Brain Damage: LE
Synapse Films // Unrated // $24.98 // July 22, 2003
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted September 1, 2003
M O V I E
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
CineSchlock-O-Rama
Short Takes

"The one good thing about bad taste is that it's eternal." So says cult auteur Frank Henenlotter who not only knows what he's talking about, he's made the proper cultural calculations and proved his theory in such eternally demonstrative clasSICKs as Basket Case, Frankenhooker and this cautionary tale about the slippery slope of drug addiction. Only Frank makes sure it's EXTRA slippery by introducing about 185 gallons of stage blood. It all starts when Brian (Rick Hearst) wakes with one heckuva hangover, that before it's run its course, makes him swear the light fixture above his bed has turned into a giant unblinking eyeball and that he'll drown or be washed out of his room when it begins to fill with a swirling blue torrent of what looks like SaniFlush. Turns out he's just TRIPPING, as a talking turd who introduces himself as "Elmer" (a.k.a. Aylmer) explains in the reassuring tone of Mister Rogers. Actually, he's more of a freelance wangdoodle who only LOOKS like, well, you know, and the reason Aylmer's on the lamb is simple, he's hungry for brains, preferably of the human variety. So long as Brian delivers the goods, the foot-long "Mr. Hanky" precursor promises to shimmy its parasitic self up the back of the poor kid's neck, shove a tiny needle into his cerebral cortex and inject all the blue psychedelic happy juice his host desires. Highlights among the murderous mayhem are a hooker who gets brained while attempting to ply her once X-rated oral services and when Brian himself performs a grotesque magic trick by digging ropes of cerebrum from his own ear while serenaded by good ol' Elmer (voiced by legendary horror host Zacherley "The Cool Ghoul"). CineSchlockers will particularly enjoy Mr. Henenlotter's commentary with fellow genre enthusiast and Shatter Dead director Scooter McCrae serving as an excellent fan surrogate whose questions keep the track as informative as it is riotously entertaining and, not surprisingly, NAUSEATING such as Frank's tale of the near-set hijinks of a literal scum sucker. "Brain Damage" novelist and former Fangoria editor Bob Martin also shares his recollections and a particularly moving story of a crack-addicted woman who lived in the bowels of Grand Central Station. Two breasts. Seven corpses. Sack o' brains. Gratuitous male shower scene. Amusing Basket Case cameo. Bathtime fun. Geriatric junkies. Diddling. Penis puppetry. Gratuitous punk bar. Puking. Heavy frisking. Penial crooning. Maltese Falcon ode. Brian says it like it is: "Yeah, when it comes to blood in my underwear, I want to know how it got there!" (1987, 85 mins, 1.78:1 high-def anam, DD 5.1 [plus original mono and isolated score], Commentary, Trailer, Printed liner notes, Unnumbered "limited edition.")

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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.


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