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Brain Damage, Blue Water Drug Elmer, Frank Henenlotter, Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry, Theo Barnes, Lucille Saint-Peter, Vicki Darnell, Joseph Gonzalez, Bradlee Rhodes, Michael Bishop, Beverly Bonner

Brain Damage [AKA Elmer]: a regular guy wakens to find a parasite has made him the new host – he’ll get an addictive and hallucinogenic drug on tap, providing he feeds the alien human brains! The star of this film is the talking alien / parasite / turd / penis / spleen that’s brought to life through claymation, animatronics & other physical effects, and given a surprisingly rational personality (for a villain) like something out of a kid’s cartoon. The humans on the other hand are all pretty campy, but it makes for some ‘laughing at you’ moments. It feels like the director (Henenlotter) is almost too good for this stuff, throwing in a lot of visually arresting moments, like the gore, and some weird psychedelic electrical brain-juice trips which are great to watch – although the ending should probably come with an epilepsy warning. Interestingly, it’s a film that defies categorization: it continually mixes gore, comedy, horror and social commentary – but none of them are strong enough to define the film; think MTV type horny/horror with a more serious tone. Brain Damage is as cheap and ‘B-movie‘ as they come (death, plot, death, boobs, death sleaze…) but it aspires to more in that it’s a unique and left-field mix of offbeat plot and wild visuals – which make it more engaging / entertaining / interesting than rigidly formulaic and dull B-movies. Despite being a heavy-handed parable for drug addiction (with a sexual & homosexual subtext) I’d take this over Requiem for a Dream or Spun any day. A nostalgic oddity that could only come from the 1980s.

Score: 5/10
B-Movie Score: 8/10

Brain Damage, Elmer, Alymer Security Guard Frank Henenlotter, Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry, Theo Barnes, Lucille Saint-Peter, Vicki Darnell, Joseph Gonzalez, Bradlee Rhodes, Michael Bishop, Beverly Bonner Brain Damage, Elmer, Babe Blowjob Alymer Frank Henenlotter, Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry, Theo Barnes, Lucille Saint-Peter, Vicki Darnell, Joseph Gonzalez, Bradlee Rhodes, Michael Bishop, Beverly Bonner Brain Damage, Alymer, Bite Needle Drug Elmer, Frank Henenlotter, Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry, Theo Barnes, Lucille Saint-Peter, Vicki Darnell, Joseph Gonzalez, Bradlee Rhodes, Michael Bishop, Beverly Bonner Brain Damage, Elmer, Alymer Frank Henenlotter, Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry, Theo Barnes, Lucille Saint-Peter, Vicki Darnell, Joseph Gonzalez, Bradlee Rhodes, Michael Bishop, Beverly Bonner

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Before I Go To Sleep Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Crompton, Eddison Tollett

Before I Go to Sleep [Mild Spoilers]: after severe head injuries a woman wakes up every day with a blank memory and has to piece the last ten years back together. The biggest boob is that this is a super-tight three-hander, about one of the people, so there’s only two potential characters you can’t trust, and one can be ruled out fairly quickly, which makes the majority of the film – especially the ending – a bit of a damp squib. Despite a couple of short pieces of tension the film takes its time, and the story warms up very slowly. The whole project has a feel of being entirely driven by Firth & Kidman (and Strong) – if this was 3 unknowns nobody would have touched this. All three actors are solid, but Kidman‘s on top, looking dowdy and showing a better range than usual. Firth also gets to flex his muscles, and does well with what he’s given – which is a testament to him more than the writing. Otherwise, and disappointingly, there isn’t a whole lot more to say about this other than it looks very televisual and drab, which doesn’t help either. Before I Go to Sleep is a fairly slow paced story, with a single twist that works well – but for the majority plays like a depressing version of 50 First Dates

Score: 4/10

Before I Go To Sleep 2 Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Crompton, Eddison Tollett