The Brain 1988 Movie Scene Christine Kossak as Vivian, David Gale as Dr. Anthony Blakely and George Buza as Verna looking at a giant brain in green liquid

The Brain [1988]

You might think that The Brain is just another horrible eighties creature feature but I assure you it is not. I mean, it will make you laugh out loud and it’s definitely a movie so bad that it’s good, that’s for sure. However, there’s something about it that elevates it from this category at times. And I’m not just talking about the semireligious organizations clearly a riff on EST although much more like Scientology. First of all, you can feel that they really wanted to make a movie like this. And they didn’t let a lack of money stop them from achieving their dreams. When you take this into an account, some of the scenes look truly stunning.

For example, the first scene where The Brain makes its presence known is really effective and believable. Actually, all these nightmarish hallucinations scenes are quite disturbing. They somehow captured that sense you’re in a bad dream and you can’t wake up. Plus all those tentacles give them a distinct Lovecraftian vibe that can also be felt in the general story. And I know this is a consequence of A Nightmare on Elm Street popularity but the approaches differ. The lack of lavish sets and practical effects makes the scenes more raw and visceral.

I mean, I considered this movie to be a pretty effective horror-comedy blend up until a certain point. It reminded me of another eighties oddity Cutting Class. So, for exactly 24 minutes I watched it with a relatively straight face but then I just couldn’t stop laughing. Let’s see if you see the same thing I did. The cast did an amazing job, especially young Tom Bresnahan as Jim Majelewski. We should also mention none other than David Gale of his Re-Animator fame playing Dr. Anthony Blakely. Granted, the dialogue is hilarious at times, making the whole thing even funnier. 

The Brain features a story perfect for deeper analysis. It has so many intriguing elements that you feel that with slight alterations it could be a successful conspiracy theory. I mean people believe in crazier things nowadays. There’s a bit of nudity and a bit of gore here, so you can play The Brain to almost anyone and talk about how we’re all actually Independent Thinkers. Something that you can notice in the very first scene, very cleverly composed.

I also just loved we know we’re dealing with this extraterrestrial entity right from the get-go. I mean, no bullshitting, no big reveal just straight up “here’s the creature and go fuck yourselves”. And they weren’t too shy of showcasing the shit out of it. So, be ready to witness some truly incredible scenes with our rubber monstrosity. We’ll also learn surprisingly little about what’s going on. You have the main plot and that’s pretty much it. Just another curiosity that The Brain offers.

Finally, there are “subtle” hints left throughout the duration of this movie about the final showdown. Try to figure them out. If you can, of course…

Director: Ed Hunt

Writers: Barry Pearson

Cast: Tom Bresnahan, Cynthia Preston, David Gale, George Buza, Christine Kossak, Bret Pearson, Susannah Hoffmann

Fun Facts: Ed Hunt’s movies have developed a cult following in recent years. Besides this one, Bloody Birthday seems to be good choice.

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