Fright Fest 2016 Review #6 – Brain Damage (1988)

They didn’t sink much money into the effects budget.

Subgenre:  Body Horror / Monster

Summary:  A young man is tormented by a brain-altering parasite.

Review:  Brian (get it?) is a guy with a good head on his shoulders, but a rather mundane life.  But that all changes when he meets Aylmer, a phallic, purple parasite. Aylmer, who speaks in a pleasant, TV-announcer voice, attaches himself to Brian’s brain and provides him with euphoric, synesthesia-inducing head-trips.  The only catch is that Aylmer needs a steady diet of brains to feed on.  By the time Brian realizes Aylmer’s malicious intentions, he’s already become hopelessly addicted to the parasite’s drug-like effects.

Brain Damage is initially entertaining as a piece of camp horror, but it quickly runs out of steam.  It has its enjoyable, funny moments – namely, any time the rubber puppet that is Aylmer is talking – but they’re not enough to sustain the movie’s running time.  It’s too bad, because there are things to like here, including some memorable gross-out scenes and creative special effects.  Unfortunately, these moments are in the minority, and the bulk of the movie is boring and repetitive.

The Verdict:  Brain Damage is good for a few laughs, but not much else.  I give it three-and-a-half cerebrum suckers out of ten – watch the director’s superior Basket Case instead.

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