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Brain Damage (1988)

 -  Comedy | Horror  -  25 May 1988 (France)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,282 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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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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
Kevin Van Hentenryck ...
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:

Hang onto your hats... Elmer's here! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As Brian wakes up for the first time in his bed, his head covered in blood, an album poster is spotted on the wall, Slayer's "Reign In Blood". See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Aylmer: [to Brian] Why, Brian! Hello! How are ya? How ya doin?
Brian: [Weakly] Help me... please, help me.
Aylmer: Why, of course I'll help ya, Brian! You and me are pals. I'll be happy to help you... But you'll have to feed me first.
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

Spoofed in Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005) 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

 
Low budget gore nonsense....this is great stuff!
24 October 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

While the special effects look dated in this computer dominant age of cinema that we live in, Frank Henenlotter's imaginative and unsettling Brain Damage has lost of it's fun after all these years, and that element is more important than any amount of special effects. Working from the same fundamental plot basic as the director's hit trash-film "Basket Case", Brain Damage portrays a relationship between a young man and a hideous creature unfolding. The stories are very different, but it's obvious that this idea interests the director and links between the two films are more than obvious (the ham-fisted tribute towards the earlier film being far too much so!). The plot sees a young man named Brian waking up in a pool of blood. It isn't long before he's tripping and before he knows it, he's hooked on the brain fluid that a mysterious thing known as 'Aylmer' has pumped into his head. Like all parasites, Aylmer doesn't give Brian the brain fluid because he's a nice guy - he wants something in return, namely the brains of Brian's fellow citizens. Cue lots of bloodletting as Brian and his 'friend' tear their way through the city!

The fact that budget was a big constraint to this film is always evident, but it hardly matters because the underrated director has taken his ideas and just made the best of them with what he's got, and the result is far better than any of these big budget but no idea films that people are often impressed by. A bit like that one with the 'great' twist where Bruce Willis plays a psychologist to a boy who can see dead people. My only real complaint with Henenlotter's handling is that he has a tendency to drag things out a little bit. We see Aylmer open up his mouth, stick the thing in Brian's neck and then the fluid going over the brain EVERY time, when once would have sufficed. Many things about the story aren't very well explained, or completely ignored; but there are little hints towards the history of Aylmer, and this gives Brain Damage a good dose of intrigue. Leaving it open is good, but maybe just a little more on how Aylmer came about wouldn't have gone amiss. There's plenty of blood on display, and despite the rather playful effects on the monster itself, Brain Damage still manages to be oddly frightening. And besides, you've got to love John Zacherle's voicing! In case you haven't guessed - this is highly recommended viewing!


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