on 17 May 2009
I love this movie too. I remember at first watching "Brainscan" in Italian (with a different title) during the summer of '97. Susequently it took me 11 long years to find it in English. The movie is a "B movie" may not be a blockbuster but definetly worthwhile watching. Among the main characters that include Edward Furlong who plays a sterotypical American teenager who's in to heavy metal and horror movies.
He discovers this new video game named "Brainscan" who he get's sucked in to and "virtually" turns his life upside down. Watch out for "Trickster" (played by T. Ryder Smith) who's plays this cool and canny demonic character who is eloquent to watch and listen to, he's such a character.
I strongly reccomend this movie to anyone who is not in to horror and enjoys black comedies.
Oh, man, I love this movie. It's not perfect, but it takes such a fresh and juicy approach to horror that I can only wonder why more horror fans haven't feasted of the virtual flesh that is Brainscan. Sure, the climax of the film is predictable, and the plot requires the mega-indulgence of your imagination, and the final, final twist is something of a letdown (of little importance), but this film has pizzazz and originality, a heavy rocking soundtrack, and a genuine element of creepiness that flowed through my veins like liquid nirvana.
Edward Furlong of T2 fame plays Michael Bower, a rather solitary computer nerd of a teenager who lives in a world of horror films, computer games, and rock music; like many a horror fanatic, he is always on the lookout for the ultimate horror experience (although, as typically happens, he's afraid to make a move on the girl next door whom he secretly pines for). He sounds a lot like me, actually, but this kid has an awesome computer system (especially for 1994) which includes a virtual assistant named Igor. When his best (and only) bud tells him about this new interactive game called Brainscan (dude, it's advertised in Fangoria), he calls up the number and soon finds himself engaged in an experience he was not prepared for. The first disk promises him a realistic experience of killing from the viewpoint of the killer himself. Don't get hung up on the details because he basically just sits there and the game sends out some kind of special hypnotic waves toward his brain or something. Anyway, he's pretty stoked about the experience until he learns that a local man was actually murdered in an identical fashion - it was supposed to be just a computer game. Naturally, he starts to freak out a little bit, but the friendly Brainscan mastermind is there to help him. Trickster (T. Ryder Smith) even keeps popping into his room in some kind of magically electronic fashion to guide (more like compel, actually) him through the other three game disks - he has to take care of witnesses, you see. Meanwhile, the law is circling in on him, he doesn't know what's real and what's not, and he's basically forced to keep playing the game. We all know who the last victim will be, of course, but we have to wait and see whether he can go through with the final kill. The ultimate conclusion comes as no surprise because there is really only one way to end a film such as this, but it was pulled off fairly well, throwing in a couple of elements that seemed a little left of center.
This was not some high-budget theatrical production, and that's fine - in fact, more money would probably have ruined this film. The acting isn't the best in the world, although Furlong improves as he goes along, Amy Hargreaves has that cute girl next door thing working to perfection, and T. Ryder Smith is an absolute joy to watch in the role of Trickster. Some mysteries are left a little murky, such as those about a trauma in Michael's past, and much of the secrets of the game play itself are basically just ignored, but there's no need to overanalyze this gloriously over-the-top film. I was a little annoyed at first by the darkness of the film print, but I soon concluded that this was a good thing; Brainscan really should be watched in the dark. Just sit back, give yourself over completely to the film, and reap the rewards of this ingeniously different kind of horror/science fiction/suspense classic.
Finally, I have to throw out some kudos to the makers of this film for including Zak the dog in the credits; Zak had a significant albeit supporting role in the film, but this canine earned his money and certainly deserved credit for his work.
on 4 December 2011
Michael Bower is a teenager who is into heavy metal and horror movies, one day his one and only friend Kyle phones him to tell him about a game advertised in Fangoria called Brainscan. During the phone call we discover that Michael likes to spy on his neighbour, an attractive girl called Kimberly who goes to his school. Kyle has been nagging him to ask her out, but he seems to be very nervous about it. Michael is all alone in his large house, as it's shown through a flashback very early on that his mother died in a car crash in which he was injured, and his father seems to work away from home a lot. Michael calls to ask about the game, wondering how it differs from any other game he's played. His body suddenly starts convulsing as if over taken by another force, he tries to phone back but the number no longer seems to exist.
A few days later, the first Brainscan disc arrives, and Michael is told that the game works by hypnotizing him so he can watch a murder through the eyes of a killer. Michael is then transported into the mind of a killer, the killer breaks into a house and discovers a man sleeping in his bed. He stabs the man in the back, and then severs the man's foot. Michael wakes up in his room and is amazed by how brilliant it was. The day after, he tells Kyle all about it, and Kyle seems eager to lend the game but Michael wants to play on it a few more times first. He goes over to talk to Kimberly, while he's waiting to talk to her, a news report comes on the tv talking about a murder that's happened in the neighbourhood where a man had his foot cut off. Michael feels sick and rushes home where he finds the foot in his fridge. It is then that a demonic character who goes by the name of Trickster appears in his room, telling him that he killed the man and now he has to play the next disc. The Trickster is there to coerce Michael to keep playing the game and eliminate the witnesses to the crime, all the while a detective is investigating the crime and the net is closing in on Michael.
Ed Furlong was pretty decent as Michael, he found success with his debut performance in Terminator 2 and quickly followed that by starring in the decent Pet Sematary 2. No one will ever accuse him of being a great actor but he used to get pretty decent roles, American History X and Animal Factory followed a few years after. Drink and drugs have pretty much decimated his career and he now appears in low budget garbage. Frank Langella is fine as Detective Hayden, he's an excellent actor and even though he doesn't push himself in the role he still adds some weight to the movie. Amy Hargreaves is very pretty and played her role well as did James Marsh as Kyle, but the star of the show is T.Ryder Smith as Trickster. His performance is over the top and he lights up the screen everytime he appears. It's similar to Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice, he's not in it that much but he's the one you'll remember from it.
Directed by John Flynn who passed away in 2007, he was probably best remembered for the movie Lock Up with Sylvester Stallone. He did a good job on Brainscan, the pace is fast and it really has that 80's feel to it despite the fact it was made in 1994. There's a very quick glimpse of boob, and the effects are pretty good. The make up on Trickster is done well, and the first murder is reasonably gruesome with quite a bit of blood. The music is great, it has a mostly heavy metal soundtrack and a good Primus song played by Trickster. Most films of this type that includes virtual reality are usually awful, this is definitely one of the better ones. Strong performances, a good story and a whole lot of crazy fun. The disc is a barebones release, it doesn't even have subtitles, but it's the film that's important. Any fan of 80's campy horror's should find a lot to enjoy in Brainscan, and the Trickster is an absolute joy to watch. It has a twist ending that you expect and it works, it then has another twist that is daft and doesn't work, but it's fun. Michael and Kimberly find out that they have been spying on each other, but they both seem fine about it. Weird, but again it fits the film and made it even more fun.
on 7 August 2013
Judging by it's previous 7 reviews, Brainscan is not that well known a film and given the fact that it is almost 20 years old that won't change. Starring Edward Furlong who will always be linked to his role in Terminator 2. Furlong plays a typical teenager, into his horror and rock music who buys a computer game from Fangoria magazine. The game is supposed to blow your mind, but Furlong who has seen everything remains skeptical. That is until the game delivers on all levels. Subconcisely the game makes Furlong commit murders, even though he believes it is part of the game. However it is not.
So that is the basis of the plot. To be fair not much else happens in the film, however it is quick moving and you're never sitting there thinking this is boring. It's a good film, if not spectacular. It's also a treat to see Frank Languilla as the monster host who features on the cover of the dvd.
A special mention should also go to the superb soundtrack. It's haunting and very beautiful. Well worth doing a bit more research and obtaining it on a soundtrack.
on 2 June 2012
Brainscan is an average film.
No shocking scenes
Edward furlong plays a rich 16 year old boy with a gammy leg raised by his father
The actress Amy hargreaves gives a good performance
The film was made during the Nirvana grunge years.,
If anyone enjoyed grunge clothing then you might enjoy this film.
Maybe avoid this film If anyone didn't enjoy the early 1990's dress sense and slightly smaltzy drama
Average film. Nothing special.
I wouldn't watch it again
on 8 January 2009
The movie is cool, more of a "B" movie but well done, the characters are well interpreted. Watch out for Trickster, he is a charsmatic, canny character always fascinating to watch. I definetly reccomend watching it.
on 18 September 2015
Brainscan. R1 U.S DVD. R-rated 1994.
The picture quality's very nice, widescreen 1.85:1.
Teen plays a new video game, does video game control teen?.
Ace mid nineties sci-fi? horror where technology apparently causes
Furlong to commit murder. Exciting, fun and bloody(ish). The U.K
release was cut, U.S uncut, there's even a bit of Argento style in
here. Extras:zero. Run time:1hr 35min 57sec.
Could be a PS4 exclusive, i'd buy it!
on 30 September 2015
Brainscan is a Very dated Sci-fi horror that You get the impression the Producers hoped might become a Franchise.The whole thing is spoiled by Edward Furlong,who simply cannot act and the Story begins to Drag.I never made it to the end.
on 14 February 2014
A lonely teenage horror-movie fan discovers a mysterious computer game that uses hypnosis to custom-tailor the game into the most terrifying experience imaginable.
When he emerges from the hypnotic trance he is horrified to find evidence that the brutal murder depicted in the game actually happened -- and he's the killer....
This was one of those films that was tailor made for the child actor, coming on strong from his recent turn in Terminator 2, and the film as a whole disappoints in droves.
20 years ago, I doubt this would have been state of the art stuff, with all the video games (on CD, wow) and the one horrible use of CGI, the film does no favours for anyone involved, and should have been forgotten about, much like the Sega Saturn.
Furlong looks bored throughout,and instead of being psychotic and crazy, the Trickster ends up just a little bit too snobby and boring.
Langella pops up for some gravitas, and really the end product just paved a way for the equally terrible fear dot com, and untraceable.
Which all three of these films should be.
on 21 January 2014
good quality and played well with no problems. i had no issues of any kind when i used this product