HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
   
 
  Brainscan Try A Nicer Hobby, Like Macrame Or Philately
Year: 1994
Director: John Flynn
Stars: Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, T. Ryder Smith, Amy Hargreaves, Jamie Marsh, Victor Ertmanis, David Hemblen, Vlasta Vrana, Domenico Fiore, Clare Riley, Tod Fennell, Michèle-Barbara Pelletier, Dean Hagopian, Donna Baccala, Jérôme Tiberghien
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Michael (Edward Furlong) is a lonely sixteen-year-old who has lost his mother in a car crash some years before, an accident that left him with a limp in one leg and a nasty scar. His father is often away on business, leaving him to stay on his own in their well-furnished house since to make up for his frequent absence Michael's parent has given him anything he could possibly want as far as electronics go. He has a computer system that can call his best pal Kyle (Jamie Marsh), he has a video camera he can film the girl next door, Kimberly (Amy Hargreaves), undressing with, and he is obsessed with horror movies in lieu of having a healthy relationship with anyone. Until...

Until he gets to act out a horror movie! Oh noes! What happens is that Kyle alerts Michael to an ad in Fangoria (of course) promising a chance to play one of the most terrifying games imaginable, and he finds it difficult to resist. This is after he has been admonished at school for running a horror club where they show shockers on video to fellow classmates, so he is in a bad mood, but note well the teacher's reasons: he believes watching violent chillers can breed psychopathic killers, a common myth that you would expect Brainscan, since its main character is a horror fan, to refute entirely. However, it was a lot more confused than that, as screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker was unsure.

On this evidence, the future scriptwriter of blockbuster Se7en was more or less in agreement with the moral majority that the genre was utterly harmful, which is odd seeing as how it was horror that made his name, albeit a little too briefly to make much of a lasting impact aside from ensuring gloomy thrillers with gruesome killings would endure, though arguably that was more down to the success of Thomas Harris adaptation The Silence of the Lambs. After viewing this, you may have been retrospectively more sceptical about Se7en's quality, and put it down to director David Fincher and his way with a camera, since this was closer to a farce than any grand statement on fear.

For a start, it had a Freddie Krueger character as its main embodiment of evil, here named The Trickster (stage actor T. Ryder Smith), a villain who had magical powers of emerging from a TV to taunt the hero, make with the quips, and eat lots of food without putting on weight. Other than that, he did not do a tremendous amount, decked out like a New Romantic fashion victim of the previous decade but remaining resolutely unthreatening since all Michael needed to do would be to ignore the game, go by his initial reservations. That game - Brainscan itself - was something it was difficult to accept anyone would want to play, even eXistenZ looked more fun, as all you needed to do was murder someone. Now, the gaming industry is built on pretending to kill people, but nobody complains when the killings are unrealistic.

Here, on the other hand, the murder is as authentic as possible, probably because once Michael has started playing, he unconvincingly finds out what fun it is to end another human being's life and only has reservations when he realises someone has died as a result of his actions. He's also cut the guy's foot off and put it in his fridge, purely so the film could feature a mid-credits stinger, but what Walker seemed to miss was that you don't watch horror movies because you would like to murder like the bad guys do, there are all sorts of reasons such as thrills, spectacle, humour, empathy, and so on. Loving horror is a lot more complicated than Brainscan could ever grasp, as a result this quickly grows absurd, and no matter that some decided it was supposed to be a comedy, there was little evidence either Walker or director John Flynn was delivering what they thought was a spoof of some kind. In fact, this was a very conservative film, and clueless with it, that resists a more subversive conclusion in favour of an unambitious "evade the cops" plot, Frank Langella (really slumming it) representing the Fuzz. Music by George S. Clinton. Yes, that was a widescreen TV in 1994. Just not a very big one.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1167 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: