Thursday, October 7, 2010

2010 Geek Fright Fest: Brainscan

Brainscan (1994)
Rated R (for violence, language, and sexuality)

Directed by John Flynn

Edward Furlong
Frank Langella
T. Ryder Smith
Amy Hargreaves

Brainscan isn't an excellent film by any means, but if you were a child of the nineties, chances are you remember when it came out. I was eleven when it was released, and I definitely remember the trailer, although I wasn't allowed to see it for obvious reasons. I was delighted to find it on OnDemand as part of their annual "Feartober" section, however. What it lacks in quality, Brainscan makes up for in horror geekness.

Michael Brower (Edward Furlong of Terminator 2 fame) is a technogeek horror film fanatic with a sweet (for the '90s, anyway) entertainment system set up. His friend Kyle tells him about the latest video game, Brainscan. He finds a review in Fangoria, and calls the company to find out about the game. He has his doubts as he's "played 'em all", but when the game arrives in the mail, Michael discovers it's not just a game.

Michael is my kind of guy. In addition to reading Fangoria (and obviously a true fan, as he uses the nickname "Fango"), he is the president and founder of his school's Horror Club, much to his principal's chagrin. I totally would have been a part of that club, especially since they watch such gems as Death, Death, Death . . . Part 2. I'm also pretty envious of his awesome classic horror flick poster collection and his voice-activated computer, Igor (complete with pixilated Igor animation that calls Michael "Master".) The main villain, The Trickster, is also awesome. He has a rad hair-metal mowhawk and dresses like Mick Jagger. He is also, surprisingly enough, a huge Primus fan.

The beauty of this film is that it is a time-capsule for the '90s. Kyle is a grunge-infused Spicoli/Stoney-type sidekick and one look around Michael's room gives clear signs of the decade (best example: the huge Alice Cooper decal plastered on his fridge). The soundtrack featured emerging hard rock and grunge bands - Mudhoney, Dandelion, and most notably, White Zombie. The special effects are reminiscent of flicks like Hackers and The Trickster looks like Maurice's (from Little Monsters) older, nastier brother.

Fright Rating: 1 gasp out of a possible five.

I had a lot of fun with this movie. It's not really scary, but if you like flicks like Hackers and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (but with a horror/fantasy flair), you'll like this one. It's a good palette cleanser after watching several serious films.

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