Blood of Ghastly Horror (1972) 1 brain

Bad, bad, bad, bad. Bad. But in an interesting way. Before I tell you what I thought of this movie, let me give you a brief history. It started life in 1964 as a crime movie by Al Adamson called Two Tickets to Terror. It's a story about some jewel thieves trying to get their plunder back from a family who had unknowingly acquired it. One of the thieves is a sociopath, who goes around hurting people with gusto. The distributors wanted nothing to do with it, even after several re-edits.

After it sat on the shelf for some years, Al Adamson teamed up with Sam Shepard, and they added footage explaining that the sociopath was the way he was because a scientist had given him an artificial brain. They pulled in John Carradine for the role of the scientist (of course), and renamed it Man with the Synthetic Brain.

Apparently this wasn't good enough. They put the entire film into a flashback, and then added scenes of a policeman recounting the case to his buddy and scenes of the father of the sociopath, who happened to be a voodoo priest/scientist, sending out a zombie to exact revenge on those involved in the case against his son.

The original crime story was hokey, but may not have been that bad. Even the modified story was OK, in theory, but the actual cobbled-together results are so clunky and contrived that it's like watching three bad movies in one. It seems like the acting gets worse with each iteration of the film, too, except for Carradine, who turns in his usual game performance for a terrible, thankless role.

In an interview on the DVD, Sam Shepard talks about his philosophy toward movies. He says that for the most part, making movies to him was a business, and the cheap schlock he churned out actually had very high profit margins. If you make a movie on a shoestring budget, it doesn't take many people to see it to make your money back, and then some. So for anyone that is familiar with Sam Shepard and Al Adamson's films, it should not be surprising that this movie is one shoddy piece of work.