Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has a new Hi-Def Blu-ray presentation of writer/director Frank Henenlotter’s 1988 creature feature, Brain Damage, ready for genre fans to enjoy on Feb. 4.
Filmed in New York City in early 1987, Brain Damage reached theatres one year later. The working title was Elmer the Parasite, but fans of Henenlotter’s brain-feast film know that “Elmer” is really Aylmer (Old English for famous; inspiring and the like), but Elmer will do. At least that’s what Dr. Ackerman (Theo Barnes) and his wife, Martha (Lucille Saint-Peter), call the little brain sucker, who they’ve been feeding in their apartment when we have that first meet-the-creature moment.
Living next door is Brian (Rick Hearst, aka: Rick Herbst … after this film he became a soap opera regular with stints on The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives and more) and the creature — make that, parasite — takes a liking to him. A symbiotic relationship develops with Brian hauling Elmer (voiced by John Zacherle) around the city to feast on human brains, while Elmer “feeds” his host with a blue liquid (though a puncture wound in the back of his neck) that sends him on psychedelic trips.
Everything is going along swimmingly until … come on, we can’t give that away, but let’s just say that Brian’s love interest, Barbara (Jennifer Lowry … her career moment), gets a kiss to remember.
Filmmaker Frank Henenlotter had fun with his creature features — Basket Case (1, 2 and 3) and Frankenhooker — before turning his attentions to the business of Something Weird Video. Indie horror at its best … with a sense of humor.
Bonus goodies on the Blu-ray release of Brain Damage from Arrow Video on Feb. 4 include commentary from Henenlotter, Elijah Drenner’s 2017 documentary titled Listen to the Light: The Making of Brain Damage, five featurettes — “The Effects of Brain Damage,” “Animating Elmer,” “Karen Ogle: A Look Back,” “Elmer’s Turf: The NYC Locations of Brain Damage” and “Tasty Memories: A Brain Damage Obsession — and the animated short film by Harry Chaskin titled Bygone Behemoth.
Additionally, there is a Q&A session from the 2016 Offscreen Film Festival featuring filmmaker Frank Henenlotter.