Thursday, October 24, 2013

SYNAPSE FILMS APPRECIATION WEEK: Brain Damage - If You Play With Your Aylmer, You'll Go Dead!

SYNAPSE FILMS APPRECIATION WEEK CONTINUES!!! Boy do I love John Zacherle. Growing up, my dad used to tell me stories about watching him host horror TV programming when he was a kid. When Horrible Horror was released on VHS, my dad bought it and taught me all about Zacherle from the little he could remember. Even my grandma remembers him. It's most likely because I live in Jersey and his programming was local to Philly. While he goes uncredited for his role as Aylmer in Brain Damage, his voice is one of my favorite things about this picture. Not just because it's goddamn John Zacherle, but because it provides exquisite comic timing and appropriate relief while actually providing a sort of dead pan creep. Aylmer may look like a great big blue cock/brain thingy, but he's got the shit that will make you his new best friend. Synapse Films released this Frank Henenlotter classic in a special edition DVD, limited with 1090/24FPS Hi-Def D5 Premastering. Do you want something so close to Blu-ray that it that you just might not be able to tell the difference? This would be a disc to check out, and there's no more fitting a label to put out a movie called Brain Damage than a company called Synapse.

Synopsis from Synapse Films:

Aylmer’s back and sharper than ever in this newly re-mastered DVD Limited Edition.

A worm-like parasite named Aylmer latches into Brian’s (Rock Herbst) neck and offers to inject his brain with a hallucinogenic fluid, giving him pleasurable psychedelic experiences. But the catch is, to keep the “high”, Brian has to feed Aylmer his favorite food… human brains! Directed by Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case, Frankenhooker), this amazing cult film favorite will have you screaming with laughter as you reach for your barf bag.


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Frank Henenlotter does not fuck around when it comes to taking body horror to an extremely gross place. There's probably a running kill count between David Cronenberg and Henenlotter, and I bet these guys used to get together to discuss who gets to make which messy human story so as not to step on each other's toes. Yes, I love Basket Case. The effects work and story line are original and just freaky. Frankenhooker... genius movie. Sexy and funny and campy and boobie. Brain Damage actually stands out to me as my favorite of his works. The creature creation has 50's and 60's sensibilities with updated high gloss, bright blue twist. Aylmer's benign face hides the tricks you'll have to perform to get what only the wormie junk pusher can provide. Aylmer is the reason to watch Brain Damage. Hell, each Henenlotter pictures demand you love his strange creation; I find Aylmer to be the most likable of all these and at the same time the most dangerous. That's the definition of the best drug pusher, the most successful dealer.

Let's face it, movies that feature blow job junk kills truly have to be admired and feared. Brain Damage does nothing short of offering a truly graphic vision of this type of murder. With creative kills featuring some intense, but entertaining gore, I'm not sure you'll be running for the toilet, but you may want to avoid eating while enjoying. Since Aylmer lives on brains and feeding him is the only way that our protagonist is going to get his fix, you can imagine the type of violence you might expect especially from a master like Henenlotter.

It took twenty years for Synapse Films to come along and give this MPAA-raped feature a truly empowered release. This disc not only features a terrific transfer that butts heads up against Blu-ray level quality on DVD, but it includes several audio options including an isolated music score to help provide different ways to enjoy this cult classic.

Full Feature List Includes:

-NEW! 2003 Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) Transfer in High-Definition - NOTE: We've talked about how bad ass this is

-NEW! Dolby Digital 5.1 Track Remixed for Home Video Environments NOTE: The audio sounds great.

-NEW! Liner Notes NOTE: This limited release is the ultimate fan pack for this release. The liner notes are informative and interesting. 

-NEW! Animated Menus 

-Original Mono Soundtrack Included and an Isolated Music Score

-Audio Commentary from Director Frank Henenlotter and BRAIN DAMAGE Novelist Bob Martin

-Optimal Quality Dual-Layer RSDL Format for Optimal Picture Quality

-Theatrical Trailer

There will always be addicts. Junkies. There will always be people in need of the new high and escaping from the harshness of reality. Everyone needs a little Aylmer sometimes. No one needs an Aylmer at all. Maybe it'd be better to go check out Chiller Theater in Parsippany, NJ this weekend to meet up with the great John Zacherle, host of the event and guest of honor (the man behind the original Chiller Theater program). If you can't make it, just pick up the disc from Synapse Films.


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