2.9/10
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27 user 11 critic

The Brain Machine (1977)

Several people volunteer for a scientific experiment about mind-reading and memory, but the experiment goes horribly wrong.

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(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rev. Emory Neill
Barbara Burgess ...
Dr. Carol Portland
...
Dr. Elton Morris
...
Willie West
Marcus J. Grapes ...
Judd Reeves
Doug Collins ...
Dr. Roland Roth
Ann Latham ...
Minnie Lee Parks (as Anne Latham)
Thomas Hal Phillips ...
The General (as Thomas Phillips)
Christian Garrison ...
Garrison
Stocker Fontelieu ...
Saxon
Tom Dever ...
Bodyguard
Stuart Lancaster ...
Senator
Zephirin Hymel IV ...
Dr. Krisner (as Zephirin Hymel)
Sam Sherrill ...
A Guard
Stephen C. Burnham ...
Williams
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Storyline

Several people volunteer for a scientific experiment about mind-reading and memory, but the experiment goes horribly wrong.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film | See All (1) »

Taglines:

It Has No Conscience,It Shows No Mercy.

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 1987 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Gray Matter  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the first scene at the lab, when Dr. Krisner is escaping with the files, he stops briefly in the doorway where other staff are sitting. He has a large and obvious moustache. He then runs out of the building with the files, and by the time he reaches a tree several hundred yards from the building, he is clean-shaven. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Confusing and messy but I kind of like it
23 January 2014 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

While I watched The Brain Machine I thought I must be kind of dumb because I had to keep on rewinding it in order to follow what was going on. I thought it was pretty bad that I was having so much bother understanding an exploitation flick. But subsequently, I have read other reviews and discovered that thankfully I was not alone and it seems to be generally felt that this is one confusing sci-fi thriller. It's about a secret government sponsored experiment where four volunteers are put through a series of tests that cause them to relive dark psychological events from their past including murder and war flash-backs. That makes it sound relatively straightforward but boy it sure isn't. It's edited together in such a way that it's difficult following not only what is going on but also who is who. While it's never in the least bit obvious what the point of the experiment actually is in the first place. The Brain Machine itself is sort of vaguely defined, although lawn chairs with sensors do seem to be an important component of it. There is also a room in which the test subjects are located in which the walls shrink in, which is a way of testing the psychological consequences of overpopulation! It's so random and strange. We have good people and bad people but it's not always even obvious what their motivations are, so character actions are also somewhat eccentric to say the least.

But despite being very low budget and shoddily made, there is something consistently interesting about this film nevertheless. It's kind of endearing that a film with so little money and made for an exploitation audience is so ambitious. While it may not achieve its goals exactly, it falls short in an entertaining and intriguing enough manner. Its very incomprehensibility actually probably does it some favours too, in that you can watch this again and discover new aspects. Like a lot of 70's movies it has a paranoid thriller element, where the government are up to no good. The mixture of conspiracy film intrigue with science fiction works pretty well. It stars a couple of notable people with James 'The Dukes of Hazzard' Best a pervy priest and Stuart 'Russ Meyer' Lancaster as the Senator. I got to say I liked this one's clunky charm and while the story-line is messy, it was at least a little bit different. And that counts for quite a lot.


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