Blu-ray Review: The Brain (1988)

April 14, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Dr. Blake (the legendary David Gale) hosts a TV show called “Independent Thinkers”…which is an absurd title as in fact the self-help program is a mind controlling transmission that Blake creates with the help of an alien brain he has holed up in his Psychological Research Institute…and the broadcast is making teens do the ol’ murder/suicide bag like a mother-fucker!

Enter teen trouble-maker Jim Majelewski (Tom Breznahan) and his gal-pal Janet (Cyndy Preston) who decide to stand-up to Blake and his star-born menace after Jim has a brief stay at PRI and discovers things aren’t as they appear…but will they have what it takes to end the machinations of that devious doc and his creepy cerebellum?

Look, The Brain is a picture about a giant ambulatory, people-eating, demon-faced, alien brain…that should be the only sentence I need to type to make you lot go out and add this to your creepy collection immediately!

Of course there is much more this picture has to offer such as an absolute avalanche of impressive, practical creature effects, a solid cast (with Gale leading the way with his normal delightful scenery chomping villainy), senses shattering hallucinatory passages and fever-dream logic, and a fun throwback aesthetic to 50’s Drive-In flicks where scrappy teen heroes face off against alien menaces (with 1958’s The Blob being a prime example).

Along with all of those ghoulish good times, our pals at Scream Factory have included some beastly bonuses to accompany the main event! First up we get video appreciation of the flick from filmmaker John Campopiano followed by interviews with Preston, Actor George Buza (who plays the evil orderly Verna) along with his adorable cat who desperately wants to be on camera, and 1st Assistant Art Director Michael Borthwick, as well as a stills gallery. But we’re not done, as there are three brand new audio commentaries included on this release as well featuring Director Ed Hunt (a no-nonsense chat about Hunt’s career and the production of the film), Composer Paul Zaza (who provides a personable discussion of his progression through the music biz and how he came to be involved with The Brain), and Actor Breznahan (who also gives a great conversation, via phone,  that spans his career).

If you are looking for an enjoyable as hell creature feature with kick-ass practical effects, then look no further than The Brain; this is one many horror hounds have slept on, and there’s no better time than now to fix that!!






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