6.7/10
7,618
51 user 95 critic

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:

Heads up... Elmer's here! 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

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 »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by 18 secs and the 1988 Palace video had the same 22 secs of pre-cuts to edit the infamous scene where Aylmer burrows his way through a prostitute's mouth during a fellatio act. The cuts were fully waived for the 2007 DVD. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Basket Case Study (2015) 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

 
One of my alltime favs!
26 October 2004 | by siektwoSee all my reviews

This is one of my alltime favorites of the horror genre! A great movie to watch.

What i like about this movie is the underlying drug related messages throughout. It's like watching requiem for a dream almost in that drug-related sense.

I don't need to tell much about the plot, since i'm sure many have already explained it.

I am a hardcore horror fan through and through, and i will just say that this movie rocks. It's got a great and interesting story, some awesome gore scenes and some hilarious comedy as well. It's not scary, but it is a gory, funny, bizarre, and original movie that isn't even close to being like anything else out there...you gotta see it to believe it.

10 out of 10 (based on a horror fan's review)


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