Blu-ray Review: BRAINSCAN

BRAINSCAN was directed by John Flynn from a screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker and stars Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, Amy Hargreaves, Jamie Marsh and T. Ryder Smith as “The Trickster.” The movie was produced by Michel Roy.

When Michael, a lonely teenager (Edward Furlong), orders the latest interactive video game, the new high-tech wizardry penetrates his subconscious, where his darkest impulses lead him through a deadly maze of murder, deception and desire. Pursued by homicide detective (Frank Langella) and prodded by “The Trickster” (T. Ryder Smith) who materializes into his room, Michael is torn between the worlds of good and evil, of reality and fantasy and, ultimately, life and death.

Brainscan follows Michael, this lonely gamer who starts playing a mysterious new game mailed to him that’s hosted by “The Trickster,” a supernatural entity who guides Michael once he starts playing the game. The game is kind of a VR murder mystery (without the headgear) but Michael discovers that his actions in the game are playing out in real life. Fantasy and reality merge and Michael is forced to keep playing so the dead bodies slowly start to pile up. So do the clues and witnesses to the crimes being committed!

Detective Hayden enters the picture and quickly becomes suspicious of Michael who continues to be forced to play the game by it’s charismatic host that’s full of mischief. Something else that’s going on in Brainscan is Michael’s secret crush on his neighbor Kimberly (Amy Hargreaves) who accidentally gets caught up in the middle of this nightmarish feud with “The Trickster” so it all comes down to a battle between the young gamer and his evil nemesis that kinda sorta becomes his new BFF in the end. Oh yeah and Michael finally tells Kimberly how he feels about her.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition disc were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Brainscan is this strange mixture of science fiction, horror and fantasy that never really found an audience during its theatrical release back in 1994, but guess what, I remember going to see this movie at the theater when I was younger. It’s a weird video game movie that’s not quite virtual reality but close enough and it features this charismatic vlllain called “The Trickster” that came along when the rest of the horror icons were on hiatus. This mischievous host of this mysterious video game had a fantastic look to him and was played perfectly by T. Ryder Smith and he should’ve become the next horror icon. Anyway, the cast did a good job with their characters but Edward Furlong just wasn’t the headliner who could lure in audiences and that’s unfortunate because as cheesy as it is, this is a really fun movie. There’s some impressive looking special effects that’s a mixture of practical and visual and it all looks great in high-def. John Flynn delivered a movie that didn’t really click with audiences back in the day but now it has a new lease on life and is sure to please a new generation of horror aficionados. Brainscan will make its Blu-ray debut on August 28th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 96 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include new audio commentary, lots of new interviews, deleted scene, vintage behind-the-scenes footage, teaser trailer, theatrical trailer, TV spot and two image galleries. If this movie wasn’t such an obscure title it would’ve made a nice Collector’s Edition because Scream Factory really delivered on the extras.

  • NEW Audio Commentary with assistant to the director Tara Georges Flynn
  • NEW  A Virtual Debut – an interview with screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (14:25)
  • NEW Talking With Trickster – an interview with actor T. Ryder Smith (13:39)
  • NEW Merging Realities featuring interviews with special make-up effects supervisor Steve Johnson and special make-up effects artists Andy Schoneberg and Mike Smithson (19:04)
  • NEW Musical Virtuosity – an interview with composer George S. Clinton (11:24)
  • Trickin’ With Trickster: Vintage Behind-the-Scenes Fun on BRAINSCAN (05:09)
  • Deleted Scene (01:38)
  • Behind-The-Scenes Footage (07:47)
  • Teaser Trailer (00:39)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:02)
  • TV Spot (00:33)
  • Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery (01:15)
  • Still Galleries (01:55)


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