Insane In… – The Brain (1988)

There are many films that are quite terrible yet remain watchable and even enjoyable because of their inherent awfulness and The Brain is one such movie. It is not so much the script or the acting that makes this film bad, not that it is all that bad truth be told, but the creature which is a large, sentient alien brain that wants to control the world through mind control but is so far constricted to one small community through a local television program. Lucky for the brain, that program along with its host Dr. Anthony Blakely, are about to go national unless student Jim can put a stop to it and thereby clear his name in the process.

Like anything, there are positives and negatives to be found and this movie is no exception with a bit of the former being Tom Bresnahan and David Gale who make for fun adversaries, almost like a perverse kind of Breakfast Club where Bresnahan is the rebellious student and Gale is the puppet of an alien monster instead of a school principal. As for the latter, the inescapable badness to be found, it is that aforementioned alien, that giant brain that looks utterly ridiculous and so much so that it almost ruins everything – but not quite. As atrocious as it soon becomes, it never goes so far as to make the audience stop watching because seeing what happens turns out to be a must. The film opens with a girl being killed by what could either be a hallucination or a very strange reality, at least where she is concerned and the movie keeps that thread running with constant mentions and appearances of Gale’s character Dr. Blakely who must have something to do with it all. By the time Jim is sitting there with the good doctor and being subjected to tests, it is far too late to turn back as from that point, it simply gets crazier with each passing scene.

It is usually a hard road to the top and as such, there are always casualties to be found and in this film that means bodies, of which there are more than a few. Ultimately, they are all victims of that giant brain, working through its human slaves and while not the bloodiest of movies, there is quite a bit of violence to be found and some good horror not necessarily from the brain, but from the mind control it exerts and the threat of forced treatment and confinement.

The Brain is definitely not the best monster flick to be found, from any decade, but it is by no means the worst and while it might not be very scary due to the sheer ridiculousness of it all, it will provide the viewer with a bit of pleasure and perhaps even a couple of laughs along the way.

2.5 out of 5

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