Brain Damage

Brain Damage

Director: Frank Henenlotter

Cast: Frank Henenlotter, Rick Herbst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry

     
 

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Basket Case director Frank Henenlotter explores another bizarre symbiotic human-monster relationship in this surreal horror comedy about a young man named Brian (Rick Herbst) who emerges from a night of bizarre hallucinations to find a jovial talking slug attached to his body. The creature, a brain-eating parasite called an "Aylmer" (but who prefers the simpler…  See more details below

Overview

Basket Case director Frank Henenlotter explores another bizarre symbiotic human-monster relationship in this surreal horror comedy about a young man named Brian (Rick Herbst) who emerges from a night of bizarre hallucinations to find a jovial talking slug attached to his body. The creature, a brain-eating parasite called an "Aylmer" (but who prefers the simpler handle "Elmer") came calling after abandoning his former companions -- a European couple who tried to wean him from human brains by supplying him with sheep brains from the local butcher. Preferring prey of the bipedal variety (and a younger, more mobile host), Elmer hitches a ride with Brian, administering doses of a highly addictive psychedelic drug to keep him under control, and sends him out in search of human gray matter. Understandably, this drives a wedge in the relationship between Brian and his girlfriend, Barbara (Jennifer Lowry), who doesn't buy the monster story but nevertheless begins to recognize Brian's junkie behavior patterns. Fighting a losing battle against Elmer's magic juice (and trying to keep Elmer from munching down on Barbara's skull), Brian is forced into a hideous showdown for possession of his own mind. Clever highlights include horror host John Zacherle as the Bing Crosby-esque voice of Elmer and a cute cameo from Basket boy Kevin Van Hentenryck.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Cult filmmaker Frank Henenlotter didn’t make as much of a splash in 1988 with this comedic horror movie as he did in 1982 with his debut, Basket Case, but Brain Damage still delivers laughs and chills in equal measure. Rick Herbst portrays Brian, an unfortunate young man who falls victim to "Elmer," an eel-like parasite that controls the lad’s mind by injecting it with an addictive, hallucinogenic liquid. Elmer (whose voice is supplied by legendary deejay and horror-show host John Zacherle) needs human brains for sustenance and forces Brian to provide them. Henenlotter’s twisted sense of humor makes Brain Damage a gore hound’s delight; in one of the grisly comic set pieces, Herbst’s character, while undergoing withdrawal, imagines that he’s pulling his own brains out through his ear in a long, bloody string. We won’t even try to describe a hilariously repulsive sequence in which Elmer interrupts a prostitute in flagrante delicto. The director employs a wide variety of psychedelic effects -- reverse-polarity images, quick cuts of rippling blue water, flashing lights, droning music -- to make his film a properly hallucinatory experience, and he succeeds beyond any viewer’s wildest expectations. The actors are all unknowns, the production values are perfunctory at best, and the special effects -- while graphic -- wouldn’t fool a 12-year-old. But Brain Damage is great fun, a wild ride through the imagination of one of the most cheerfully demented directors ever to cry, "Action!"
All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
Frank Henenlotter's follow-up to his 1982 classic Basket Case is another bizarre horror tale that pushes the comedic envelope while dishing out enough hyper-hallucinogenic imagery to merit its own cult status among late-'80s blood-spattered cinema. With a crooning, homicidal parasite and a drug-addled average Joe as its leads, Brain Damage does more than hearken back to the director's previous film, though this one's a different animal altogether. The film's balance of humor and gore are unique, as is the protagonist's addiction complex, which adds a disturbing element into the otherwise gruesome and often hilarious story. An additional piece to the film's puzzle is New York City itself. With many nods to the sleaze that once plagued the Big Apple, Brain Damage becomes a piece of movie history itself as the seedy world of pushers, punkers, and prostitutes are interweaved into the film's plot with a relevancy quite alien to how things have progressed in the city since. Severely cut in its original release, the movie has enjoyed a second life in the world of unrated DVDs, which has reinstated two scenes of extra gore that compliment and complete this weird little low-budget slice of phantasmagoria.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/19/2006
UPC:
0094922540836
Original Release:
1988
Rating:
NR
Source:
Mackinac Media
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:27:00

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rick Herbst Brian
Gordon MacDonald Mike
Jennifer Lowry Barbara
Theo Barnes Morris Ackerman
Lucille Saint-Peter Martha Ackerman
Vicki Darnell Blonde in Hell Club
Kevin Van Hentenryck Man with Basket
Michael Bishop Toilet Victim
Beverly Downer Neighbor
Angel Luis Figueroa Junkie
Joe Gonzales Guy in Shower
Don Henenlotter Policeman
Kenneth Packard Subway Rider
Artemis Pizzaro Subway Rider
John Reichert Policeman
Bradlee Rhodes Night Watchman
Ari M. Roussimoff Biker
Michael Rubenstein Bum in Alley
Slam Wedgehouse Mohawked Punk

Technical Credits
Frank Henenlotter Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Elmer Albrecht Songwriter
Gabe Bartalos Makeup,Makeup Special Effects
Charles C. Bennett Associate Producer,Set Decoration/Design
Andre Blay Executive Producer
B.B. Burton Songwriter
John F. Calder Songwriter
B. Elsey Songwriter
Daniel Frye Makeup
Sammy Gallop Songwriter
J.F. Garnett Songwriter
Edgar Ievins Producer
Dick Jurgens Songwriter
James Y. Kwei Editor
Gregory Lamberson Asst. Director
Al Magliochetti Special Effects
Clutch Reiser Score Composer
Ivy Rosovsky Art Director
Gus Russo Score Composer
Ray Sundlin Associate Producer
Bruce Torbet Cinematographer
Ed Walloga Production Manager

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Brain Damage
1. Chapter 1 [7:32]
2. Chapter 2 [9:33]
3. Chapter 3 [12:21]
4. Chapter 4 [8:49]
5. Chapter 5 [5:38]
6. Chapter 6 [7:16]
7. Chapter 7 [4:07]
8. Chapter 8 [10:27]
9. Chapter 9 [7:33]
10. Chapter 10 [4:01]
11. Chapter 11 [4:30]
12. Chapter 12 [3:44]

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