No other movie on my small list of movies MIA on DVD deserves a DVD release more than THE BRAIN. Maybe I am so fond of the movie because it was made in Canada, only a few towns away from where I grew up, or maybe it's because the movie is so damn awesome. Either way someone needs to release this movie!
Shot in Mississauga, Ontario and directed by Ed Hunt (Bloody Birthday, Plague), the movie is about a doctor (David Gale of Re-Animator) who runs a TV show called "Independent Thinkers" that promotes self help. Unbeknownst to the viewers, they aren't actually thinking independently when they watch the program, but instead are being brainwashed by an alien organism the doctor calls The Brain (it also looks like a brain). When a high school student gets in trouble at school for pulling one too many pranks, his parents send him off to the doctor's psychiatric laboratory/TV studio for help. After experiencing some strange hallucinations, he soon discovers the doctor is using the giant brain to take over the world. On the run from the doctor and the rest of the town, the kid must destroy The Brain before it destroys him and everyone he loves.
I watched this movie over the weekend with my buddy Jay The Horror Section Clarke, just to remind myself how great this film really is. Luckily it held up too, because I convinced Jay it was so good that he should buy a bootlegged copy of it at the Festival of Fear. And if you don't believe me that The Brain is such an amazing movie, Chris Alexander even dedicated two of his Schizoid Cinefile articles to it back when he wrote for Rue Morgue Magazine (I believe the issues were #60 and #61).
The movie is very reminiscent of Cronenberg's Videodrome. However, The Brain is far more over the top and has wall-to-wall prosthetic effects in it. Unlike most DTV horror movies where you have to wait until the end to see the monster, The Brain showcases the prosthetic Brain creature right from the beginning. The Brain continues to grow through the film until by the end it is almost the size of a monster truck. The Brain is a must watch movie for any 80s horror film fan.
I couldn't find too much info on a possible DVD release of The Brain. It's readily available as a bootleg online and at conventions, but no official release has really been discussed. Based on what I could find, it appears that Lions Gate owns the film. So hopefully they will come across this blog and decide to release the movie on Blu-ray and DVD! If they could only include a few special features on it, I'd be happy with a commentary track and maybe some behind-the-scenes stills (see below).
Now let's take a look at some of the artwork options.
VHS and Poster Artwork (from my poster collection)
There really isn't a lot of artwork to choose from. I would definitely have to go with the VHS artwork from America. The Brain looks so menacing.
For fans of the movie, check out this awesome interview with one of the Special Effects guys from The Brain. The article also features some great behind-the-scenes images of The Brain prosthetic in action.