5.3/10
1,360
27 user 25 critic

The Borrower (1989)

R | | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi | 1991 (Mexico)
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.

Director:

John McNaughton

Writers:

Mason Nage (story), Mason Nage (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rae Dawn Chong ... Diana Pierce
Don Gordon ... Charles Krieger
Tom Towles ... Bob Laney
Antonio Fargas ... Julius
Neil Giuntoli ... Scully
Larry Pennell ... Captain Scarcelli
Pam Gordon Pam Gordon ... Connie
Tony Amendola ... Dr. Cheever
Robert Dryer ... Borrower / Human
Richard Wharton ... Alien Pilot
Bentley Mitchum Bentley Mitchum ... Kip
Zoe Trilling ... Astrid (as Geri Betzler)
Tamara Clatterbuck ... Michelle Chodiss (as Tami Clatterbuck)
Tom Allard Tom Allard ... Ruben Whitefeather
Darryl Shelly Darryl Shelly ... Druggie
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1991 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Borrower See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally produced by Atlantic Entertainment Group for a 1988 release, the distributor's closing led the film to spend three years on the shelf before finally being released by Cannon in 1991. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Found (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Working With Each Other
Written by Stephanie Tyrell (as S. Tyrell), Ashley Hall (as A. Hall)
Guitars from Hell: Mic Fabus, James Young, Paul Petraitis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't lose your head,
1 February 2009 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

From the guy who brought us the unnervingly realistic and tense 'Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)' comes another genre effort by director John McNaughton, but you can call 'The Borrower' somewhat a total change of pace. Its ridiculous premise bathes itself in hysteria, cheese and an overpowering metallic soundtrack. A true step-down, but the angle has changed for this low-budget outing in favour of a black comedy with a less than serious tone and horrifically in-your-face FX work. It kind reminded of the similar themed 'The Hidden (1987)', which seemed to be a trend-setter for many that followed ('Dark Angel and 'Split Second' shoot to mind) involving cops on the trail of a serial killer that may be of extra-terrestrial origins.

A criminal alien is genetically devolved and vanquished to earth in human form. There he discovers that his head has a habit of exploding, forcing him to find another replacement and eventually another one. Police detectives Diana Pierce and her partner Charlie Krieger find themselves on the case of this very demented serial killer who likes to take the heads of the victim, but soon they realise there might be more to this case.

As it is it's a mildly fun b-grade romp with numerous moments of flamboyantly gooey head explosions and tearing off heads (kind of like that in 1979 film 'The Dark') to only borrow them. Strangely when the alien does do that, the body changes too, even though its only should be the head. Whoops. The idea shows a breath imagination, but McNaughton's duplicated handling of it is simply disappointing and never variable enough. Even the social element is weakly penned. Other than those unconventional graphic scenes, nothing much tends to happen from its slight structure. It suffers from a languishing last quarter, muddled writing with a redundant sub-plot (though it does tie in at the end… but why?) involving another killer and one of the cops. Even the lighting is so smoky, or some sequences are paved in darkness making it hard to work out certain details. While the action when it occurs is frenetic, there's nothing beating its systematic feel and where we are left with an incomplete feel due to its cop-out ending after rattling climax.

Rae Dawn Chong emit's an uninterestingly sullen temperament as detective Pierce and a grizzled Don Gordon is fine as detective Krieger. The support fairs up much better with a delightfully amusing Tom Towles and Antonio Fargas steals some scenes.

'The Borrower' is moderate entertainment due largely to the make-up FX, but ends up being bounded in its bizarre concept and plodding narrative.


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