Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Brain - Toothy Grey Matter

The Brain
D: Ed Hunt
W: Barry Pearson
S: Tom Bresnahan,  Cynthia Preston & David Gale
Rated R - Approx 94 Minutes
Brightstar Films

 - The Pounding of the Afterbrain Signals Vengeance and Death!
 - Mind over Matter.

Alternate Titles:
Manipulations - France (Video Title)
Evil Mastermind - Greece
The Bed - Hungary

"That's food for thought!"
                               -Dr. Anthony Blakely

I originally was going to start up reviews with something completely different, but I could not resist the urge to review this amazingly cheesy bit of canuxploitation.  Why, you ask?  Well, I've been wanting to see this little slice of fried gold since I first came across it in the early 90's at my local Blockbuster Video.  I would have happily rented it many a Friday night, but the damn thing was never in.  The empty case just sat on the shelf taunting me.  For those who may not remember the good ol' days of Blockbuster Video, they would keep the empty VHS (or DVD) covers on the shelf with the actual copies of the film BEHIND it in Blockbuster clamshell cases.  I'm pretty sure that The Brain sat there empty on the shelf for over three years.  Staring at me. Taunting me.  To the best of my knowledge it has never been official released on DVD here in the states (though it did get a UK release which is now out of print) and eventually it just sort of slipped out of mind (pun INTENDED) until I was going down the Amazon Prime Instant Video Rabbit Hole(™) and came across a listing for The Brain.  I wasn't sure it was the same film though because it had a really weird poster:

What in the hell is that?  First off, that dude does no appear in the movie.  Hell this still isn't even from the movie.  What does a railway worker running next to a train have to do with an alien brain hypnotizing Canadian folk?  Very odd indeed.  Had I not clicked on the poster out of sheer curiosity, I would have totally missed it!

Having said all that, The Brain was everything that I was hoping for and so much more!  Questionable acting, goofy special effects and a slimy rubber monster brain that just might be one of my all time favorite movie monsters! 

The film revolves around Dr. Anthony Blakely who hosts a show called Independent Thinkers.  Which is rather hilarious because with the help of an evil alien brain from who knows where, he hypnotizes people through the show and causes hallucinations.  Those who refuse to watch his show and those who are resistant to The Brain's hypnosis are hunted down mercilessly.  Such is the case with our hero, Jim Majelewski and his girlfriend Janet.  See Jim's parents bring him to Dr. Blakely to try and fix his rebellious behavior and the good doctor hooks him up to some electrodes and The Brain tries several times to hypnotize him, unsuccessfully.  The Brain then causes Jim to hallucinate a naked woman.  Hey, if you're gonna hallucinate, there are worse things to see!  Eventually, Jim breaks through the hallucination as well and is told to go on his way.  That's when The Brain launches it's attack on poor Jim.  As the audience we're never sure what's real and what's a hallucination as we follow Jim and Janet on the run, which I thought was kinda cool.  We're just along for the ride.

The Brain is basically an 80's overhaul of the giant brain flicks of the 50's....stuff like The Brain From Planet Arous and Fiend Without A Face.  It's 100% pure cheddar and 100% what you are looking for if you're in the mood for a fun monster flick on Friday night.  Add some pizza, booze and like minded friends and you've got the makings of a great movie night.  Show it as a double feature with another 80's-tastic monster flick like Neon Maniacs and you've got yourself a damn fine night!

As I mentioned before there are some decent gore gags here.  Decapitations, disemboweling, people getting eaten by The Brain.....all kinda goodness!

We got yer boobs right here!  Sure, they're hallucinatory boobs, but hey.....boobs are boobs!

The Brain!  I don't know where it comes from or why exactly it's here, but it starts out the size of a dog and grows to the size of a pick-up truck by the end of the movie.  See, it grows every time it eats someone.  The monster is a giant rubber/latex beast with weird unblinking eyes and giant gnashing teeth.  In's awesome.

Final Thoughts

It's a strange thing watching a film that you've wanted to see for damn near thirty years!  Often times you're only setting yourself up for disappointment, but in this case, I was quite pleasantly surprised by how much I dug the film!  What more can you ask for?!

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