Friday, May 21, 2021

Brain Damage, Slimy Addiction Monster

Slimy and deadly. Perhaps those two words describe addiction well. The monsters we become when our brains are stimulated by unnatural or alien invasion...horrific. 1988's "Brain Damage," directed by Frank Henenlotter, is by some described as a comedy/horror film. Wrong! It is gory and sad, and in great details shows us a fatal trip in which brains will be sucked out. Okay, perhaps a metaphor many of us can relate to apart from addiction and horror films...still, this is wonderful 1980s horror.
An elderly couple, Morris (Theo Barnes) and Martha (Lucille Saint-Peter) are guardian to a small brain creature that feeds off brains. The couple feed it cow brains but the slimy critter, Aylmer, wants a higher class menu...human brains. Uh oh again, as a reward for taking good care of it, Aylmer injects its guardians with narcotic that produces euphoria. Seeking a culinary improvement, Aylmer slides down to Brian's (Rick Hearst) apartment and burrows inside of him. Initially Brian is sick but when Aylmer introduces himself he shoves his stinger into Brian's brain and shoots him with a narcotic. Brian is happy now. Now Brian starts ignoring his pretty girlfriend, Barbara (Jennifer Lowry) and goes out on the town with Aylmer. Aylmer directs Brian to humans and Aylmer shoots into their heads and eats their brains.
Brian is initially horrified that he has a monster inside him that feeds off human brains. He will get momentarily brave and refuse to take the creature hunting anymore. Aylmer will then starve Brian of its magic narcotic and Brian will go through a vicious withdrawal. Now Brian knows he is powerless to refuse Aylmer. As Brian continues spiraling downward, Aylmer feeds on the beautiful and ugly. Barbara is in the dark about what is really happening to her Brian and she will make a play to get him back. Uh oh, Aylmer seems fond of her too and it is getting hungry at a faster rate.
Will the nubile Barbara succumb to the brain creature that lives inside Brian? Given what you see on television, the news, and in your own neighborhoods, can we really still say 'a brain is a terrible thing to waste'? Does Brian have enough humanity still inside him to fight the creature? Gory and vicious, "Brain Damage" is a tale with a noble moral...however sad and dark it unfolds.

No comments:

Post a Comment