6.7/10
6,765
49 user 91 critic

Brain Damage (1988)

Unrated | | Comedy, Horror | 25 May 1988 (France)
One morning, a young man wakes to find that a small, disgusting creature has attached itself to the base of his brain stem. The creature gives him a euphoric state of happiness but demands human victims in return.

Director:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Basket Case (1982)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young man carrying a big basket that contains his extremely deformed Siamese-twin brother seeks vengeance on the doctors who separated them against their will.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner
Frankenhooker (1990)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A medical student sets out to recreate his decapitated fiancée by building her a new body made of Manhattan street prostitutes.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: James Lorinz, Joanne Ritchie, Patty Mullen
Street Trash (1987)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A liquor store owner sells alcoholic beverages to homeless people, unaware of what the bottles actually contain: toxic brew.

Director: James M. Muro
Stars: Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto
Basket Case 2 (1990)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Duane and his basket-bound mutant brother are taken in by a secret home for wayward freaks with journalists hot on their tail.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Judy Grafe, Annie Ross
Basket Case 3 (1991)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Duane recovers from his delusional breakdown to find his freakish basket-bound brother Belial will soon become a father. But not everything is joyous as the once tight knit brothers no longer seem to trust each other.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Annie Ross, Gil Roper
The Stuff (1985)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A delicious, mysterious goo that oozes from the earth is marketed as the newest dessert sensation, but the tasty treat rots more than teeth when zombie-like snackers who only want to consume more of the strange substance at any cost begin infesting the world.

Director: Larry Cohen
Stars: Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Garrett Morris
TerrorVision (1986)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A family's new satellite TV system starts receiving signals from another planet, and soon it becomes the passageway to an alien world.

Director: Ted Nicolaou
Stars: Diane Franklin, Mary Woronov, Gerrit Graham
Society (1989)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An ordinary teenage boy discovers his family is part of a gruesome orgy cult for the social elite.

Director: Brian Yuzna
Stars: Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, Evan Richards
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Alien creatures invade a small town and four teenagers, along with a young boy, attempt to escape from them.

Director: Douglas McKeown
Stars: Charles George Hildebrandt, Tom DeFranco, Richard Lee Porter
Bad Biology (2008)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Driven by biological excess, a man and a woman search for sexual fulfillment, unaware of each other's existence. Unfortunately, they eventually meet, and the bonding of these two very unusual human beings ends in a god awful love story.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Charlee Danielson, Anthony Sneed, Mark Wilson
From Beyond (1986)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of scientists have developed the Resonator, a machine which allows whoever is within range to see beyond normal perceptible reality. But when the experiment succeeds, they are immediately attacked by terrible life forms.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Doctors Herbert West and Dan Cain discover the secret to creating human life and proceed to create a perfect woman from dead tissue.

Director: Brian Yuzna
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Claude Earl Jones
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Brian (as Rick Herbst)
Gordon MacDonald ...
Mike
Jennifer Lowry ...
Barbara
Theo Barnes ...
Morris
Lucille Saint-Peter ...
Martha
Vicki Darnell ...
Blonde in Hell
Joseph Gonzalez ...
Guy in shower
Bradlee Rhodes ...
Night watchman
Michael Bishop ...
Toilet victim
Beverly Bonner ...
Neighbor
Ari M. Roussimoff ...
Biker
...
Michael Rubenstein ...
Bum in alley
Angel Figueroa ...
Junkie
John Reichert ...
Policeman
Edit

Storyline

A normal, average guy who lives in New York City becomes dependent on an evil, disembodied brain. The brain feeds the guy a narcotic substance in exchange for his unwilling assistance in obtaining the brains of innocent victims for sustenance. This turns into a tour of circa-1980s underground NYC clubs, backlots, and other seedy locations. One scene features the band Swimming Pool Cues playing the song "Corruption." Written by Mark Logan <marklo@west.sun.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...Now You're Really Losing Your Mind! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 May 1988 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Brain Damage (La maledizione di Elmer)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Hennenlotter claimed that he had make up effects give Rick Hearst a split lip throughout the movie because he thought he "looked too fucking pretty" and that it wasn't from a deleted fight scene See more »

Goofs

When Brian wakes up bloody, the blood on his left hand disappears and reappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

Aylmer: [after Brian hurls a lamp at him and misses] Tacky, Brian. Tacky.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the end titles, listed under "Historical Research" is BABE WOZENTHAL. According Frank Henenlotter on the DVD's commentary, this was a joke about Jerry Lewis in "The Errand Boy." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Frankenhooker (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Elmer's Tune
by Elmer Albrecht, Sammy Gallop, & Dick Jurgens
Courtesy of CBS Robbins Catalog, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Juice me up! Henenlotter's most entertaining work
19 February 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Frank Henenlotter's 'Brain Damage' (1987) is easily the director's best film, esp. when considering the solid performances, technical proficiency and fascinating storyline. Aylmer, a rather large, penis-shaped parasite, gives unsuspecting Brian brain damage by getting him hooked on an hallucinogenic, blue fluid that Aylmer himself produces. Oh, the colors! But the thousand-year-old worm-like parasite demands something in return for the buzz - human brains! Aylmer and his actions seem to be a metaphor for drug use and addiction and convey very graphically how substances foreign to our bodies can alter our own thoughts and actions.

Henenlotter adds context and meaning to the proceedings by creating a history for Aylmer. The parasite was sold and stolen over the centuries, until it finally ended up in the possession of Brian's neighbors. But the neighbors deprived Aylmer of his needs in order to keep him weak, and that's where the story begins. Henenlotter's films are never without heavy doses of sick humor, and the perverse highlight here is a sequence depicting a disco-whore getting her brains screwed out - literally - through her mouth. If that's not enough, the special effects in the restaurant scene, complete with spaghetti and brainballs, are particularly polished and satisfying. Ultimately, the director outplays his hand and is left with nowhere to go. Despite this weak ending, 'Brain Damage' is an odd, effective story and film, a major step up from the director's debut, 'Basket Case', but every bit as twisted. >


26 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?