Jun 082017

Often funny with plenty of gore for horror-hounds, Brain Damage is plenty of fun though I felt it got on the lengthy side in many instances — the sex scene in particular went on forever — yet the film was entertaining enough.



Brain Damage

Genre(s): Horror, Comedy
Arrow Video | NR – 86 min. – $39.95 | May 9, 2017

Date Published: 06/08/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by: Frank Henenlotter
Writer(s): Frank Henenlotter (written by)
Cast: Rick Herbst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry, Theo Barnes, Lucille Saint-Peter
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Interviews, Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (PCM 2.0), English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 44.0 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 3.25/5

Plot Synopsis: Meet Elmer. He’s your friendly neighborhood parasite with the ability to induce euphoric hallucinations in his hosts. But these LSD-like trips come with a hefty price tag: when young Brian (RICK HERBST) comes under Elmer’s addictive spell, it’s not long before he finds himself scouring the city streets in search of his parasite friend’s preferred food source – brains.

Quick Hit Review: Frank Henenlotter, writer and director of Basket Case, follows that endeavor up with another freaky creature feature with the name Elmer. Although Brain Damage runs a bit too long even with its short 85-minute running time, it was a lot of fun and elicited some genuine laughs and impressive gore effects.



This two-disc release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a nice booklet and a DVD Copy.

Audio Commentary – Writer/Director Frank Henenlotter provides a rather lively track, with another fellow serving as a moderator, and discusses the origins of the film and even speaks to the, ahem, “BJ” scene.

Listen to the Light: The Making of Brain Damage (54:13; HD) – This new featurette that includes interviews with actor Rick Herbst, producer Edgar Ievins, editor James Kwei and many others as they discuss the film’s production and cult status.

The Effects of Brain Damage (10:00; HD) – “Elmer” creator Gabe Baralos looks at the effects work done for this late 80s horror film.

Animating Elmer (6:40; HD) – This is an interview with visual effects supervisor Al Magliochetti on the effects work on the parasite.

Karen Ogle: A Look Back (4:29; HD) – The stills photographer script supervisor and assistant editor recalls her memories working on the Brain Damage.

Elmer’s Turf: The NYC Locations of Brain Damage (8:48; HD) – Horror journalist Michael Gingold and director Frank Henenlotter revisits the film’s original shooting locations.

Tasty Memories: A Brain Damage Obsession (10:00; HD) – Here we have an interview with a BD superfan.

Frank Henenlotter Q&A (20:36; HD) – The writer/director answers a variety of questions during a film festival in Brussels.

Also included are: Image Galleries (Stills, Behind-the-Scenes, Ephema), the Original Theatrical Trailer (1:15; HD), and animated short film Bygone Behemoth (5:08; HD).


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Brain Damage gets sucked in by Arrow Video and is presented with a 1080p high-definition transfer and shown in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio. Although there were some minor specs, this transfer looks great with sharp detail on the close-up shots while the distant ones, especially on the street, does lose some detail. Colors are also generally pleasant looking and vibrant such as when Brian, via Elmer’s “juice”, sees objects and people.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

There are two choices. The first is the original PCM 2.0 (default) as well as a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track. I watched the majority of the film with the PCM option but did switch to the other a time or two and both sounds fantastic with, not to state the obvious, the 5.1 provides more depth. However, while that one was good, ultimately I did prefer the original track.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Overall, often funny with plenty of gore for horror-hounds, Brain Damage is plenty of fun though I felt it got on the lengthy side in many instances — the sex scene in particular went on forever — yet the film was entertaining enough. This Blu-ray released by Arrow Video offers excellent video/audio transfers and great se of bonus material.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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