Blu-ray Review: THE BRAIN

THE BRAIN was directed by Edward Hunt from a screenplay by Barry Pearson and stars Tom Bresnahan, Cynthia Preston, George Buza, Christine Kossak, Bret Pearson, Susannah Hoffmann and David Gale. The music was composed by Paul Zaza.

Imagine a pulsating mass of grey matter, exploding in size in size and strength as takes control of human minds and devours human bodies. It could never happen, right? Just watch Independent Thinking, starring Dr. Anthony Blakely (Gale), a hot new TV program. But as the show’s ratings continue to soar, so does the suicide and murder rate among its viewers. What they don’t know is that Dr. Blake has teamed with an alien brain and plans to gain control of all humanity.

This 1988 monster mash throwback follows Jim Majelewsk (Tom Bresnahan), a mischievous highschool prankster who gets into too trouble so his parents have to make a deal with the principal and counselor so he doesn’t get suspended. The deal is, Jim has to go see Dr. Anthony Blakely (David Gale), a sinister figure who runs the Psychological Research Institute so he can go under the “state of the art” procedure. The mind control/brain washing process kind of backfires because Jim doesn’t cooperate with Blakely and his two goons, Verna (George Buza) and Vivian (Christine Kossak). Something else about Blakely and his goon squad is that they’re just puppets because there’s actually something else calling the shots.

What happens is, the procedure has left Jim mentally scrambled and on the run from the “PRI” team that wants to finish what they started and they’re willing to leave a trail of dead bodies to get the job done. This is when Jim’s girlfriend Janet (Cynthia Preston) and a few of their friends from school come into play to help save him but it doesn’t take long for the man-eating brain to take care of the others as well as the “PRI” goon squad. It all comes down to Jim and Janet as they go up against the nearly unstoppable beast but in the end they find a way to stop the mysterious creature.

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 features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The Brain has been given a new 4K scan of the original negative. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Brain was another first time watch for me and I’m asking myself how in the world did I let this one slip by me during the good ol’ video store days because it’s freaking awesome. It’s weird but it’s freaking awesome! The story is just crazy (light on plot development) because it’s all about mind control and brainwashing but and at the core of it is this mysterious brain that starts off as a medium-sized monster that mutates into an adult-sized killing machine with each victim it exterminates. The acting is good and the characters are fun to follow but the standout here are the special effects and the wizardry behind The Brain because it’s an awesome looking creation. There’s also lots of blood and gore to go along with it. Edward Hunt (Bloody Birthday, Alien Warrior) did a great job with this crazy flick that definitely deserves a nice upgrade like from Scream Factory. It’s cheesy as hell and goofy as all get out but the movie is entertaining to the max and I think I’ve found myself a new favorite from the 80’s. Better late than never, right? Did I mention the wild and crazy opening scene? Oh my! The Brain will be available on Blu-ray on April 30th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 94 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

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

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include three new audio commentary tracks, three new interviews with some of the cast and crew, a featurette and a still gallery.

  • NEW Audio Commentary with director Ed Hunt
  • NEW Audio Commentary with composer Paul Zaza
  • NEW Audio Commentary with actor Tom Bresnahan
  • NEW Canada on the Mind – an interview with actress Cynthia Preston (11:17)
  • NEW From Monster Kid to Monster Man – an interview with actor George Buza (12:33)
  • NEW Brain Art – an interview with assistant art director Michael Borthwick (12:52)
  • NEW Food for Thought: A Love Letter to THE BRAIN (11:21)
  • Still Gallery (03:49)
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