Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Brain

(Ed Hunt, 1988)
I've been saying it for a while, and this movie really clinches it: Ed Hunt is the Ed Wood of Canada, marrying high foolishness and high seriousness to arrive at a cinema of impossible, jaw-slackening hilarity. This one depicts a local TV pop psychologist who promotes 'independent thinking' but is in fact acting as a front for a grinning, wheezing brain in an aquarium who wants to take over the world. On a thematic level, then, this would appear to be an attempted commercial vulgarization of 'Videodrome', and the fact that attempting this even occurred to them is in itself a marvel. But the brain sometimes gets impatient with his underlings, at which point he projects himself out of the lab and goes around eating people with his sharp pointy teeth, growing bigger each time until by the end he resembles (and may in fact be) a rubber halloween mask on a forklift. There is varied, priceless mayhem throughout: a daughter stabs her mom with scissors before falling out a window, a cop gets decapitated, a handyman gets sawed in half, and the hallucination stuff is great and ends way too soon. And after all this we get a climax involving George Buza in a white smock running down the same hallway three times. Very, very easy to ridicule, but just like Wood its absurdity generates so much entertainment value that you have to give it some serious respect. The world would be a much worse place without these guys chasing their muse in dizzy circles. So while its utter extremity demands to be rewarded with a one-star rating, it is as masterfully one-star as a one-star movie can be.

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