Fans of mad scientists and tentacled thingies will no doubt find favour with The Brain, a late 80s off-the-grid Canadian horror positioned around the mysterious, furtive goings on at the Psychology Research Institute, or PRI.
PRI is the “brain”, uh…child of one Dr. Blakely, a smooth self-help guru and smarmy host of Independent Thinkers, a popular cable TV show. The doc takes on a patient, Jim Majelewski, a juvenile delinquent with a hairline that’s anything but, an incorrigible high school prankster whose folks are completely flummoxed about how he’s pissing away his future and are desperate for an intervention, however unorthodox.
In the lab the doc, square jawed David Gale of Re-Animator fame, hooks young Jim up to a giant, gooey, pulsating cerebrum and soon, the youngster is being plagued by hallucinations, which spectacularly come to life at his girlfriend’s place of employment, a fried chicken joint.
After a few locals are murdered (including one via chainsaw a la Lucio Fulci’s Touch of Death), investigating officers point fingers at the increasingly erratic Jim, who is on the lam (actually, there’s probably too much driving in this one, think Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, minus the fun soundtrack and Brad Pitt).
The townsfolk, meanwhile, are becoming increasingly entranced by the satellite signals emanating from the lab and via TV screens. Or something. It’s very Invasion of the Body Snatchers, thematically if not in terms of execution.
Still, fans of tax shelter Canadian horrors will definitely get a few kicks out of this one, as will fans of super fan practical effects-centric flicks like The Video Dead or Brain Damage.
***1/4 (out of 5)