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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Drugs > Science Fiction > Satire > Spoof > Brain Damage (1988/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray w/DVD)

Brain Damage (1988/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: B+/B- Sound: B+/B- Extras: B+ Film: C+

Frank Henenlotter, the man behind Basket Case, goes down an weirder rabbit hole with Brain Damage (1988) that is now available in this very impressive two disc set packed with extras from our friends at Arrow. In all honesty, Brain Damage should be shown as a drug PSA, as it is at its core a movie about addiction and how it overcomes people. The film is also quite gory and while some of its effects are a bit outdated, it still carries a weird charm to it that makes it a fun cult movie. The film is also oddly similar to Idle Hands, another film that was reviewed recently on this site.

Brain Damage stars TV horror host John Zacherley as the voice of Elmer along with Rick Hearst, Jennifer Lowry, and Theo Barnes.

When Brian (Hearst) encounters a bizarre talking slug-like parasite named Elmer, he soon becomes a slave to the liquid drug that Elmer induces inside of him. While Brian is getting high out of his mind off of Elmer's fluids and see bizarre visions of color, Elmer is viciously attacking and sucking the brains out of people using Brian as a vessel. Soon, Brian's friends and girlfriend start to worry about him as he becomes hopelessly addicted and under the control of this bizarre being. Elmer's previous owners are looking for him too, and aren't afraid to kill in order to get him back!

The film is presented in High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and anamorphically enhanced Standard Definition DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and the Original Mono and 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless surround audio options. The presentation here is really quite nice and a little too clear at some points in that it shows some bad special effects flaws in some sequences. The colors are very contrasty and the print looks fresh and new. This is defiantly the best the film has ever looked!

Special Features include:

Isolated Score

Brand new audio commentary by writer-director Frank Henenlotter

Listen to the Light: The Making of Brain Damage - brand new documentary featuring interviews with actor Rick Herbst, producer Edgar Ievins, editor James Kwei, first assistant director Gregory Lamberson, visual effects supervisor Al Magliochetti and makeup artist Dan Frye

The Effects of Brain Damage - FX artist and creator of ''Elmer'' Gabe Bartalos looks back at his iconic effects work on the film

Animating Elmer - featurette looking at the contributions of visual effects supervisor Al Magliochetti

Karen Ogle: A Look Back - stills photographer, script supervisor and assistant editor Karen Ogle recalls her fond memories of working on Brain Damage

Elmer's Turf: The NYC Locations of Brain Damage - featurette revisiting the film's original shooting locations

Tasty Memories: A Brain Damage Obsession - an interview with superfan Adam Skinner

Brain Damage Q&A with Frank Henenlotter recorded at the 2016 Offscreen Film Festival

Image Galleries

Original Theatrical Trailer

Bygone Behemoth - animated short by Harry Chaskin, featuring a brief appearance by John Zacherle in his final onscreen credit

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck

Limited Edition O-card with exclusive artwork

Collector's Booklet with new writing on the film by Michael Gingold, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

- James Lockhart



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