BRAINSCAN (1994) Reviews and overview

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‘Wanna play? I dare you.’
Brainscan is a 1994 American horror feature film directed by John Flynn from a screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker (The Wolfman8MM; Sleepy Hollow; Seven), based on a story by Brian Owens.

The movie stars Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, Amy Hargreaves, Jamie Marsh, and T. Ryder Smith.

Lonely teenage horror movie fan Michael Brower (Edward Furlong) discovers a mysterious computer game that uses hypnosis to custom-tailor the game into the most terrifying experience imaginable. When he emerges from the hypnotic trance, he is horrified to find evidence that the brutal murder depicted in the game actually happened, and he’s the killer.

Add in the appearance of the mysterious Trickster (T. Ryder Smith), and the murderous madness jumps to the next level. Hounded by his best friend Kyle Hilliard (Jamie Marsh) and Police Detective Hayden (Frank Langella), and hiding the truth from girl next door and crush Kimberly (Amy Hargreaves), Michael’s world comes crashing down in a hectic cacophony…

Scream Factory is releasing Brainscan on Blu-ray on August 28, 2018.

  • Audio commentary with assistant to the director Tara Georges Flynn (new)
  • A Virtual Debut – Interview with screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (new)
  • Talking with Trickster – Interview with actor T. Ryder Smith (new)
  • Merging Realities – Interviews with special make-up effects supervisor Steve Johnson and special make-up effects artists Andy Schoneberg and Mike Smithson (new)
  • Musical Virtuosity – Interview with composer George S. Clinton (new)
  • Trickin’ With Trickster – Vintage behind-the-scenes fun
  • Deleted scene
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Teaser trailer
  • TV spot
  • Still galleries

“Michael has voyeuristic tendencies, including pointing his video camera at the girl-next-door’s bedroom window and watching her undress on his TV. These actions are played off as the romantic overtures of a lonely boy—orphaned, disabled, unpopular, shy, rejected. Such emotional darkness makes this movie more compelling, as does its objectionable but provocative ideas about the genre.” Brooklyn magazine

Brainscan is such an irritating horror film, wasting Frank Langella whose role here is to stand around mugging with an intimidating presence, while Edward Furlong is Edward Furlong once again. He screams, screeches, and offers zero range. Brainscan is never sure what kind of horror movie it is…” Cinema Crazed

“The flick makes very little sense, the kill scenes are tedious at best, the acting is uniformly rotten (try not to die laughing whenever Furlong’s “best buddy” character bops onscreen), and the personification of evil here – The “Trickster” – seems little more than a thinly-veiled effort at creating another Jason/Freddy/Pinhead icon.” eFilm Critic

“Despite the lurid premise, Brainscan offers zero in the way of sick thrills. Worst of all is the Trickster (T. Ryder Smith), the movie’s foppish Pinhead/Freddy Krueger wannabe. With his cut-rate warlock finery, rubbery makeup job, and veddy scaddy pronouncements (”Unleash the dark side of your soul!”), he has all the demonic charm of a pitchman for a costume shop.” Entertainment Weekly

” …overall it’s just too dull and silly to maintain my interest. So the audiences that ignored it in 1994 (it only grossed 4 million bucks) were right to do so; this isn’t some lost gem or “before its time” movie that should be rediscovered.” Horror Movie a Day


Cast and characters:
Edward Furlong … Michael – The Zombie King; Arachnoquake; Pet Sematary II; et al
Frank Langella … Detective Hayden – Dracula (1979)
T. Ryder Smith … The Trickster
Amy Hargreaves … Kimberly
Jamie Marsh … Kyle
Victor Ertmanis … Martin
David Hemblen … Doctor Fromberg
Vlasta Vrana … Frank

Film facts:
The film’s soundtrack features hard rock, grunge, and heavy metal from bands such as Mudhoney, White Zombie, OLD, Dandelion, Primus, Tad, Pitchshifter and the Butthole Surfers.


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