Edinburgh International Film Festival

Trail of the Screaming Forehead (2007)

Starring: Fay Masterson, Andrew Parks, Brian Howe, Dan Conroy, Alison Martin, HM Wynant, Jennifer Blaire

Directed by: Larry Blamire

Rating: 1 2 3 and a half

Run, don't walk, from the Screaming Forehead!

It creeps, it crawls, it slaps itself onto your head and eats your soul alive. Run, don't walk, from… the mutant forehead from outer space.

Yup, unable to survive on their own planet, these body snatching, rubbery, pink, alien slapheids have landed on earth and are about to take over the world – or the picture-perfect white clapboard town of Longhead (where else?) at any rate. Meanwhile, over at the Brain Studies Institute, foxy neuroscientist Dr Sheila Bexter has her own nefarious plot hatching, to brew a serum from the glands in the forehead and so create a master race of super intelligent beings...

Exactly. For all its clever talk of big brains and smartness, this delightfully kitsch'n'camp '50s B-movie pastiche is an exceptionally silly film. Gorgeously styled in a Technicolor palette of day-glo pinks and blues and oranges and featuring some spot-on deadpan comic turns from a cast of genuine B-movie actors, it's like a ray of ridiculous, infectiously fun sunshine on a rainy day.

'Presented' by Ray Harryhausen, its special effects are if anything less advanced than Jason and the Argonauts, but that just ratchets up the retro fun. Best of all, however, is the deliciously contorted dialogue, which would make Ed Wood rub his hands in glee. If Shakespeare had penned B-movie scripts, Trail of the Screaming Forehead would be his Hamlet.

Much ado about nothing? Well, the plot is a little thin and the jokes a bit repetitive, so that even with a fairly modest ninety minute running time, it still appears to drag in places. But if you're a fan of Mars Attacks or Meet the Applegates, or the countless B-movies they lovingly lampoon, it doesn't take a big brain to work out that you should run, not walk, to see Trail of the Screaming Forehead.

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