Brain Dead (1990)

brain-dead-movie-poster-1990-1020210657I think I only watched this because it expired from Netflix on January first. I don’t know much about it other than it is often confused with Peter Jackson’s Brain Dead (or Dead Alive). It starts off super slow, and this is one of those movies that hasn’t aged well. It doesn’t have aspects that make it super dated, but the acting and overall tone just screams 90s. Anyway, we follow Bill Pullman, who plays a neuroscientist who has a shelf filled with brains. His entire career is based on zapping people’s brains to collect information. All in the name of legitimate science, of course. Then he gets into an argument with some random bum, and is later subjected to nonstop and terrifying hallucinations that include a murderous surgeon.

Or is what he’s seeing actually real? Yeah, this is one of those. However, it’s really not that bad. The transitions from one hallucination to the next are pretty seamless. The biggest issue I have is the end. If you’re going for this surreal world the character can’t seem to escape, then stick with it. I don’t believe in making something like this open ended. After seeing a guy deal with back to back illusions, I kind of wanted an answer as to why these things just popped out of nowhere.

While the movie really doesn’t offer any conclusion, it’s strong enough to earn 3/5. If you can get past the first 20 minutes of cheesy acting and general weirdness, it’s not that bad. Just don’t expect any questions to be answered. It’s one of those artsy nightmares that never seems to end for the protagonist. Honestly I’m not even sure if the guy truly existed. If you’re in the mood for something a little odd and you have 87 minutes to spare, I say give it a shot.


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