Friday, September 17, 2010

Brain Damage

Brain Damage (1988)

Let me start off by saying that Frank Henenlotter is one of my all time favorite Horror directors,and in my opinion it is a shame that he has not made more films than he has.He is the mind behind some of my favorite horror films Basket Case and Frankenhooker . Then we have this film Brain damage.Henelotter manages to mix in comedy with horror in a way that few have been able to do successfully.The only film that has a similar feel to me would be the Evil Dead series.Brain damage is not nearly as well known as his flagship films the Basket case series,But I do remember it recieving a pretty solid cult following during the late 80’s early 90’s.I remember seeing it mentioned all the time in my old fangoria magazines.The film follows Brian who finds himself one morning under the control of Aylmer (Elmer) a brain/slug like parasite or alien being that uses mind control to take over hosts.Aylmer emits a Juice that causes extreme Hallucinations to those who are "lucky" enough to come in contact with his good side.Brian begins to like the euphoric feel and hallucinations provided by Aylmer a bit to much and in exchange for more juice ,he must help Aylmer find food.Aylmer eats Fresh human brains and brian reluctantly helps aylmer access these brains after he finds that the juice is highly addictive and has some very serious withdrawl symptoms.Through this film there are quite a few really low brow funny scenes , one that comes to mind is when brian is high and wonders into a punk club called Hell.While at the club Brian wins the affections of a busty young woman whom takes Brian to the back alley for some fun.When she grabs brians crotch she says"wow, you gotta a real monster down there" not knowing of course that Aylmer was hiding in Brians pants,when she goes to unzip brians pants to give him a BJ, Aylmer flies out and down her throat to suck her brains out,this scene shows Aylmer going in and out of her throat and it appears very phallic,almost pornographic but hillarious nonetheless.There is also a scene that only fans of henenlotter will get but during a ride on the subway Brian runs into Duanne Bradley carrying a basket,well Duanne of course is the lead in henenlotters Basket case and those who have seen that film know exactly what is in that basket.There are no real slow parts of this film because when there is not brains being eating we get treated to shitty effects portraying Brians Hallucinations.The film ends on a bit of a downer with brian eventually taking his own life which leads to an interesting scene showing what an overdose of Aylmers Juice will do to you.Any fan of henenlotters films will recognise that there are many little cameos in this film of characters from his other movies and there are also alot of inside jokes that only those who have seen his other films would get.The film is not short on humor , I mean Aylmers voice alone is worth a few laughs.I would highly recomend this one to any fan of Basket Case , who has not seen any of the directors other films and any fan of a little slapstick with your blood and brains.
brain damage gets...
3.5 out of 5
This is my least favorite of Franks Films but I still dust it off now and then ,because it is worth a few laughs and is really an odd little film to show off on a movie night with friends.

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