20th Oct2020

‘Housesitter… The Night They Saved Siegfried’s Brain’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Richard J. Gasparian, David Karsten, Holly Kaplan, Robert Small, Stephen James Carver | Written by Richard Gasparian, Robin Nuyen | Directed by Robin Nuyen

Housesitter… The Night They Saved Siegfried’s Brain is the story of Andy, an idealist medical student with a serious Elvis obsession, who is determination to perfect his rat-to-rat brain transfer to “help mankind and change the face of modern science”. After his final experiment fails and blows up, Andy loses his chance to travel abroad and study at the prestigious Reinhardt Institute. With his future in doubt, and with no place to live, his future looks bleak. Little does Andy know that his beloved professor and mentor, Doc Crosby, is actually a mad scientist who has been murdering people and stealing their brains for experiments in his makeshift “black and white” laboratory.

When Doc realizes that his own brains so severely damaged from experimenting on himself, and that he will be dead in a matter of hours without a successful brain transfer, he hatches a scheme to acquire the thirteen human brains needed for his “brain pyramid”. Knowing that Andy is homeless and that college kids can’t resist having big parties, Doc invites Andy to housesit while he goes away on “business”. After he frees his deranged lab assistant from the insane asylum, and with his house now full of healthy unsuspecting college kids, Doc’s trap is set. When the party begins, so does the deadly game of cat and mouse…

Filmed entirely in 1987, Housesitter… The Night They Saved Siegfried’s Brain sat unfinished for thirty-two years. Now, with post-sound from Skywalker Sound and final picture from Paramount Pictures color department, it is at last completed and released to an unsuspecting audience. I say unsuspecting as when you think of uncompleted films you’d think of unwatchable messes – and this film is anything but. Instead it feels like one of those movies that never made it off VHS onto other formats; the kind of film that Vinegar Syndrome would remaster and re-release to fevered acclaim. Yes, this really is that kind of unseen gem.

Housesitter… The Night They Saved Siegfried’s Brain walks a weird VERY fine line between old-school 1950’s sci-fi – with Doc Crosby’s laboratory LITERALLY appearing as black and white segments within the film; 80’s slasher film – as Doc’s wanton lust for more brains getting further and further out of control; and horror spoof – what’s with hearing Doc’s inner monologue on the soundtrack… complete with puns as he kills?! This is the kind of movie that literally defines the “could have only been made in the 80s” tag… It’s the only decade where experimental and off-the-wall films like this had ANY chance of finding any audience (mainly through VHS rentals).

If you enjoy films like Pandemonium or Student Bodies, or any cheesy 80s horror for that matter, you’ll get a kick out of this bizarre mix of fear and fun. I certainly did.

*** 3/5

Housesitter… The Night They Saved Siegfried’s Brain is out now on Blu-ray and Digital from Leomark Studios.


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