Brain Damage

(Frank Henenlotter, USA, 1988)


This is the kind of deliberately gross horror-comedy which makes a virtue of its low budget, complete with hammy, amateurish acting, mock-histrionic organ music, and strenuously ugly suburban settings.

Elmer (or Aylmer, to give him his proper, ancient title) is a monstrous parasite with an effete voice who inhabits a turned-on young host (Rick Herbst), eats the brains of passing strangers, and sways about in a sink singing catchy show-tunes.

Frank Henenlotter’s inventively disarming film is big on verbal ironies of the "feels like you’ve got a monster in your pants" variety.

© Adrian Martin December 1992

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
home    reviews    essays    search