Monday, February 16, 2015

Brain Twisters - 1991

Aaaaand thus we come to the last but not least blah de de blah movie of the Gorehouse Greats.  This movie ranks right up there with the "Lawnmower Man" / "Time Chasers" feel of the very inane "computer technology" thrillers that were coming out in the early 90's.

It is such a small sub-genre.  You had some hits like Sandra Bullock's "The Net", you had some movies like Keanu Reeves in "Johnny Mnemonic" that have since become well known semi cult classics.  And then you had a lot of throw away junk in between.  I put it to the natural fear that people had of the unknown, and I think some people truly thought computers were going to "take over" and be able to do just about anything.  Certainly computers have made a huge impact on the world, hell they even have "taken over" but not in the way that these movies stipulated.

Brain Twisters is about a teacher at a university or community college or somewhere, just your average brilliant scientist, Dr. Phillip Rothman.  It seems some of his students have developed a cycle of killing other people and then committing suicide.  That's no good.  We follow police detective stud Frank Turi as he wears polo shirts and hits on college girls, all the while investigating Rothman who seems to know more than he is letting on.  You see, he is running bizarre mind experiments on students, using computers (duh duh duuuuuuuh), and he is altering the way they think.  And, he is working with some unknown organization of men, men with their own agenda...

Well, it's not gory first of all.  There is some blood, sure.  Just like there is one "f" word said.  That aside this could've been put on TV.  I wonder if it was.  It feels very made-for-TV.  No nudity of course.  Just very average, middle of the road, quasi-techno-thriller.

It's entertaining enough, the music is cool, the characters are believable and acted well enough.  The only weak link might be Rothman, who mutters all of his lines and always looks slightly distracted.  But that kind of works to the advantage of this movie since we are supposed to dislike him.  It didn't go for the comedy, and it didn't go for the R rating, so it leaves very little to keep one interested.  That said, it still does well enough, and I was wondering how the thing would end.

It's the newest film on the Gorehouse, and it does make for an interesting study - to see what these older B movies were like and then to watch one from about 12-15 years later.  Things definitely changed in the movie world.  This movie feels a lot more intentional than any other movie on the set, more like they were aware of their audience, their audiences expectations, and what they could get away with.

It's interesting though, because this movie must have been low budget, the director and the stars haven't done too much else, but it doesn't feel low budget and strained.  In fact, I'd say that dumb computer effects aside, this movie was actually pretty neat.  It's biggest flaw is that it's mostly unremarkable, but other movies that have been successful launching pads for directors and actors have had way bigger flaws than that.

This does mark the end of the Gorehouse as I said, so please see my next post for links to all reviews, in order.

I'll give this one 2 out of 5 stars.  Like I said, it's nothing you'll need to see more than once.  it does it's job, but it's nothing special.

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