Brain Damage (1988)

July 21, 2009 - 1:42pm | steelba
  Tags: 80's, blood, brain damage, cheesy, comedic, Frank Henlotter, Gordon MacDonald, gore, Jenifer Lowry, Joseph Gonzalez, Lucille St-Peter, Rick Hearst, Theo Barnes, Vick Darnell

Your rating: None Average: 6.1 (8 votes)
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Frank Henlotter
Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jenifer Lowry, Theo Barnes, Lucille St-Peter, Vick Darnell, Joseph Gonzalez

This is one I saw a long time ago and had been meaning to revisit for some time. After a regular poster here requested a review for it I figured this was as good a time as any to check it. I didn't remember to much in the way of details about this older Henlotter film except that I liked it. Well I hadn't completely forgotten the gore, the Aylmer, or the over the top craziness either. All the other aspects had been forgotten though, so it was almost like seeing it for the first time again.

Brain Damage begins randomly enough in the apartment of a crazy old couple, who feed and keep captive the strange creature Aylmer. The couple are intensely annoying so it's a good thing the little turd shaped critter escapes his bathtub confinement immediately. The geezers noticed the escape become frantic and soon thereafter have seizures. Aylmar doesn't waste any time finding a new residence, landing a few doors down in brother's Brian and Mike's place. Brian isn't feeling particularly well so he ditches his girlfriend and then wakes up in bed with Aylmer. Besides being bloody he's also been injected with a highly addictive, super psychedelic, mind bending drug, that the poop shaped villain secretes.

After some dialogue Brian learns about the little carnivorous drug factory and decides to do his bidding. Unknown to him is that the psychedelic spewing feces only eats brains, preferably human ones. With that not in mind he gets juiced up again then the two head out to find Aylmar some dinner. Along the way you get to see the world how Brian does under the hallucinogenic trance. It looks crazy but is generally just off colored, brightly illuminated objects. Having a great time in this drug induced stupor the duo stumble into an old junk yard where the little manipulative monster abandons Brian and begins devouring the security guards brain. This actually looks pretty comical but there is some wicked blood spray and some grey matter strewn about, good times..

From there on the film stays focused on the 'trip and eat' mode. Brian starts tripping and takes Aylmar out for his fill of fresh brains etc. At one point Brian does discover what the evil creature is doing and attempts to quit the juice cold turkey. This ethical standoff is amusing since the blue colored critter ruthlessly taunts Brian as he goes through excruciating withdrawal pains. Not to be lost in all of this is the erosion of all of Brian's personal relationships with his girlfriend and brother are also present. That a mixed bag at best because neither of the other two are fleshed out enough for you to care about them. It is rational that it was included though so whatever.

Now that the basic plot is out of the way onto the good stuff. This isn't really a gorefest but it certainly brings a lot to the table. There is blood spurting from peoples heads, face chomping, brain eating, and even some gun play. The infamous blow job scene is also something to see, being gory and comical at the same time. Yes it's way over the top but so is the whole movie. When it comes to acting the film hits a serious low note, wooden is an accurate description. The only thing that manages to be worse than the acting is the dialogue. Much of it is delivered as if the actors are reading directly off the script instead of from memory. Also the Aylmar gets all the good lines, leaving the boring to bad stuff for the rest of the cast. Some of it is good, funny, and crude, but unfortunately the vast majority is not.

Brain Damage is a good film that falls a little short. What we have is a pretty good idea supported by slick gore and at times punchy dialogue. Sadly outside of the gory humor the rest of the film isn't consistent. The outrageous cheesiness of the whole thing does make it a worthwhile watch though.

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