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The Brain Eaters

Theatrical poster
Directed by Bruno VeSota
Produced by Ed Nelson
Written by Robert A. Heinlein (novel),
Gordon Urquhart (screenplay)
Starring Ed Nelson,
Alan Frost,
Cornelius Keefe,
Joanna Lee,
Jody Fair,
David Hughes,
Leonard Nimoy
Music by Tom Jonson
Cinematography Lawrence Raimond
Editing by Carlo Lodato
Running time 60 min
Country  United States
Language English

The Brain Eaters is a 1958 science fiction-horror film about alien parasites who invade the small Illinois town of Riverdale and are able to take over any living thing, mind and body, by attaching themselves to their host's back and inserting two mandibles into the base of their spines. The parasites are discovered by a team of local scientists who have been studying a mysterious, three-story-tall, cone-shaped object which appears to have crashed outside the town from some place in outer space. It quickly becomes obvious that the first victims of the parasites are being deliberately directed to infect the town's leading citizens. Next in line were communication functionaries where citizens were given additional parasites so that the town can become a facilitation point for spreading further parasites across the country.

The film was directed by Bruno VeSota and stars Ed Nelson, Alan Frost, Joanna Lee, with a brief appearance by Leonard Nimoy (name misspelled in the credits as "Leonard Nemoy").

After the film was released, it was clear that scenarist Gordon Urqhart had based his screenplay on the novel The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein. Heinlein sued for plagiarism and executive producer Roger Corman, avowing he was unfamiliar with Heinlein's work when presented with the script and during production, but could see the obvious references, settled out of court with a $5000 payment to Heinlein and an accession to Heinlein's insistence he receive no screen credit, as he found the film "wanting".

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