Brain Damage (film)

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Brain Damage
Limited edition DVD cover.
Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Produced by Al Eicher
Andre Blay
Edgar Ievins
Written by Frank Henenlotter
Starring Rick Hearst
Jennifer Lowry
Gordon MacDonald
Music by Matthias Donnelly
Clutch Reiser
Gus Russo
Cinematography Bruce Torbet
Edited by Frank Henenlotter
James Y. Kwei
Distributed by Palisades Entertainment
Ventura Distribution
Release date(s) April 15, 1988
Running time Theatrical Cut:
84 min.
Unrated Cut:
86 min.
Country United States
Language English

Brain Damage is an American comedy horror film that was released in 1988, and directed by Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case, Frankenhooker).[1]


Brian (Rick Hearst) begins an unwilling symbiotic relationship with a malevolent leech-like brain-eating parasite called "Aylmer" (voiced by famed creature feature host John Zacherle). Aylmer secretes a highly addictive, hallucinogenic blue fluid into Brian's brain. In return for a steady supply of the fluid, Brian must seek out human victims for Aylmer, so that he can devour their brains. All the while, though, as Brian adopts a heavily secluded life in his indulgence of Aylmer's fluids, it begins to draw a rift in his relationship with his girlfriend Barbara (Jennifer Lowry) and brother. The film was largely a metaphor for the dangers of drug addiction.


The film was heavily edited by the MPAA in order to receive an R-rating.[2]

Near the end of the film, there is a brief appearance by a man on the subway with a large wicker basket. This is meant to be a cameo appearance by Duane Bradley, the main character from Henenlotter's earlier film Basket Case.


The film was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Palisades Entertainment Group in 1988. It was subsequently released on VHS by Paramount Home Entertainment.[3]

The film was released on DVD by Synapse Films in 2007.[4] This special edition release features commentary by Henenlotter and reinstates all of the excised gore footage.


Brain Damage, is a much loved quirky film, with a Rotten Tomatoes Rating of 70%.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Staff and Friends of Scarecrow Video (2004). The Scarecrow Movie Guide. Seattle: Sasquatch Books. pp. 630–723. ISBN 1-57061-415-6. 
  2. ^ "Alternate Versions for Brain Damage". Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  3. ^ "Company Credits for Brain Damage". Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  4. ^ "Brain Damage (DVD)". Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  5. ^ "Brain Damage Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 18 February 2013. 

External links[edit]