Movie Magazine

Headbanger Movie Review

By Mad Professor Mike

The Brainiac

Mexico -1961

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: 9/1/93

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