The Brain (1988)

   

Directed by: Ed Hunt

Written by: Barry Pearson

Starring:

Tom Bresnahan .... Jim Majelewski
Cynthia Preston .... Janet
David Gale .... Dr. Anthony Blakely
George Buza .... Verna
Christine Kossak .... Vivian
Brett Pearson .... Willy


Release Date:
Limited Theatrical: November 4, 1988 (Canada)

Rating:

 

A highschool student named Jim Majelewski (Tom Bresnahan) is into pulling pranks at his school and other places as his parents force him to get help from a TV show called "Independent Thinkers" hosted by a man named Dr. Anthony Blakely (David Gale) as he discovers that he brainwashes his clients which is operated by an alien giant monster brain who eats people that crosses it's path.
Jim with the help of his girlfriend Janet (Cynthia Preston) tries to put a stop to this madness as the town seems to be in a trance that watches the TV show.

 

There's a good strange beginning with a lady watching TV airing the self help program which looked strange with the character Dr. Anthony Blakely discussing situations along with showing cue cards for the audience as to when to clap etc. as well as the lady's daughter in her room and spotting strange things like her teddy bear bleeding or strange objects crashing through her wall to attack her as well as her room shrinking. This was truly boggling wondering as to how this is happening and wondering if she's having a nightmare expecting on her to wake up or not. Very strange and twsited scene indeed and done in good taste.
A nice scene between the characters Jim Majelewski and his girlfriend Janet in their car at night with him trying to make out with her and she hesitates which is often a good traditional moment in a horror flick and then we spot some sort of a cmaera shot closing in on them making you wonder if the terror is going to strike them next as it makes you watching every second while this is happening.
Plus strange discussions with Jim and his family to see Dr. Anthony being sucked in to believing that he will help as this seems uncommon for a normal family to force their son into seeking.
Plus we spot a strange situation with locals lined up like they're hypnotised making the moments seem very freaky and mysterious as well as more weird situations when Jim is being tested on a woman showing him an apple and doing other situations as well as shots on a giant brain spotting this which was a nice drawing card to the story here along with neat hallucinations on a monstrous brain charging.
We have a perfect bizarre moment on this woman getting into a dispute with Anthony and then the brain starts to gulp her up offering some interesting cheesiness to the story here along with some black comedy added into some of the one liners done by Anthony himself. Gives it that old fashioned horror feel to it all.
A terrific suspenseful situation with Jim driving and the car goes too fast with this monstrous looking things coming out at him and constantly attacking him as this explains on how the beginning happened here in which it starts to make sense a little more. Still it looked pretty insane but in a good way.
We have alot of nice action moments on Jim speeding away in his vehcile from the police or walking around the town and people glaring at him and talking about him which adds some nice creepiness too. Plus a good shot on him setting his car to fall down a slope.
There's a perfect moment when Jim is spying on Anthony as we spot him talking to this large brain as this looked good and creepy with this thing speaking back on a computer monitor done in nice taste here making the scene look totally dark.
We also have perfect shots on Jim, Janet and their friend Willy trying to escape in the corridors of a building type factory from the madness that's happening along with a perfect shot on the brain attacking and eating Willy as this looked terrifying to watch this and good effects too.
Plus we have another perfect creepy situation when Jim spots his Mom about to slaughter his father with a chainsaw as it explains more and more as to why these events are happening while that TV show is airing but still remains a mystery as to how everyone is acting like this. This for sure looked a bit disturbing to watch. Plus we spot other disturbing situations when the police harrest them and put them in the back of his car and then we spot Anthony's henchman Verna talking to this officer and then about to do something deadly which looked well done as well as making you cringe wondering if these two teens will escape in time.
Also we spot a perfect twisted moment with Janet getting into a trance and making Jim become a bigger target as this makes you wonder as to what he will do to try and put a stop to Anthony's madness. As well a good setting with the audience in a trance as to when to clap or not which looked pretty spooky. Also there's a good shocking moment when Jim punches him in the head and see what happens here which looked pretty gross and shocking to watch. A must for horror fans who likes weird slimy situations.
Also a nice suspenseful chasing sequence with Jim and Janet running away from Verna chasing after them and they struggle to open a garage door and then the brain comes in charging which definetely looked terrifying to watch this and perfect camera shots on all of this.
Bottom line is that this film nearly got a 3 bat rating but sometimes the story sloped so didn't quite make it there. Also it doesn't explain as to where this brain and Dr. Anthony Blakely came from since they were not from our world but again it didn't explain that in Halloween III: The Season of the Witch. Very well done and almost a tribute to those olf fashioned monster horror/sci-fi flicks. If you like a really weird film about brainwashing and evil events this one is for you.

The acting is quite average but not terrible by any means. Lead actor Tom Bresnahan (Jim Majelewski) seems to do an okay job by portraying a teenage prankster in which he shows off some nice energy here and there. Also does a nice job whenever he acts sarcastic or getting frusterated. Plus does a nice job whenever he acts anxious on a situation or freaking out just acting wild and insane giving it all he's got into that too. Does well when he stresses a situation and really focusing well on that too.
Cynthia Preston (Janet) seemed to pull off her innocent role quite well within all that she does as well as doing a nice job on her symphatic behavior too. Shows off great energy while being on the chase showing off a nice anxious reactions surrounding her. Plus does well acting in a trance and freaking out showing a nice versatality here. She seemed to be passable by portraying a character into her part and deserves a nice pat on the back.
David Gale (Dr. Anthony Blakely) shows a perfect calmness to his part of the film coming across as someone a little too level headed and seeming to be creepy too. He shows a nice wickedness to his slick speaking as well as adding a nice touch to his dark humor too whenever he needed to do this. Also does well whenever he sneers the odd time showing off a true madness to his role in the flick. Plus had the right looks to portray this role. He was indeed the best out of the whole cast here and really showed some interesting pizzaz within everything that he does.
George Buza (Verna) had the perfect big guy burly looks which he comes across intimidating enough when he struts his stuff and really got into this role with his silent type of attitude. He also does well with his powerful blocking like a scene where he swings an axe at someone looking convincingly menacing and deadly while doing all of this. Plus he knew on how to freak out when he's attacked in his final scene too. Nice job with this fella!
Christine Kossak (Vivian) really drew in a perfect mysterious presence in her performance acting lustful and strange like too. Plus shows alot of good energy when she gets in an argumentive rage showing some decent energy here. Plus does well acting ghostly in another scene while talking to someone and knwoing on how to portray a horror character here.

Christine Kozak takes off her top while doing an instruction on a video breasts fully revealed as well as her topless later on in a hallucination sequence.

A distant shot on a wife chopping up her husband.
A distant shot on someone decapitating an officer's head which is quick.
A few scene's of the giant brain eating someone which looked mildly bloody but nothing graphic.
Someone punches a man's head off at a studio and there's slimy alien like results.

Some nice pounding beats along with nice piano type keyboard and synthesizer music for the opening and closing credits which has a total 80's feel to it all. Plus there's good hissing sounds too which adds more neat flavor to the plot. Also we have some cold sounding synthesizer music along with the deep one's too. Nice heavy fast drumbeats for the chasing scene's sounding totally adventureous. Great deadly music for a certain decapitated sequence sounding good and powerful blending in perfectly to what goes in in that moment. Nice cold sounds to the plot as well. All of this was wonderfully put together by Paul Zaza.

Dr. Anthony Blakely: [watching The Brain eat a nurse] That's food for thought!