Brain chemistry research has produced a drug - Nirvana - that can wipe out addiction and mental illness by stimulating pleasure centers in the brain and flooding the brain with endorphins. ...
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Brain chemistry research has produced a drug - Nirvana - that can wipe out addiction and mental illness by stimulating pleasure centers in the brain and flooding the brain with endorphins. PsyMax Labs is about to release Nirvana, but suddenly something goes badly wrong. Nirvana causes drastic genetic changes, switching on dormant genes to produce BRAINIAC, a creature whose need for the brain's pleasure chemicals causes it to begin eating human brains. Victims are found with their heads drilled and their brains literally sucked out. As the mysterious deaths pile up, Doctor Sunday Morgan, Assistant Laboratory Director at PsyMax, finds clues to a cover-up at PsyMax. As she pieces together the results of an illegal experiment, her own life is put in danger as Brainiac begins to stalk her. She teams up with murder-investigator, Sgt. Steve Danko, to find the killer before the clock runs out on their formerly quiet little town. Done in the straightforward monster-movie tradition of the 1950s...Written by
Matthew J. Bayan
The Brainiac team drew up an extensive monster wish list design reminiscent of the photogenic mutants that held audiences captive in the 50s and 60s. They wanted it to have bat-like features and the brain exposed with pulsating brain lobes. They also wanted a phallic, brain-sucking tongue that attached to its victims heads like a leech. And deformed, meaty claws. See more »
The script for this movie is far removed from the original 1961 Mexican-made classic originally titled "El Baron de Terror" and later renamed as "Brainiac" for English speaking audiences. While the original film has achieved cult status for its seriocomic attributes, this "modern remake" of Brainiac falls short to the point of being, let us say, brainless. As a long time and ardent fan of the horror and monster movie genres, I am generally not hard to please. I routinely derive some degree of cinematic satisfaction, not only from Grade B but B - films, that offer a new glimpse or spin on the dark side of science and humanity. This film, I am sad to say, deserves an "F."
As is the case with many movies that flop, the problem begins with the script. Although the storyline adopts a horror-mystery "who dunnit" type formula, the presentation is so amateurish and obvious that the viewer knows the answer to the mystery right from the beginning of the film. This fact renders many of the investigative discovery scenes relatively pointless and boringly so. To make things worse, the virtual lack of a dramatic sound track throughout much of the film takes away from the emotional impact of those scenes that might otherwise appeal to the misogynistic slasher movie type fan, who might otherwise be undaunted by the predictable storyline.
Although some of the actors appear competent and interesting in their roles (most notably, Lisa Nistri as Dr. Sunday Morgan, the protagonist; and Joe Hansard as the slovenly, Columbo-type, detective), the casting suffers from a bad case of creative nepotism. In this sense, the producers/writers (Greg and Matt Bayan) have also cast themselves in key roles for which they unfortunately exhibit neither talent or credibility. This issue goes beyond the realm of not having the creative distance necessary to pick the best actor for a role, to the point of producing flat and unconvincing performances that look like something out of a high school play. Moreover, despite trade blurbs that claim the film pays homage to the classic monster and horror films of the 1950's, the director (Terry King) does not seem to know what kind of film he wants to make. While some scenes are played "straight-up" others are so far "over the top" that they detract from the continuity of the film, appearing neither scary nor humorous. One wonders whose idea it was to draw out the scene where the detective leers at an unknowing Dr. Sunday Morgan through a see through glass panel in a swimming pool, ad nauseam. Somebody give me an editor, please! The same holds true for the special effects which, although credited to the Tom Savini School of Make-up FX, vary from ghoulish to mostly foolish, and generally come off as primitive even by low budget movie standards. One of the few exceptions is a severed head toward the end of the film that abruptly opens its eyes, as if to suggest that it may still be alive for some type of sequel...I hope not.
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