Brain Dead (1990)

Movie Title: Brain Dead

Year Released: 1990

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 25min

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Director: Adam Simon

Writer: Charles Beaumont and Adam Simon

Starring: Bill Pullman, Bill Paxton, Bud Cort, Nicholas Pryor, Patricia Charbonneau, George Kennedy, Brian Brophy, David Sinaiko, Lee Arenberg, Maud Winchester, Lisa Moncure, Jon Kellam, Willie Garson, John Paxton, David Sklare, Cynthia Ettinger,

Review: Rex Martin (Bill Pullman) is eccentric neurosurgeon that is tasked by the Eunice Corporation to retrieve vital information from the mind of their former employee (Bud Cort) through a radical technique. Soon after the operation, Dr. Martin's life begins to unravel and has him questioning his own sanity. Has the corporate machine pushed him over the edge of madness or his he just... Brain Dead?!

Every once in a while I see a movie completely cold, as I did this one, and it wholly entertains me to the point that I must proclaim my undying (no pun intended) love for it! I love Brain Dead! And honestly, the only reason I watched it is because it stars Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton, the two actors confused for one another for the better part of the '90s. I'm not sure if this is what started that whole thing. I'm not a historian. And look at that poster! Is that great, or what?! Oh, and the trailer gives nothing away. I was so surprised! Trailers usually give everything away.

The only problem is I can't get too into the what goes on during this hidden sci-Fi/horror gem without spoiling it. But I will say this... it is from Twilight Zone writer Charles Beaumont and it feels just like a vintage episode of the series, with the addition plenty of gore and mind-bending terror!

Brain Dead was produced by Julie Corman, wife and producing partner of the low budget movie maven himself - Roger Corman. But even with a low budget, it's elevated by Adam Simon's direction, the slick and clever script, and the stellar acting from Bill Pullman, Bill Paxton, and especially Bud Cort. It's truly a top-tier Corman production, which to some might seem like faint praise, but this is one not to be missed! It's a cult classic that should definitely be seen more, talked about endlessly, and remembered rather fondly.

From the title and the plot description above it seems like this is nothing more than a brain-snatching shlock-fest, but I implore you to check Brain Dead out. It's a mind-bending, shocking, psychological horror picture that's smarter and scarier than most movies found in this genre to date. You can either trust me or tell me to go and get my head examined!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Dr. Rex Martin (Bill Pullman) mentioned that he went to "Miskatonic University", the college where Re-Animator (1985) took place. Miskatonic University is supposedly located in Arkham, Massachusetts, a fictional town created by H.P. Lovecraft.


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