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The Borrower (1991)

R  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  1991 (Mexico)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 1,061 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 20 critic

Aliens punish one of their own by sending him to earth. The alien is very violent, and when the body he occupies is damaged, he is forced to find another.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Diana Pierce
Charles Krieger
Tom Towles ...
Bob Laney
Captain Scarcelli
Pam Gordon ...
Dr. Cheever
Robert Dryer ...
Borrower / Human
Alien Pilot
Bentley Mitchum ...
Zoe Trilling ...
Michelle Chodiss (as Tami Clatterbuck)
Tom Allard ...
Ruben Whitefeather
Darryl Shelly ...


Aliens punish one of their own by sending him to earth. The alien is very violent, and when the body he occupies is damaged, he is forced to find another. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1991 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Borrower  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Two actors from director John McNaughton's previous film, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), appear in this film: Tom Towles and Tracy Arnold. They are joined by thirteen Henry crew members: Richard Fire, Steven A. Jones, Elena Maganini, Rick Paul, Cory Coken, Frank Coronado, Robert McNaughton, Jim Moore, Ric Coken, Mic Fabus, Bernd Rantscheff, Ken Hale, and Dan Haberkorn. See more »


Referenced in Found (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

A b-level horror sci/fi blend with social commentary
6 May 2004 | by (Puerto Rico) – See all my reviews

Director: John McNoughton

Cast: Rae Dawn Chong, Don Gordon, Tom Towles, Antonio Fargas

Tagline: Dont lend him anything you cant afford to loose


Director John Mc Naughtons follow up to Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer is a b-movie sci-fi/horror flick. I know that might not make the best of sense to some of you because youd expect something grand after seeing Henry, but this is the route that the director took. Its not a total waist though.

An alien criminal is sentenced to earth as a punishment for his crimes. The worst part of his punishment is, he will be a human all through out his sentence here on earth. And he has to take care of his body parts because they are fragile. After every couple of hours his head explodes so he goes around replacing it with other peoples heads and living out their lives. kind of like the same plot of a similar film called The Hidden only there the idea was better developed.

The problem with this movie is that it becomes redundant after a while. The alien dude does nothing but going around switching heads and walking around acting like a retard, repeating everything that everybody says and wobbling around like a zombie. Aside from this, theres no real suspense or tension...its just a one note gag with a few amusing moments along the line.

The film is trying to make a social commentary on humanity. Kind of the same way the Gremlins made fun of the worst things about us humans (vices, violence and the such) the alien on this film goes around seeing the worst of the human species. Violence, sex, murder and greed all make an appearance, with some funny results. I thought those scenes with the homeless where the best in the film. But ultimately, the movie had a good premise, a good idea and an opportunity to make a socially conscious sci-fi/horror film, but sadly it falls flat on its ass.

The movie does come up with some interesting moments, like those involving a dog (wont spoil it dont worry) and those head exploding scenes. There are some cool images int his film similar to the exploding head scenes in Scanners. Kevin Yagher and KNB effects guys did a decent job with the aliens and the make up effects. But these moments arent enough to save the movie from the poor execution that it was given.

Rae Dawn Chung demonstrates in this movie why she is no longer making movies. She plays a detective on the hunt for the alien. Her performance sucks like crazy, nothing special. On the other hand, Tom Towles as the hillbilly guy hunting dear was funny as hell, unfortunately he gets the least amount of screen time. Atonio Fargas as the homeless guy who befriends the alien had me cracking up a few times. They were the real highlights of the film for me. I thought they brought a certain amount of humor that the movie needed. I think the movie should have amped up the humor a little bit more given the type of film that this is.

The ending for The Borrower was very unsatisfying. Aside from the fact that the movie doesnt build any suspense or momentum, its just feels flat. I hate it when films just suddenly and abruptly end, just like that and leave you hanging. Its purposely left open for a sequel, but I dont think that it will ever get made.

Ultimately, I think this movie works as a b-grade, cheesy fun time. It has some social commentary, but it doesnt get its points across to well. If you dont mind ludicrous stories and situations or just a plain weird ass tale, lightly sprinkled with social commentary then check The Borrower out. But if your in need of a conventionally told story that gives you suspense and chills, then pass this one up, watch The Hidden instead.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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