Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Brain (1988)

The town of Meadowlake? Field? Something? is besieged with a series of violent crimes/suicides. Meanwhile, the most popular television program around town is a locally produced self-help show ingeniously titled Independent Thinking starring Dr. Anthony Blake. It doesn't seem like there should be a connection there unless of course there's a giant alien brain swimming in brine that feeds itself through mind control behind the whole set up...but then I'm getting ahead of myself.

Enter James, a high school Senior whose penchant for sodium-based pranks has met the ire of his principal. There is actually a warning that runs during the end credits about not performing his stunt at home for the sake of public safety (I'll have to update this post once I try it). Anyway, it is decided his anti-social leanings can only be corrected by Blake, or as his mother argues, "He wouldn't be on TV if he wasn't good," and so he is sent to see him. This is where The Brain attempts to eat James' mind or something, but apparently some people are resistant to its charms and just end up hallucinating. This accounts for all the recent violent acts around town. Damn murderous hippies.

So now James is seeing all kinds of craziness. His girlfriend tries to help him by finally giving it up (she earlier stated that she was "saving herself for college" whatever that means) and his buddy, well all he really accomplishes is getting literally eaten by the brain. In fact, eventually everyone turns on James when The Brain does his mind control thing through the TV airwaves (not sure why it didn't just focus on this method in the first place) and the program is about to somehow go national despite the fact that Bob Ross had better production values. The Brain must be stopped!

Of course, James does indeed stop it by way of a sodium bomb (and it all comes together). Now, one might ask why a psychological research institute would store mass quantities of a highly combustible element in its boiler room, to which I would reply "Well, sir (or madam), clearly you know nothing of medical science and all the marvelous breakthroughs that have been accomplished by blowing stuff up."

Not one of the truly great awful movies of the decade, but a decent little diversion all the same.


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