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This article is about the film. For the concept, see neuroimaging and neurology.
Original theatrical poster
Directed by John Flynn
Produced by Michel Roy
Written by Brian Owens
Andrew Kevin Walker
Starring Edward Furlong
Frank Langella
T. Ryder Smith
Music by George S. Clinton
Cinematography François Protat
Edited by Jay Cassidy
Phillip Linson
Admire Productions Ltd.
Coral Productions
Distributed by Triumph Films
Release dates
April 22, 1994 (1994-April-22)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4,352,094

Brainscan is a 1994 horror science fiction film starring Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, Amy Hargreaves, Jamie Marsh, and T. Ryder Smith. Music was composed by movie composer George S. Clinton.


A lonely kid by the name of Michael Brower loves horror movies and is best friends with a kid named Kyle, who is also a fan of horror. Michael is told about a game called Brainscan from Kyle, where the game feels very real and has you brutally kill people. The host of the game, Trickster, comes to Michael and makes him play the game and soon falls in love with his crush Kimberly. He plays the game where he sneaks into a room and kills a man while he is sleeping and cuts off his foot. Michael tells Kyle about the game and Kyle wants to borrow the game but Michael wants to play it just one more time.

Michael realizes that the disc won't work and that he has to buy disc two from Trickster. Michael finds a foot in his refrigerator and is horrified. Michael goes to Kimberly's place where her parents are watching the news and finds out what he did was real. Kyle bugs him about the game and angers Michael. He later tries to bury the foot but it is stolen by a dog, although he gets it back after a chase. He and Kimberly start dating and he calls in sick for school and she gives him his homework, as she is asked to pick up his homework for him.

Michael is constantly told to kill another witness, so kills Kyle. Michael doesn't remember what had happened and calls Kyle's phone only for it to be answered by Detective Hayden. He sneaks into Kyle's property from Trickster's orders and Trickster calls the cop that is investigating there and tells him that someone is there. A police hunt starts and Michael accidentally kills a cop in the process of escaping. He breaks up with Kimberly and she asks him what is wrong, but he ignores her. It all comes to a climax when the Trickster tells Michael he must kill Kimberly. Michael sneaks into her room while she sleeps, but refuses to go through with it. The Trickster reveals he is Michael (his dark side) and possessed Michael, the struggle of which wakes Kimberly. Kimberly reveals that she loves Michael, which allows him to break free. However, the Trickster opens Kimberly's door, allowing Hayden to come in and shoot Michael dead.

He awakens to discover the whole experience was just the game. He joyfully discovers Kyle is still alive and that nothing in the game had happened. He goes over to Kimberly's party (the same one as at the beginning) and asks her out, which she replies with "maybe" before giving him a kiss. The movie concludes with Michael giving his principal (who was closing down his horror club unless Michael shows him what will be shown first so he can preview it) the game, Brainscan. As he turns back, Trickster appears in the principal's chair. Trickster smiles, as does Michael, knowing that the principal will now have a similar experience to what Michael had. As the credits begin we once again see the same dog carrying a foot as we did at the beginning. The implication being that the game had begun again, this time for the principal.



John Flynn later recalled:

The main interest for me was the Trickster character (a cadaverous Alice Cooper-like entity who materializes from a CD-ROM computer game - Ed.). The Trickster was the core of the movie and what attracted me to the script. We found this stage actor (T. Ryder Smith) to play the Trickster and he was extraordinary. Eddie Furlong was a 15-year-old kid who couldn’t act. You had to “slap him awake” every morning. I don’t want to get into knocking people, but I was not a big Eddie Furlong fan. [1]


The film's soundtrack features a good deal of hard rock, grunge, and heavy metal from then-emerging bands. Amongst the bands featured on the soundtrack are Mudhoney, White Zombie, OLD, Dandelion, Primus, Tad, Pitchshifter and the Butthole Surfers. It also featured the film's main title theme from George S. Clinton's score.

Critical Reception[edit]

Critical reception was mostly negative. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a "Rotten" rating of 18%, based on 11 reviews; conversely, the audience rated the film 61% "Fresh". Entertainment Weekly gave Brainscan a "D" rating, and stated "Despite the lurid premise, Brainscan offers zero in the way of sick thrills".[2]


  1. ^ Harvey Chartand, "Interview with John Flynn", Shock Cinema 2005 accessed 16 February 2015
  2. ^ "Review:Brainscan". Owen Gleiberman, May 6, 1994. Retrieved December 8, 2014.

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