Creature with the Atom Brain

Synopsis: Several years earlier gangster Frank Buchanan was deported to his native Italy through the efforts of law enforcement authorities and rival gangsters who inform on him. While in Europe he meets scientist Wilhelm Steigg, who has perfected a method of reanimating dead people and controlling their behavior with oral commands. Buchanan underwrites Steigg's experiments and uses his technology to wreak revenge on his enemies. Unfortunately radioactive poisoning is a by-product of the process, and authorities use radiation detecting devices like Geiger counters to pinpoint the source of the sinister plot.
Genre: Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi
Director(s): Edward L. Cahn
Production: Columbia Pictures
69 min


How was the take tonight?

Not bad, Mr. Hennessy.

- Almost 20 grand.

- Good.

Tell the boys I'll be with them

in a few minutes.

Mary, for deposit tomorrow.

142 one hundred-dollar bills,

100 fifty-dollar bills,

the rest five, 10...

I told you I'd come back.

Remember Buchanan?

Why, you're not Buchanan!

I don't look like him but I am him.

Don't you recognize the voice, Jim?

I promised to see you die and I will.

- Hey, boss, what's the matter?

- Hey, boss, let us in.

- Hey, boss, what's the matter?

- Hey, boss, let us in.

Hey, boss.

Come back home. Come back home.

Get in the automobile.

Get in the automobile.

The automobile.

Get inside!

Turn on the ignition.

Now, drive home.

He got hit when they shot at him.

He might not be able to make it.

If his brain is still receptive,

he can be directed.

Well, what if it isn't? What if their

bullets hit one of the brain electrodes?

As long as he has an ounce of liquid

in his veins, he will return home.

I've told you, these creatures automatically

try to return to their source of feeding

when their energies run low.

Well, your creature's helped us

get rid of the first one.

I'll see them all die before I'm through.

Oh, if I had only known when you first

offered to help me financially.

Dr. Steigg, if it weren't for my money,

you'd still be experimenting

with cats and dogs

in that flea-sized lab of yours in Europe.

I made it possible for you to prove

your theory with human beings.

That is true.

But my theory was to use these creatures

to help people live

by doing everything that was

difficult and dangerous.

You just want to see people die.

Not just people, Steigg. Particular people.

And I'll get them. Every

single one of them.

And after you do?


There'll be nothing we can't do or have.

Nobody'll be able to stop us.

Can't you keep him going any longer?

No, I can't keep them breathing

longer than a few days,

then the glands deteriorate.

They just disintegrate.

Is he dead?

He never was alive.

Different parts of the body

die at different times.

My next problem is how to keep them

working as long as the heart is beating.

Does the brain still die first?


The brain always dies first.

- Why aren't you boys home in bed?

- Hello, Dr. Walker.

I gave him exactly $19,821.

All right, wait outside, will you, please?

- Oh, hello, Chet.

- D.A.

- Hi.

- Hi, Dave.

- What does it look like?

- Your guess is as good as mine.

- Robbery behind it?

- Yeah, it could be.

Yet whoever did it

left over 60 grand in the safe.

Maybe he didn't want

to get into a higher bracket.

Oh, brother.

How did he get it?

How didn't he get it?

The neck's been broken and also his spine.

Just by twisting it.

The murderer must have had

the strength of an ape.

Hennessy's guards saw him.

Said he looked like any other man.

Don't tell me he bent these bars?

That's what Hennessy's boys say.

The killer came in and got out that way.

Well, I'd hate to meet him on a dark night.

- Bullet holes, huh?

- Hennessy's boys shot at him.

Hit him, too. Look at the trail of blood.

We found some blood on the road.

You know, there's something screwy

about this whole thing.

He must've been hit bad

to lose that much blood,

yet he made it to his car and got away.

Well, whoever it was, was certainly

careless. These fingerprints are perfect.

- That's strange.

- What is?

Turn out the lights for a minute, will you?

- See it?

- Yeah.

The fingerprints are luminous.

Yes, and the footprints and the blood.

Turn on the lights again, huh?

What do you make of that?

I'm a district attorney, not a chemist.

Ask Chet.

- What about it, Chet?

- I wish I knew.

Let's take this back to the lab

and make a test on it.

I'll send the fingerprints to Washington.

Maybe they can trace them there.

- Don't let anyone in there.

- Have you any idea who did it?

- Was it robbery?

- What's the inside on this?

Got nothing to say now, boys.

Doctor, how did anybody break

through those bars in there?

Maybe he ate all his vitamins.


Look, a diluted solution of hematin.

Two absorption bands between

the Fraunhofer lines.

Oh, cut the double-talk, Chet,

and break it down to plain English.

Take a look. This so-called blood

is a chemical composition.

It looks like a bunch of crystals to me.

Exactly. There are crystals

in that concoction.

Now, what do you mean "concoction"?

Here. I'll show you.


sodium hydroxide

and blood sugars.

Throws the beam to the right dextrose.

No hemoglobin traceable.

No hemoglobin? Then it isn't blood.

Right. Like I said before,

it's a chemical composition.

Here, I'll put it in the centrifuge

and we'll see what else it's made of.

Well, why is that stuff luminous?

That's right, why is it luminous, Chet?

Just as I thought.

This so-called blood is highly radioactive.

- Dangerously so?

- Plus nine.

Is that a lot?

Enough to kill a man

if he's exposed to it long enough.

Well, that's about all

we can do for tonight.

Let me know when you hear from

Washington on those fingerprints.

Well, what'd you find out?

Yeah, how about giving us

a lowdown on this?

Yeah, give us a lead, will you?

- You want the truth?

- Yeah.

All right, then, according to the evidence,

Hennessy was murdered by a creature

with atom rays of superhuman strength.

And a creature that cannot

be killed by bullets.


You don't expect us to believe that?

- No.

- Big joke.

Just for that I'll misspell your name.

I don't blame them.

I don't believe it myself

and I was with you.

Dave. Come on in.

- Where's Chet?

- Sleeping.

Sleeping? At this hour?

Yes, at this hour. 7:30.

Well, don't blame me, Joyce.

I didn't ask him to be a cop.

Get him up, will you? it's important.

- Where's Penny?

- Having breakfast.

Uncle Dave.

Well, how's my little sweetheart

this morning, huh?

I feel fine, Uncle Dave.

There's some coffee in there, Dave.

Thanks, I can use it.

Well, Penny and me are going to have

a little tte--tte, aren't we, huh?

I never tasted a tte--tte before.



Chet, wake up.

Chet, not now!

- Name a better time.

- Dave's here.

Oh, he can wait till I kiss my wife.

Chet, he'll hear us.

So what? We're married.

But he's not.

Well, then let him find out

what he's missing.

Chet, he says it's important.


About that murder last night?

Yeah, must be.

You didn't tell me anything about it.

I don't believe in talking shop

when I'm home.

You'll probably read all about it anyway.

And when you do, you won't believe it.

I'll tell him you'll be right out.

Oh, this door sticks.

Remember, Mrs. Walker,

you had your chance.

Come on, open up.

Tell me a story first.

It's too early in the morning for stories.

I always tell a story to my dolly.

- Do you like her?

- Oh, I'm crazy about her.

- What's her name?

- Henrietta.


I used to go with a girl named Henrietta.

What happened to her?

What happened to her

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Curt Siodmak

Curt Siodmak was a Polish-born American novelist and screenwriter. He is known for his work in the horror and science fiction film genres, with such films as The Wolf Man and Donovan's Brain. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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