But back in my youth, our television was lucky to receive six channels ... and even that was questionable if our town was hit with the occasional thunderstorm. Naturally, you had the three major networks, and local affiliate stations would supplement the big choices with smaller, syndicated, and largely forgettable fare. It was these secondary channels that held much of my interest for they'd play cartoons and kid-friendly live-action adventures -- many of them imported from Japan and the United Kingdom.
Well, it was on this podunk channel that I first discovered the beauty of 1962's The Brain That Wouldn't Die from Rex Carlton Productions. In it, poor Virginia Leith was reduced to little more than a head (see picture above): her character was killed in a car crash, and her boyfriend -- a scientist on the cutting edge of tomorrow -- created a means to keep her alive so that he could find a replacement body.
Essentially, the movie was a twist on the classic Frankenstein mythos, and -- for her part -- Leith did a masterful job at emoting just as much as she could to keep the audience believing that the impossible was possible. I've read that -- behind the scenes -- the actress hated the movie and her experience making it; and who could blame her? She spends the bulk of the action clearly immobile with her head wrapped in bandages, and I can't imagine those circumstances alone would've made for a great day at work.
For some reason, it seemed like this particular movie was always playing on that channel. I must've watched it a dozen times as a young'un. Even though I'd seen it before, it kept my interest each and every time it came on the Boob Tube. As formative experiences go, I probably should've turned out a serial killer -- or maybe a brain surgeon -- but I digress ...
I read this morning that the lovely Ms. Leith passed away recently at the ripe ol' age of 94. For what was once just a head, that's no small reward. May she rest in peace now that she's no longer actively portrayed 'in pieces.'
As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!