6.6/10
8,263
55 user 105 critic

Brain Damage (1988)

One morning, a young man wakes to find that a small, disgusting creature has attached itself to the base of his brain stem. The creature gives him a euphoric state of happiness but demands human victims in return.

Director:

Frank Henenlotter
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Hearst ... Brian (as Rick Herbst)
Gordon MacDonald Gordon MacDonald ... Mike
Jennifer Lowry ... Barbara
Theo Barnes ... Morris
Lucille Saint-Peter ... Martha
Vicki Darnell ... Blonde in Hell
Joseph Gonzalez ... Guy in shower (as Joe Gonzales)
Bradlee Rhodes ... Night watchman
Michael Bishop ... Toilet victim
Beverly Bonner ... Neighbor
Ari M. Roussimoff Ari M. Roussimoff ... Biker (as Ari Roussimoff)
Michael Rubenstein Michael Rubenstein ... Bum in alley
Angel Figueroa Angel Figueroa ... Junkie
John Reichert John Reichert ... Policeman
Don Henenlotter Don Henenlotter ... Policeman
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Storyline

A normal, average guy who lives in New York City becomes dependent on an evil, disembodied brain. The brain feeds the guy a narcotic substance in exchange for his unwilling assistance in obtaining the brains of innocent victims for sustenance. This turns into a tour of circa-1980s underground NYC clubs, backlots, and other seedy locations. One scene features the band Swimming Pool Cues playing the song "Corruption." Written by Mark Logan <marklo@west.sun.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's A Headache From Hell! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sin control See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Palisades Partners See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The theatrical and original home-video releases of his film deleted the most gruesome scenes, such as the "fellatio" gag. See more »

Goofs

When Brian wakes up bloody, the blood on his left hand disappears and reappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

Aylmer: Why are the stars always winkin' and blinkin' above? What makes a fellow start thinkin' of fallin' in love? It's not the season, the reason is plain as the moon. It's just Elmer's tune! What makes a lady, of eighty, go out on the loose? Why does a gander, meander, in search of a goose? What puts the kick in, a chicken, the magic in june? It's just Elmer's tune! Listen, listen, there's a lot you're liable to be missin' Sing it, swing it, any old place, and any old time. The hurdy-gurdies, the ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the end titles, listed under "Historical Research" is BABE WOZENTHAL. According Frank Henenlotter on the DVD's commentary, this was a joke about Jerry Lewis in "The Errand Boy." See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by 18 secs and the 1988 Palace video had the same 22 secs of pre-cuts to edit the infamous scene where Aylmer burrows his way through a prostitute's mouth during a fellatio act. The cuts were fully waived for the 2007 DVD. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Corruption
by J. Calder, A. Boston, J.E. Garnett, B. Elsey, & B. Burton
Performed by The Swimming Pool Q's
Courtesy of Irving Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Feed your head.
10 May 2016 | by pzivojinovicSee all my reviews

Are you tired of the sameness of Hollywood's over-priced commercialized dross? Check out Mr. Henenlotter's work today. This is a weird film, but in a good way. Elmer is a parasite who will get you high in exchange for brains. The problem was the old people was feeding him animals brain, so Elmer decide to find a new host. The young man was getting so high that he didn't know what Elmer was up to. Elmer didn't care just as he was getting human brains.

The film is also a moral warning about the effects of drugs - they make you feel great at first but before long you're addicted to them, you've screwed your life up and you'll do literally anything to get the fluids you're now dependent on. A very black form of comedy with a serious edge to it, and the inner-city locations provide an excellent atmosphere. Very original, with good writing, and neat visuals for such a low budget.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10.


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