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The Brain Machine (1977)

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



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

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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 ...
Stocker Fontelieu ...
Tom Dever ...
Stuart Lancaster ...
Zephirin Hymel IV ...
Dr. Krisner (as Zephirin Hymel)
Sam Sherrill ...
A Guard
Stephen C. Burnham ...


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) »


It Has No Conscience,It Shows No Mercy.


Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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




Release Date:

9 February 1987 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Gray Matter  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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

and now for something at least somewhat different.........an impressionistic review of an impressionistic film
21 November 2010 | by (Holyoke, Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

"The Brain Machine" is one of those action films with relatively little action and lots of "filler" sequences between the action scenes. But that's OK in this case, because what we get is intriguing filler. At times endearing filler....entertaining filler....but above all intriguing filler. This is also one of those films in which you don't really know what's going on a good deal of the time, or even most of the time. And at times you don't even know who some of the characters are supposed to be (antagonists? PROtagonists? NEUTRALS??). But that's OK in this case, since what is on the screen is interesting even when it's incomprehensible. "Brain Machine" keeps your attention and gets you to think. I like the way Joy N. Houk, Jr. mixes "modernistic" and "postmodern" elements. The whole production, from a design point of view, has a "modernistic" orientation (obsessive use of the color blue in the decor, the appearance of abstract expressionist paintings as wall murals, the overall sleek and clean look, etc.). Yet the storytelling style and characterization are decidedly POSTmodern, i.e., ambiguous, amorphous, and ill-defined. "Brain Machine" tells the stories of a group of disturbed individuals living in a disturbed, uncertain universe. The film may be more than thirty years old, yet in some respects it is quite contemporary........

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