Ventura Distribution

Brain Damage is another one of those cult horror flicks from the 1980s that, for the longest time since getting back into being a horror movie enthusiast, I’ve been trying to locate in a decent form to finally view.  It wasn’t easy, finally finding a good uncut version on – of all places – YouTube to view.  Couldn’t find a rental anywhere here where I live, nothing on Netflix streaming, and there was no way I was going to pay the high prices on this online.  Figured, if I liked what I saw, I would go ahead and get a copy.  And so, it was with this mindset that I sat down and watched this sucker.  No pun intended, there.

Brain Damage tells the tale of Brian, a young 20-something lad that finds himself suddenly attached to an ancient wormy thing named Aylmer who talks like Bing Crosby and injects Brian with a mind-altering substance in exchange for brains to feast on.  And so, while he’s tripping out, hearing the colors and feeling sounds, Aylmer’s using his body to find hapless victims with fresh brains to suck out.  And when Brian gets wise to the whole setup, his attempt to rid himself of this little parasite doesn’t go very well, and wackiness ensues.  Especially when his girlfriend, brother and Aylmer’s former caretakers get involved.

See, it’s movies like Brain Damage that reaffirm my love of the horror genre of the 1980s.  It may have been cheesy, but at least it was fun cheese, with some good attempts at originality.  The whole premise of a parasite worm intelligence that secretes a mind-altering drug and must subsist on brains is good, yes…but have that thing talk like Bing Crosby (seriously, I was disappointed orange juice wasn’t referenced) and name him Elmer (which is explained in a bit of exposition) adds a rather refreshing absurdest twist to things.  The story itself is interesting, if a bit slow-moving in some parts.  There’s a scene where Brian and Elmer are staring each other down in a rundown motel in an attempt from Brian to dry out from Elmer’s influence that’s equal parts tragic and hilarious at the same time.  Don’t ask me how, it just is.

Overall, Brain Damage was an amusing bit of cult horror wackiness, low budget fun.  Not as gory as I was lead to believe, mind you, but I can understand why Brain Damage is held as one of the underground favorites of the genre.  As to wanting to seek out a hard copy of my own…eh, maybe in the future.  If you can find this for rental, check it out.