Film Review: Brain Damage (1988)










Brain Damage is a film that could only be released in the 80s; a shameless dark comedy/sci fi about a mutant leech which makes its host kill for it to feed its need for brains.

Unfortunately for Brian (Rick Herbst) he has been chosen as its latest victim after it escapes an old couple from down the hallway in their block of apartments.

After waking up with his sheets covered in blood, he is introduced to Aylmer, a weird leech like creature with a face like one of the aliens from Mars Attacks. He is sent into a euphoric high by the creatures blue substance which seeps into his brain through a hole made in the back of his neck.

Little does he know that by sending him into this spaced out frame of mind, he is actually becoming a slave to the creatures evil bidding.

Brain Damage can be seen in many ways, but one way (which may be too deep) is that it is a social commentary on drug abuse in the 80s. Aylmer can be seen as a metaphor for drug abuse; no better descripted as Brian tries to ween himself off the blue substance and detoriorates mentally as well as physically.

Of course as with most 80s film we are given a resolution, unfortunately this one involves a necessary sacrifice to destroy the evil which leaves the film with a little bit of a lull. It will never win awards for SFX or its story, but it does have a small set of fleshed out characters who make the story watchable and entertaining.


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