Hello and welcome back to the 412ft Review. I’m your host T.L. Bugg, and in case you don’t know what’s going on around here let me explain. Inside of your average mass market video cassette, there lurks 412 feet of tape waiting to be watched. The lucky tapes made the leap to the digital age, but I’m on the hunt for the ones that didn’t make the cut. Sitting in dusty bins and boxes in thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets, there are tapes out there waiting to be found, and when I do, I want to share them with you guys. I wasn’t sure what to start off with, and so I thought long and hard about it. That’s when it came to me. I had to use my noggin, as an inspiration that is, and so I am happy to bring to you the The Brain from 1988.
When we’re first introduced to our main character, Jim (Tom Bresnahan), he’s putting a lump of sodium in the school toilet and causing them to blow up. Jim, being a bright fellow (damn sarcasm not working in print), drops the packet of sodium in the trash while standing right next to the principal. This isn’t the first time that Jim has been caught causing trouble, and now the school, and his parents, want to send him to see Dr. Blakely (David Gale), a local psychologist who hosts an inspirational half hour TV program, Independent Thinking. When Jim resists the quack’s treatment, some kind of mind control, the high schooler begins to suspect something is up. Blakely and company have gotten their hands on an alien from space which looks like, you guessed it, a giant brain. Using the alien’s hallucinatory waves to control minds through the TV, Blakely plans for world domination. However, it all depends on if he can he contain the alien’s growing hunger for brainwaves and prevent Jim and his girlfriend Janet (Cynthia Preston) from stopping him.
Most Valuable Thing: The mix of old and new. The old classic films are great, and I love to watch them. I’m not one of those folks who can’t sit though something made before I was born. However, you know what would have really kicked them up a notch, boobs and blood, and that’s what The Brain adds to the formula.
Make or Break: For me, it was the crazy Cronenberg meets Asian porno scenes of grabby tentacles and the giant rubber brain itself. The brain is good for a few laughs (and more than a few D&D nerds will get a Beholder feel off it), but the tentacles aren't just silly. They actually seem pretty creepy, and they really help to keep the film from becoming entirely camp.
Score: 5.75/10.00 The Brain makes for an above average sci fi horror flick, but there are scads of films in the genre better than it. That being said, you could do a whole lot worse. The Brain brings enough cheesy laughs and retro thrills to make for a fun viewing experience and is definitely a great film for inviting your friends over and having a laugh.