Brain Damage (1988)

Thirty-one days of Horror.

For the whole month of October I’ll be watching and reviewing one horror film each day!

I didn’t know what to expect from Frank Henenlotter’s Brain Damage, I’d seen Basket Case when I was younger and was aware of the body horror elements. I don’t think I knew just what was in store for me.

Coming across as if David Lynch wrote Jekyll and Hyde, Brain Damage tells the story of Brian, a young man who’s life is irrevocably changed by the arrival of Aylmer. This phallic, slimy creature bonds with Brian, getting him addicted to his “juice”, a blue liquid injected into Brian’s brain which gets him high. It also distracts him from Aylmer’s habit of killing people and eating their brains.

It occurred to me that Brain Damage was a surreal metaphor for drug or alcohol addiction , watching Brian destroy his life and lose his relationship to his addiction. Of course, its also a massively gory exploitation film with a well spoken parasite who eats brains so maybe I’m looking into it a bit much. The conversations Brian and Aylmer have do feel like the internal struggles of an addict, especially as Brian’s life falls apart.

I liked Brain Damage a lot. It’s very 80’s, the synth score is incrediblyb emotive and the colour palette so typical of the time, but just slightly more vibrant and intense, reflecting Aylmer’s hallucination inducing juice. Its also been so tough to not confuse the words Brian and Brain while writing this review so I hope you appreciate that.

The Arrow blu ray edition is incredible, the picture is so crisp and makes the movie look brand new. The extras are great too,

For Fans Of:

Fight Club

Basket Case

It Follows


You can pick-up the amazing Arrow video blu ray of Brain Damage from Amazon and help support the site

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