In a showdown of man versus machine, Martin plunges into a chaotic nightmare trying to save his mind from the megalomaniacal corporation.In a showdown of man versus machine, Martin plunges into a chaotic nightmare trying to save his mind from the megalomaniacal corporation.In a showdown of man versus machine, Martin plunges into a chaotic nightmare trying to save his mind from the megalomaniacal corporation.
It's all quite an intriguing set-up by Beaumont, although the film doesn't really reach its full potential due to ultimately telling a rather routine story. And it's a story that falls back on the time-honoured theme of forcing the lead character and audience to figure out what is fantasy and what is reality. As this tale progresses, Rex suffers from visions and hallucinations that may well be the product of a deteriorating mind. Eventually, it resolves itself in a way that isn't exactly unpredictable.
Still, the ride taken here is interesting. "Brain Dead" is certainly a notch above most product created by Concorde, the company formed by Corman after his departure from New World. It's played as well as it can be played by a top cast, with Pullman and Paxton in fine form. (One of the questions posed is whether or not Paxton, as Pullmans' friend, is a smarmy, self-serving jerk just out for himself.) George Kennedy does not get to do much as a corporation head, but sexy Patricia Charbonneau is easy to watch as Pullmans' wife, and character actor Nicholas Pryor has a field day in a trio of inter-related roles. Other familiar faces include Lee Arenberg, Willie Garson, Brent Hinkley, and Kyle Gass. Paxtons' father John has a bit as a board member. But it's Cort, a longtime specialist in quirky and offbeat parts, who tends to steal the show much of the time.
"Brain Dead" is, overall, adequately filmed, and it shows its audience a pretty good time. Some gore here and there, decent makeup effects (especially the "experimental face"), and a fine score by Peter Rotter help to keep it watchable.
Produced by Cormans' wife Julie.
Seven out of 10.
- Mar 31, 2018