Brain Damage
Release: January 15, 1988

Basket Case director Frank Henenlotter explores another bizarre symbiotic human-monster relationship in this surreal horror-comedy about a young man named Brian (Rick Herbst) who emerges from a night of bizarre hallucinations to find a jovial talking slug attached to his body. The creature, a brain-eating parasite called an "Aylmer" (but who prefers the simpler handle "Elmer") came calling after abandoning his former companions — a European couple who tried to wean him from human brains by supplying him with sheep brains from the local Butcher. Preferring prey of the bipedal variety (and a younger, more mobile host), Elmer hitches a ride with Brian, administering doses of a highly addictive psychedelic drug to keep him under control, and sends him out in search of human grey-matter. Understandably, this drives a wedge in the relationship between Brian and his girlfriend Barbara (Jennifer Lowry), who doesn't buy the monster story but nevertheless begins to recognize Brian's junkie behavior patterns. Fighting a losing battle against Elmer's magic juice (and trying to keep Elmer from munching down on Barbara's skull), Brian is forced into a hideous showdown for possession of his own mind. Not quite as grotesque as its scenario suggests, this is nevertheless an inspired bit of lunacy — though Henenlotter eschews much of the horror possibilities by drawing humor from the outrageousness of the situation, making it less memorable than his darkly-chilling debut feature. Clever highlights include horror host John Zacherle as the Bing Crosby-esque voice of Elmer and a cute cameo from Basket boy Kevin Van Hentenryck.

YouTube Videos
Aylmer: "I'll be happy to help you... but you'll have to feed me first!"
Aylmer: "Ready to crawl across the floor and plead for my juice?"
Aylmer: "You ready to beg for it, Brian?"
Aylmer: "Uh-oh, Brian. Now you're really losing your mind!"
Aylmer: "You know you're not gonna win. You know you're gonna need my juice."
Aylmer: "You're not gonna throw up in front of me, are you? I don't wanna watch this!"
Aylmer: "I won't bite you while you're asleep. I want you to beg for it now."
Aylmer: "You're mine now, Brian. I own you."
Brian: "We can't keep killing people every time you're hungry!"
Aylmer: "Why don't you put me on your neck and calm down?"
Brian: "You sucked out her brains? Is she dead?"
Aylmer: "The blood came from a girl whose brains I sucked out."
Brian: "But when it comes to blood in my underwear, I wanna know how it got there!"
Aylmer: "Part of my talent, Brian, is to spare you any unpleasantness."
Brian: "All I remember is feeling something sticky in my pants and finding them covered with blood - and not my blood!"
Brian: "I think something awful happened last night and I can't remember it."
Aylmer: "And I thought you were having such a good time!"
Morris: "The Aylmer's origins can be traced back to the 4th crusades."
Girl: "Feels like you got a real monster in there!"
Brian: "I can turn night into day or watch the darkness shine and I don't even have to open my eyes."
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