The Brain

I am such a sucker for 80’s movies. You know this and I know this. I can’t decide if it is the amazing scores, the amazing oversized VHS box artwork, or the always-know-you’re-gonna-see-em gratuitous breast shots- but man oh man, I love me some 80’s horror. Typically I am a huge 80’s slasher fan but there is something so wickedly awesome about 80’s “monster” or “demon” movies. Movies like Black Roses, Critters and Brain Damage will always hold a special place in my heart. Well that said, I am glad to say I have added another to the list…ladies and gentlemen…I present to you…The Brain.

Holy fuck! 2 minutes into this masterpiece and who is on the screen? David Gale (Dr. Hill from Re-Animator!) as a world famous teen psychologist (named Dr. Blake) with a talk show-and yes, he’s just as creepy as always was. Next, we meet Becky (Susannah Hoffman), who is a troubled teenager (and a patient of Dr. Blake’s) who after having wacky visions of a giant brain trying to kill her and her mom, she accidentally kills her mom and then herself. Cut to the next day at school and we meet troublemaker teen; Jim (Tom Bresnahan), his wicked cutie girlfriend Janet (Cyndy Preston from Prom Night 3!) and their buddies. After it’s established that Jim is a prankster (but also a genius) his parents are called to the school and notified by the administration unless Jim goes to some institute that Blake runs for troubled teens he will not be allowed to graduate. Once Jim enters Blake’s institute, he is hooked up to a machine that transmits brain waves to him via a gigantic monster-like brain-and by brain waves I mean topless pictures of Blake’s hot nurse. After the giant brain eats the hot nurse, the brain then grows a face, Jim starts having hallucinations…and then crashes his car. After Jim has a meltdown at Janet’s place of employment, someone from the institute picks up Jim and throws him back into a padded room at Blake’s. It appears since eating the nurse, the brain is now growing, which means he has more brain power (of course!) and soon will be large enough to think for the whole world. After Janet and Jim’s buddy Willie (Bret Pearson) bust Jim out of the psycho ward, Janet & Jim are on the run as everyone in town who watches Blake’s TV show are brainwashed into thinking Jim is evil and anyone who DOESN’T watch Blake’s show is evil. People start killing their spouses, cops heads get axed off and Janet ends up watching Blake on TV, thus leading her to believe that Jim is evil and joining everyone else in town. As Blake plans a world-wide broadcast to take over everyone , Jim attempts to stop the broadcast, the brain becomes enormous…and shit goes crazy.

Only two words can describe this movie: FUCKING AWESOME. The effects are rubbery plastic not unlike those used in Re-Animator or Brain Damage-Director Ed Hunt (if he had only kept making films-sadly The Brain was his last effort), would have easily fit into the same category as Frank Henenlotter and Stuart Gordon. Once again we get a soundtrack from the notorious Paul Zaza-who this time hits the mark with an eerie score, which is dead on with the pace of the film. I’d love to hang out with Zaza sometime and pick his brain, I can’t understand how he can make a score as great as this, yet whip out stuff like the dreadful Prom Night 4…Oh, and one last thing The Brain has going for it…it’s Canadian baby! Filmed and released in Canada back in 1988, The Brain symbolizes everything that is RIGHT with 80’s horror.

Sadly, this gem isn’t available on DVD so you are going to have to scour the Internet looking for a copy-it’s not hard, just do some searching-you WONT be sorry.

Charlie “Now, that’s food for thought!” Brown

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~ by exploitnation on April 25, 2008.

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