6.7/10
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Brain Damage (1988)

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:

Frank Henenlotter
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Cast

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

It's A Headache From Hell! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1988 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Brain Damage (La maledizione di Elmer) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Palisades Partners See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 2016 interview, Frank Hennenlotter said one of his favorite things about shooting in 35mm was that he couldn't misplace the camera as easily as he did with the 16mm camera he used on Basket Case See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Brian confronts Mark and Barbara after they've had sex, he is looking in the wrong direction See more »

Quotes

Brian: Elmer? You fucking named him Elmer?
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 »

Alternate Versions

The unrated director's cut has been released on DVD. See more »

Connections

References Fiend Without a Face (1958) 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 »

User Reviews

 
Henenlotter's Best
7 June 2014 | by TheMarwoodSee all my reviews

The first 10 minutes of Brain Damage are awful and hard to watch, as an elderly couple are trashing their apartment looking for Alymer and then we get an overlong hallucination from our main character Brian. Then we are introduced to the Zacherle voiced parasitic Alymer, with a show stopping "hi" and the film just goes bonkers and never stops. There's nothing quite like Brain Damage, a tale of a young man who gets addicted to the intoxicant that a parasitic creature injects into his brain and while running about hallucinating, Alymer feeds on unsuspecting victims brains. It's hilariously gory and thanks to the uncut version finally on the market, the brain removing fellatio sequence is intact in its full ridiculous glory. Henenlotter was firing on all cylinders while making this classic B masterpiece.


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