6.6/10
8,656
59 user 111 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
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Basket Case (1982)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young man carrying a big basket that contains his extremely deformed Siamese-twin brother seeks vengeance on the doctors who separated them against their will.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner
Frankenhooker (1990)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A medical student sets out to recreate his decapitated fiancée by building her a new body made of Manhattan street prostitutes.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: James Lorinz, Joanne Ritchie, Patty Mullen
Basket Case 2 (1990)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Duane and his basket-bound mutant brother are taken in by a secret home for wayward freaks with journalists hot on their tail.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Judy Grafe, Annie Ross
Basket Case 3 (1991)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Duane recovers from his delusional breakdown to find his freakish basket-bound brother Belial will soon become a father. But not everything is joyous as the once tight knit brothers no longer seem to trust each other.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Annie Ross, Gil Roper
Street Trash (1987)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A liquor store owner sells alcoholic beverages to homeless people, unaware of what the bottles actually contain: toxic brew.

Director: James M. Muro
Stars: Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto
Bad Biology (2008)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Driven by biological excess, a man and a woman search for sexual fulfillment, unaware of each other's existence. Unfortunately, they eventually meet, and the bonding of these two very unusual human beings ends in a god awful love story.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Charlee Danielson, Anthony Sneed, Mark Wilson
Society (1989)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An ordinary teenage boy discovers his family is part of a gruesome orgy cult for the social elite.

Director: Brian Yuzna
Stars: Billy Warlock, Concetta D'Agnese, Ben Slack
The Stuff (1985)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A delicious, mysterious goo that oozes from the earth is marketed as the newest dessert sensation, but the tasty treat rots more than teeth when zombie-like snackers who only want to consume more of the strange substance at any cost begin infesting the world.

Director: Larry Cohen
Stars: Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Garrett Morris
TerrorVision (1986)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A family's new satellite TV system starts receiving signals from another planet, and soon it becomes the passageway to an alien world.

Director: Ted Nicolaou
Stars: Diane Franklin, Mary Woronov, Gerrit Graham
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A breezy comedy set in the art world of New York that brings an insider's insight into the financial troubles that constantly beset a group of Big Apple artists struggling to survive.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Will Cooper, Brian Faas, Drew Freed
From Beyond (1986)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of scientists have developed the Resonator, a machine which allows whoever is within range to see beyond normal perceptible reality. But when the experiment succeeds, they are immediately attacked by terrible life forms.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Alien brain parasites, entering humans through the mouth, turn their host into a killing zombie. Some teenagers start to fight against them.

Director: Fred Dekker
Stars: Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, Steve Marshall
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Heads up... Elmer's here! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brain Damage See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Horror host Zacherley provided the uncredited voice of Aylmer. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Biker: You read the newspapers, you listen to the tv news. Talkin' about nuclear waste, talking' about nuclear bombs! Nuclear war! They're crying all over the place, they're crying in America, they're crying in Europe! The whole world's gonna come to an end. If it's gonna go, man, it's gonna go! And I'm gonna enjoy seein' this whole friggin' world blow up! And I'm gonna be smilin' having my beer! And I'm gonna see this last blast, baby! I'm gonna see it go!
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

Paramount video release deletes the gory nightclub fellatio and ear-pulling scenes to avoid an 'X' rating. See more »

Connections

References Basket Case (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Elmer's Tune
by Elmer Albrecht, Sammy Gallop, & Dick Jurgens
Courtesy of CBS Robbins Catalog, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
campy original horror at its best.
11 June 2005 | by paintedwallpaperSee all my reviews

you know, i just went to see House of Wax the other day, and ten years after scream came out why are the same boring plots with the same boring characters doing the same stupid mistakes our only option for horror these days.

i suggest going back 20 years to the 70's and 80's if you want to find some great horror. horror then was low budget but imaginative. the movies had interesting story lines and were not shy about blood and gore. a good stepping stone for this sub-genre is one of my current favorites, Brain Damage. It starts off on a very surreal note, but mixes its strangeness with an accurate portrayal of a young man hopelessly addicted to the mother of all drugs. his dealer is perhaps the most unique little monster in all of horror, Aylmer (pronounced "elmer").

Aylmer is a purple cucumber shaped alien with a tiny smiling face and a soft warm voice. he finds a host, and injects his host with a blue liquid that comes out of one of Aylmer's fangs. this "brain juice" jacks up its host into a hullucionary state. while the host is in la-la land, Aylmer makes a victim of whoever the host comes in contact with, eating the victims brains.

as vile as all that sounds, it is hard to see Aylmer as evil. he is just such a nice little guy. plus he is unique in his appearance, personality, and attacks, which all go a long way with me in a modern world of horror villains pushed off an assembly line.

this movie is not winning an Oscar. it is strange and campy and violent. but if that is what you desire in a film, this hidden gem may become one of your favorites!


21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 59 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Women on Set: Celebrating Directors in Their Field

Inspired by The Farewell director Lulu Wang's call to action at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards, we celebrate women filmmakers working in their field.

Watch the video



Recently Viewed