The Brain is a science fiction-horror film that was directed by Edward Hunt, releasing in 1988. It focuses on Jim Majelewski, a high school troublemaker. After one prank too many, he is sent to see a renowned psychologist who specialises in hypnotism. Dr. Blakely runs a TV show called Independent Thinkers but there’s a dark secret behind his success. He utilises the brainwashing powers of an alien creature that resembles an enlarged predatory brain.
I can see why I’ve never heard of The Brain. Considering the hot period in time for the horror genre that it released, it’s disappointing to the say the least. The main problem with the film is a severe lack of action. On a number of occasions you’re made to sit through repetitive chase scenes. These usually involve Jim sneaking around avoiding an orderly. They are usually followed by drawn out, dialogue heavy scenes. After a while, this grinds you down. The concept is ripe for a quality horror film but it’s that potential and its failure to live up to it that makes it that much more disappointing.
The brain creature itself looks really great at times. However, at certain angles you can see just how fake it actually is. The biggest problem with it is that it just doesn’t do much. I believe the creators of the film were aware that moving it around wasn’t really possible. Instead, there are repetitive shots of it staring and snarling menacingly into the screen. It doesn’t look bad but I wanted more from it. This leads to another huge problem with The Brain, the lack of gore. There’s just far too little and it really drags it even further down.
When this type of film bores you, you know it must be doing something wrong. Also, you start to think and it got me thinking about how the film explains nothing about where the brain came from or what its plan actually is. How did the doctor come to acquire the brain creature? What are his motivations? We do get some kind of explanation but it felt more like it was done as a nod to David Gale’s memorable role in Reanimator and nothing more.
The film does take place at Christmas time. There are trees and decorations in view but there’s no real reason for it being set at this time otherwise. The performances are mixed to the say the least. The delivery of the dialogue leaves little to be desired.
Overall, The Brain has so much potential but squanders it badly. I could have had my expectations a bit too high I suppose. It’s not completely terrible but it will end up being rather forgettable sadly.
The Final Score - 4/10