Hello, America! This is Mad Prof. Mike with the Headbanger Video Capsule. Two guys in my third grade class back at PS 22 in Buffalo, New York once raved about a movie that had been on Channel 29's CREATURE FEATURES a few nights before. The movie was THE BRAINIAC, and for the past 21 years, I've been wanting to see it. Looking back, I guess I should have taken my classmates' raves with a grain of salt. One of those guys still lives in his parents' basement and listens to Pink Floyd for days at a stretch; the other guy grew up to be a yuppie scumbag busted for inside trading.
I finally saw THE BRAINIAC, and I can honestly say it's one weird, whacko movie. So weird and whacko, I can't tell if it's an inspired work of surrealist cinema that puts David Lynch to shame, or if it's an incompetent pile of steaming, maggot-ridden cow-flop.
THE BRAINIAC is a Mexican movie about an evil Warlock Baron dude who's burned at the stake in 1661. His re-birth in 1961 is heralded by a comet that has to be the worst special effects representation of a comet ever... it looks like a thumb-smear of Liquid Paper (Registered Trademark of Mike Nesmith's Mom) across a black piece of paper with holes pricked in it to represent stars.
Once re-born, the evil Baron goes around killing descendants of the Inquisitors who burned him at the stake centuries before. Whenever he does this, he turns into a big hairy gargoyle with crab pincers who sucks his victims' brains out with a long retractable snake-tongue. Wow. He keeps the brains in a big gold and jewel plated frappe dish (really). The brains are piled in like scoops of fleshy ice cream and he eats them with a parfait spoon to keep up his demonic powers.
The acting, camera work and sets are all... well... either incredibly expressionistic or incredibly bad. Actors who are supposed to be wide-eyed with terror look like they're doing "REN & STIMPY bulging eye-ball" gags. In one ridiculous scene, we see the faces of the seventeenth century Inquisitors super-imposed upon the faces of their descendants.
I don't know. I can't figure it out. This is the last time I listen to a couple of third-graders. On our headbanger scale of 1-4, THE BRAINIAC gets... ahhh! I dunno.... TWO HEADBANGS, I guess.
THE BRAINIAC is available from SINISTER CINEMA: BOX 4369 Medford, Oregon 97551. With the Headbanger Video Capsule, I'm Mad Prof. Mike for MOVIE MAGAZINE.
© 1993 - Michael Marano - Air Date:
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