30 user 13 critic

Brain Dead (1990)

In a showdown of man versus machine, Martin plunges into a chaotic nightmare trying to save his mind from the megalomaniacal corporation.


Adam Simon


Charles Beaumont (screenplay), Adam Simon (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Pullman ... Rex Martin
Bill Paxton ... Jim Reston
Bud Cort ... Jack Halsey
Nicholas Pryor ... Man in Bloody White Suit / Ramsen / Ed Conklin
Patricia Charbonneau ... Dana Martin
George Kennedy ... Vance
Brian Brophy Brian Brophy ... Ellis
David Sinaiko David Sinaiko ... Berkovitch
Lee Arenberg ... Sacks
Andy Wood Andy Wood ... Brain Surgeon
Maud Winchester Maud Winchester ... Crazy Anna
Lisa Moncure Lisa Moncure ... Board Member
Jon Kellam ... Board Member
Willie Garson ... Board Member
John Paxton ... Board Member


Dr. Rex Martin is a leading neurosurgeon specializing in the cerebral misfunctions that cause mental illnesses, whose expertise is called up by an old school chum, Jim Reston, who is now part of the mega-corporation Eunice. Reston needs Dr. Martin's help in extracting crucial data from the mind of John Halsey, once a top mathematician at Eunice, now a paranoid at the local asylum. Can Dr. Martin help both Halsey and his friend, or is he getting caught up in a corporate nightmare from which he may never escape? Written by EllenRipley112

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the writer of the original "Twilight Zone" comes the most terrifying film of the decade. See more »


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 January 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paranoia See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Chace Surround



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Shot in twenty days. See more »


The computer in the brain lab changes from IBM compatible type (when switched off) to Commodore Amiga (when graphics is displayed). See more »


Dr. Rex Martin: By the perception of illusion we experience reality.
See more »


Featured in Carnosaur (1993) See more »


Brain Dance
Music and Lyrics by Andrew Todd Rosenthal (as Andrew Todd) and Patrick Shipstad
Drum programming by David Roberti
Performed by Martini Ranch
See more »

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User Reviews

How Did I Miss This One Until Now?
4 October 2012 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

Dr. Rex Martin (Bill Pullman) is a leading neurosurgeon specializing in the cerebral malfunctions that cause mental illnesses, whose expertise is called up by an old school chum, Jim Reston (Bill Paxton), who is now part of the mega-corporation Eunice.

If you happen to be one of those people who cannot tell Pullman and Paxton apart, this might not be the film for you... they spend a fair amount of time on screen together. If you happen to be a fan of H. P. Lovecraft, this might be the film for you. While the writer is known for his work with "The Twilight Zone", there are at least two Lovecraft references in this story. Can you catch them?

I was already intrigued from the beginning with the wall of brains in jars and the face that could be remote-controlled. But I was in hook, line and sinker when Jack Halsey (Bud Cort) showed up -- he is the epitome of insane genius. The phrases, the mannerisms... even his appearance. Thank you, casting director. You aced a hole in one. The homeless guy is a nice touch, too.

Bonus: Kyle Gass of Tenacious D appears as an anesthesiologist.

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