Brain Damage (1988)

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  •  (3 out of 5 stars)

Writer-Director Frank Henenlotter does a lot in terms of gory horror special effects with a limited budget in Brain Damage (1988). His first feature Basket Case (1982) was made for micro-budget of $35,000. For Brain Damage, he had almost $2 million to work with, and it's all on display with the practical effects of his brain-eating parasite Aylmer. The phallic-looking turd parasite Aylmer (interestingly voiced by John Zacherle) has escaped his original owners in a New York City apartment building and now resides with a young man named Brian (played by Rick Hearst). Aylmer begins injecting Brian in the back of the neck with his blue "juice" which gives Brian euphoric feelings and psychedelic hallucinations. The juice is immediately addictive, but little Aylmer needs something else: to feast on human brains!

Brian leaves his girlfriend Barbara (Jennifer Lowry) and brother Mike (Gordon MacDonald) behind in the apartment and begins crawling the Manhattan streets for human brains to feast on. We're treated to a number of gory brain-feasting scenes as Brian struggles with his out-of-control addiction to juice and the realization that he's killing people. There is much to enjoy for fans of 80s horror practical effects with many laughs. If one were to take the film seriously, one could make interpretations of the movie's relation to drug addiction or sex addiction, but in reality, Brain Damage is just good gory fun.

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