review for Brain Dead on AllMovie

Brain Dead (1989)
by Jason Buchanan review

A clever and frightful little chiller that was unfairly ignored upon release in 1990, director Adam Simon's Brain Dead offers an enticingly complex foray into the human brain highlighted by a surreal sense of reality distortion. Scripted by frequent Twilight Zone scribe Charles Beaumont, the story somewhat resembles the darker entries of the classic fantasy series, albeit with a decidedly more gruesome slant. Bill Pullman offers a solid early performance as a brain researcher who is slowly drawn into a patient's psychosis after picking at the request of a slick corporate administrator (Bill Paxton) who hopes the probing will reveal valuable information, and as the troubled patient, Bud Cort (of Harold and Maude fame) offers a memorably giddy schizophrenic. Instead, the doctor finds himself drawn ever deeper into a puzzling world in which reality and fantasy clash in a seemingly unending cycle of psychotic confusion. Sporting a deliciously warped sense of humor that perfectly compliments the film's nightmarish tone, the film may not be entirely gratifying to impatient viewers who tire of its trippy sensibilities, but for those willing to let logic go, it's an interesting journey.