeSota wanted to direct a film, so he approached Corman with the script. Corman helped him raise the modest financing needed, as well as arranging distribution through AIP. The film was shot over six days on a budget of $26,000.
After its release, science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein sued for plagiarism, asking for damages of $150,000, claiming that The Brain Eaters was based on his 1951 novel The Puppet Masters. Corman insisted that he was unfamiliar with Heinlein’s work, both while reading the script and during the film’s production. He did, however, see the obvious comparisons once he’d read the novel, so Corman settled out of court for $5,000 and acceded to Heinlein’s demand that he receive no screen credit, as the author found the film “wanting”. The lawsuit that resulted halted actor John Payne‘s intention of producing a film based on Heinlein’s novel.
black & white, mono, good-looking widescreen transfer, 61 minutes. DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case, wrapped in plastic!