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Brain Damage (1988)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Horror  |  25 May 1988 (France)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,731 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 72 critic

One morning a young man wakes to find a small, disgusting creature has attached itself to the base of his brain stem. The creature gives him a euphoric state of happiness but in return demands human victims.


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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Inside everyone's head lurks an Elmer... See more »


Comedy | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 May 1988 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Brain Damage (La maledizione di Elmer)  »

Box Office


$900,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (uncut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Horror host Zacherley provided the uncredited voice of Aylmer. See more »


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


Biker: You read the newspapers, you listen to the tv news. Talkin' about nuclear waste, talking' about nuclear bombs! Nuclear war! They're crying all over the place, they're crying in America, they're crying in Europe! The whole world's gonna come to an end. If it's gonna go, man, it's gonna go! And I'm gonna enjoy seein' this whole friggin' world blow up! And I'm gonna be smilin' having my beer! And I'm gonna see this last blast, baby! I'm gonna see it go!
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 »


Featured in Bloodworks: The Deformities of Gabe Bartalos (2014) See more »


by J. Calder, A. Boston, J.E. Garnett, B. Elsey, & B. Burton
Performed by The Swimming Pool Q's
Courtesy of Irving Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Bloody, gory, sick, FUN!
7 January 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Brian (Rick Herbst) a young, handsome 22 year old is "possessed" by a talking, independent parasite (named Aylmer--NOT Elmer) which lives in his clothes and injects him with a mind-inducing drugs in exchange for brains! Brian tries to get rid of it, but realizes he's hooked on the drugs. What will he do?

Very strange, very gory horror film with obvious drug overtones (although writer/director Frank Henelotter says Aylmer represents a penis). In terms of dialogue and characterization, this is amateur night (you know next to nothing about the characters), but the film does work.

Herbst (now Herst) is very good-looking and pretty good as Brian. Also Gordon MacDonald as his brother/roommate is also very handsome and gives a very good, sympathetic performance. Also, each has scenes with their clothes off--not that I'm complaining! However, Jennifer Lowry as Brian's girlfriend is pretty lame.

This was heavily cut for an R rating back in 1987--the complete version is available on DVD. It looks great, sounds great and some incredibly sick scenes are in it--all played for laughs. It's a great low-budget horror film. Worth catching.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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