Brain Damage

After the success of the classic Basket Case, it was a few years before director Frank Henenlotter unleashed his next film.  That being the rather twisted, fun and at times disturbing Brain Damage.

Brian is your normal everyday guy who by fate becomes a friend and unwitting supply of brains to a talking parasite called Aylmer.  You see Aylmer has escaped the clutches of an old couple who were keeping him at bay and is now using his special kind of hallucingenic fluid to keep Brian addicted and make him find fresh victims.  As Brian quickly succumbs to his addiction he becomes more withdrawn and this in turn puts a strain on his relationships in particular with his girlfriend.

When you first see Aylmer he may remind you a little bit of South Park’s ‘Mr Hankey’ so perhaps Trey Parker and Matt Stone were fans of Henelotter’s wonderful creation.  Aylmer is a well spoken little chap and you actually kind of like him even though he’s obviously an evil little bastard.

The film with it’s scenes of Brian as high as a kite are quite trippy and a sequence where he starts pulling his brains out is gory and very well put together.  When the young lad goes out and gets a hooker with the promise of some relief, the scene goes way over the top and will have you either feeling a bit ill or literally falling about with laughter.  For fans of the brothers from Basket Case please keep a look out for a really great cameo.

Arrow have certainly gave Brain Damage the love it deserves.  The picture quality is excellent and there is an obscene amount of extras including a cracking ‘making of’ doc with loads of interesting behind the scenes titbits.  Henenlotter also gives us a new commentary and there’s a Q&A from him which was filmed at a festival.

I haven’t seen the film in a long time having first seen it in a ‘big box’ Palace release when I was at school and all I can say is that it is still ridiculously entertaining (and a bit gross) all these years later.  A impressive release of an equally impressive piece of horror film making from an immensely talented chap.

  • Starring Rick Hearst  Jennifer Lowry  Gordon MacDonald  Theo Barnes
  • Director Frank Henenlotter
  • Distributor Arrow Video