After my last review, I was curious enough to check out another film by Christopher Mihm, the director of The Giant Spider. Being that this film was more recent, I expected the craft of Mihm and all those involved to have been more honed and thus making for a more entertaining watch. What I got was a movie by a crew that has made several of these at this point, and now they are simply going through the motions. You could tell that there was fun being had when they were filming The GiantSpider. Demon with the Atomic Brain is devoid of any such fun.
They did not try nearly as hard to capture the look and feel of a film from the 1950’s. The effects are worse. So, that’s a plus? There is even some brief stop motion. Everything else, however, ruins any illusions you might have had. This movie isn’t even in black and white. I mean it sort of is, but it’s not really in color either. It’s as if all the color was just severely muted. I’m not sure if this was a mistake or not. There is a scene in which a “land jellyfish” strobes in color, so maybe it was actually intentional. In any case, the vague suggestion of color is just distracting. The film grain is applied rather inconsistently too. They might as well not even have bothered for as little as there is. The film looks and sounds as crisp as a movie filmed in 2017 would. Again, the music is appropriate, but that’s about it. The Giant Spider was way more authentic in hindsight now that I have this to compare it to.
This should have been called Exposition: The Movie! for all the many scenes where characters stand around and explain the nonsensical plot. There is way too much talking and not enough of anything actually happening. There’s no attempt at humor, so the whole thing is just so incredibly dull. 30 minutes in, and I was already checking out. I could barely follow this hot mess. All I really know about the plot is that there was a computer built by a scientist that went haywire and caused a singularly that is also acting as a portal to other universes. Unfortunately, this singularity is going to destroy all the universes if the scientist and a group of soldiers can’t stop it. I didn’t see any demons or atomic brains until the end when I realized the computer that they were trying to find, the one causing a rift in the fabric of reality, is called DMN, and it is powered by an atomic brain. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. That’s probably what they were going for, but still.
This was painful. No entertainment value whatsoever. I would rather be watching Lon Chaney Jr embarrass himself in The Indestructible Man. I would rather be watching the kooky insanity of Terror in the Jungle. I would rather subject myself to the cement pollution induced mutation of Monstroid. Heck, I’m even nostalgic for The Giant Spider already. This was worse than all those combined, but I get the feeling I’ve still only cracked the surface of suckage.