The Borrower (1989)

Genres - Horror, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Horror  |   Release Date - Aug 16, 1991 (USA)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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John McNaughton's flawed but interesting follow-up to Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer languished in distribution limbo for years before its brief theatrical run and subsequent video release. It presents a completely different breed of killer: an alien criminal who is exiled to life on Earth in human form. As if that weren't punishment enough, the creature's human guise is susceptible to frequent head-eruptions, creating the constant need for replacement heads. This leads to a grim and violent series of episodes in which the creature pops the tops of various citizens, ranging from a kindly, homeless eccentric (Antonio Fargas) to a lascivious doctor (Tony Amendola)... at one point, he even "borrows" the head of a dog! Following the trail of discarded heads are two cops (Rae Dawn Chong and Don Gordon), who eventually begin to suspect they're not dealing with the M.O. of the average serial killer. A few creative plot twists (particularly at the conclusion), grim atmosphere and generally good performances enliven this one-note material, which nevertheless fails to measure up to the harrowing, character-driven horror of McNaughton's acclaimed debut feature.

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Keywords

alien [not human], beheading, decapitation, head [body part], headless, body-parts, exile, head-injury, investigation, killing-spree, man-vs-aliens, multiple-murder, mystery [unexplained phenomenon], serial-killer, hunting