THE BRAIN (1988) Reviews and recommended


the brain 1988

‘Mind over matter’

The Brain is a 1988 Canadian science fiction horror feature film directed by Ed Hunt (Halloween Hell; Alien Warrior; Bloody Birthday; Starship Invasions) from a screenplay by Barry Pearson. The movie stars David Gale; Tom Bresnahan; Cynthia Preston; George Buza and Brett Pearson.

Scream Factory released The Brain on Blu-ray on April 30, 2019, via a 4K scan of the original negative. The special features are:

  • Audio commentary with director Ed Hunt (new)
  • Audio commentary with composer Paul Zaza (new)
  • Audio commentary with actor Tom Bresnahan (new)
  • Interview with actress Cynthia Preston (new)
  • Interview with actor George Buza (new)
  • Interview with assistant art director Michael Borthwick (new)
  • Food for Thought: A Love Letter to The Brain (new)
  • Still gallery


Doctor Blakely runs a TV show called “Independent Thinkers”, which is a Scientology-like self-help/religion program. But he’s not making his audience think any more independently – with the help of an alien organism he calls The Brain, he’s using brainwashing and mind control.

The only thing that stands between them and world domination is a brilliant but troubled high school student with a penchant for pranks…


“A successful (and humourously evil) puppet is really what makes the The Brain work. Although by the end, the Brain itself has grown so large it looks like a rubber car, the earlier scenes are all in good fun and make it easy to overlook the latter special effect shortcomings.” Canuxploitation

“The film favours Elm Street optics over Cronenberg-ian image issues; every hallucination is punctuated by the same tentamonsters at the most inopportune moments – okay, so it’s the same fake Freddy formula each time out, but it’s a good one. While the story reads pro forma Atomic, The Brain can’t help but interpret that map in unique ways; it plays as tribute to the ‘50s, yet comes across as camp in the (then) modern age.” Daily Dead


“This film is Eighties to the max, right through to the amateurish electronic soundtrack that echoes (without equalling) the work of John Carpenter. Like a high school version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, it’s cheerfully lurid throughout, self-aware but never tediously ironic […] The low budget is apparent in every shot but good editing makes the best of what’s available, giving even the cheesiest action sequences a degree of tension.” Eye for Film

The Brain is ridiculously entertaining fun in (I have to say it) a brain-unengaged way. There is the wonderful absurdity of people being pursued by a giant brain that is about the size of a small car. At one point, the brain devours assistant Christine Kossack whole and David Gale sits back and comments “That’s food for thought.” Moria

“The enormous Brain is a practical effects wonder — all squishy latex and slime with a demonic face, gigantic spinal column and gnashing, razor teeth. The film borrows elements from the far superior Videodrome and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, not to mention 50s creature features, and purees it into something ridiculous but also ridiculously fun.” Really Awful Movies


Cast and characters:

Tom Bresnahan … Jim Majelewski (as Tom Breznahan)
Cynthia Preston … Janet (as Cyndy Preston)
David Gale … Doctor Anthony Blakely – The Guyver; Syngenor; Bride of Re-Animator; Re-Animator
George Buza … Verna
Christine Kossak … Vivian (as Christine Kossack)
Bret Pearson … Willie
Bernice Quiggan … Mrs Driscol
Susannah Hoffmann … Becky
Justine Campbell … Doreen
Robert King … Mr Sweeting
Kenneth McGregor … Mr Woods (as Ken McGregor)
Vinetta Strombergs … Ms Chisolm
Richard Gira … Mr Majelewski
Wendy Springate … Mrs Majelewski
Harry Booker … Officer Marks
Peter Read … Security Guard
Steve Mousseau Steve Mousseau … The Weird Man
Garry Brown … Police Detective
Sarah Chapple … Debbie Hodges
Carol Lazare … Mrs Woods

Filming locations:

 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Technical credits:

94 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
Audio: Dolby

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