Monday, October 24, 2011

Brain Damage (1988)

Director: Frank Henenlotter

Starring: Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry, Theo Barnes, Lucille Saint-Peter

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It's A Headache From Hell!

Plot: A normal, average guy who lives in New York City becomes dependent on an evil, disembodied brain. The brain feeds the guy a narcotic substance in exchange for his unwilling assistance in obtaining the brains of innocent victims for sustenance.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? I'm such a huge fan of Henenlotter that I'll give it another shot.

#233 on Drive-In Delirium Volume 2 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

If all Frank Henenlotter ever did was BASKET CASE (1982) and FRANKENHOOKER (1990), that'd be enough for me. They're both masterpieces. He's only made 6 films to date so you can imagine my disappointment when BRAIN DAMAGE didn't live up to the others.

I like Henenlotter for many reasons, but mostly because his films are daringly outrageous and he likes to throw in a little stop motion action, which is remarkable to find in low budget films like these. The voice of the creature (by John Zacherle) is deliciously fun and playful. And I can't forget to mention how much fun the special effects were. If you remade this today with CGI it would be a disaster. Henenlotter really knows what kind of effects he needs to perfectly match the tone and look of his films.

Rick Hearst was OK as the lead, I guess, but he was too 'hip' looking of an actor for the role. I would have preferred someone like Kevin Van Hentenryck from BASKET CASE or, better still, James Lorinz from FRANKENHOOKER. THAT guy would have been a fantastic match for this character. Goddamn he was hilarious in FRANKENHOOKER.

There's a great cameo by Hentenryck his basketed buddy.

Henenlotter's wonderfully sick sense of humor is all over the place. You have GOT to watch the uncut version that has the fellatio scene. It's a scream.

While I'm disappointed this wasn't up to snuff compared to Henenlotter's other pictures, it's still good enough for me to give it another shot down the road but not before I give the rest of his brief catalog a spin first.

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