The Curator of Schlock #374 by Jeff Shuster.

Brain Damage

This is peak schlock. 

So I was being dragged out of my truck by a crazed mob in the town of Mooseville in the province of Saskatchewan. I guess they were a little angry over my being a few months late with a delivery that would have saved their town. Before I knew it, a ball gag was being stuffed in my mouth and my ears started ringing due to all the shouting. A malcontent with a pot belly and a hairy back stuck a cattle prof in my side and I was out cold. — To be continued.

This week’s Arrow Home Video release is 1988’s Brain Damage from director Frank Henenlotter. According to Wikipedia, this movie is about a young man becoming host to a “long, phallic parasite.” Yes, that is what this movie is about, but it is so much more. For instance, this particular parasite eats brains—human brains! Imagine that you’re going about your day and a long, phallic parasite launches himself to your forehead and sucks your brain out! Yikes. Not the way I’d want to go.

Our movie revolves around a young man named Brian (Rick Hearst) who’s a bit under the weather. When Brian wakes up from a troubled sleep, he feels something wriggling around his body. Finally, the parasite introduces himself. We learn his name is Alymer (voiced by John Zacherie) and he makes a proposal to Brian: he’ll make Brian’s life a wondrous experience if Brian takes him out for nightly strolls. Brian agrees. Alymar attaches himself to the back of Brian’s head, shoots some blue juice all over Brian’s brain, and Brian is high as a kite.

Seriously, Brian goes to a junkyard and starts seeing funky colors dancing off of all the stacked automobiles. He’s so entertained that he doesn’t really notice Alymer sucking the brains out of the nighttime security guard. Brian’s brother, Mike, and girlfriend, Barbara, notice that Brian is acting strange. When Brian takes Barbara out for a fancy dinner, he sees spaghetti and brainballs on his plate.

After Brian goes to a club in a brain-juice-induced super, he gets hot and heavy with one of the dancers. The two of them go to the back alley where she promptly gets her brains sucked out by the parasite. Brian gets confronted by his neighbor, Morris (Theo Barnes), about feeding Alymer human brains. Morris was the previous host of Alymer and only fed him animal brains. Morris tells Brian that Alymer has been passed from host to host for centuries. It doesn’t end well for the hosts.

Brian confronts Alymer and wants a separation. Alymer tells Brian that he won’t be able to survive the withdrawal from the brain juice. During Brian’s withdrawal, Alymer mocks him and even sings to him as Brian pukes all over the bathroom floor.

Unable to deal with the pain any longer, Brian allows the parasite to join with him again. This won’t work out for Brian or any that get in his way, but you’ll want to stick around for the explosive finale.

I know. I know. You would never watch a movie about a parasite that eats people. You say this as you wait in line to buy your ticket for Venom: Let There Be Carnage.


Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, episode 477, episode 491, and episode 492) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.