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Brain Dead

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"A brilliant puzzle-film with a chillingly good story that offers the same kind of pleasure as THE SIXTH SENSE, which it predated. Riveting intense performances by Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton pull you into a harrowing and haunting world." -- Roger Corman ~~The Eunice Corporation is on the ground floor of an exciting growth industry, utilizing a memory resculpting technique bioneered by eccentric neurosurgeon Rex Martin. It envisions nationwide clinics where anyone can lose their hang-ups of an unhappy childhood, a failed romance, or a botched career. At Eunice's "New You" outlets, a simple operation will give customers peace of mind. Or it might leave them brain dead. But when Martin refuses to cooperate, he soon finds himself plunged into a surreal existence that intertwines dreams and reality. Has Martin slipped over the edge into madness? Or have corporate profit mongers given him a push, making him the guinea pig in his own experiment? To know the answer is to know the terror!~

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bill Pullman, Bill Paxton, Bud Cort, Nicholas Pryor, Patricia Charbonneau
  • Directors: Adam Simon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BRMMLC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,802 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brain Dead" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Duralde on October 2, 2000
Format: DVD
Director Adam Simon once made a fascinating documentary about director Sam Fuller, and BRAIN DEAD can be read as his homage to Fuller's SHOCK CORRIDOR, since much of the plot has to do with who is and isn't insane, and what is and isn't reality.
Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton -- admit it, you've always gotten them confused -- co-star in this low-budget gem that was barely released to theaters, but now gets a decent DVD release. The sound and picture are just fine -- alas, producer Roger Corman takes his trademark cheapness even to DVD: there are no commentaries, no extra features save some bios and a few trailers, and there's not even a booklet inside the case!
In any event, this is a smart and suspenseful little movie, and one you'll enjoy trying to piece together long after it's over.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 14, 2011
Format: DVD
Brain Dead (Adam Simon, 1990)

When Brain Dead is remembered these days, two decades after its original release, it is remembered mostly for being an early Bill Pullman flick, a few years before he would hit the big time. But this first feature from Adam Simon (The American Nightmare; he also wrote the vastly underrated 2009 flick The Haunting in Connecticut) has much, much more to recommend it than simply another obscure star turn from Pullman, who two years before had been part of what made The Serpent and the Rainbow into one of the best horror flicks Hollywood ever produced. It is oddly common that Hollywood will crank out two movies on the same theme at roughly the same time, with one obscuring the other for whatever reason; think of The Lost Boys getting all the press while Near Dark languished in obscurity. In this case, the overarching film was Jacob's Ladder, which was similarly brilliant but much better marketed. Both are well worth your time, but I'm guessing somewhere along the way you actually saw Jacob's Ladder, while this one fell under your radar.

Plot: Rex Martin (Pullman) is a brain surgeon. His pal Jim Reston (Near Dark's Bill Paxton) is a higher-up muckety-muck on the board of a big corporation. One of said corporation's mathematicians, Jack Halsey (Harold and Maude's Bud Cort, in what may be the best screen turn he ever gave), has gone round the bend and is locked in a mental institution. Reston wants Martin to see if there's any way Halsey can be returned to sanity long enough to complete a big equation he was working on for them. Martin hems and haws, and that's when things get sinister: is Reston suddenly now out to get him, at the direction of the mysterious head of the corporation (George Kennedy)?
Read more ›
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Blahblahblah on April 11, 2002
Format: DVD
This movie makes the point that everyone's experience of "reality" is based upon the functioning of the brain. Mess with the brain, and reality changes. Perception of reality can easily be altered through brain injury, electric stimulation, drugs, etc.
For the length of the movie, we experience life through the eyes of a scientist played by Bill Pullman, who may be the victim of insanity, a brain injury, the manipulations of a supernatural figure or an evil corporation, etc. (you cannot be sure which until the end of the movie), and who may or may not have killed his family. Reality is constantly changing for him and no matter how real things may appear to be, it may all turn out to be an illusion at any second. Despite how disorienting this may be, the plot is very coherent and has a sense of continuity to it, and you feel as if the characters are moving towards a goal or some sort of resolution, unlike with many surreal films.
Written by Charles Beaumont, one of the most frequent scripters for the Twilight Zone, this movie is like an extended episode of the show (which often dealt with characters suddenly finding themselves fallen out of normal life and into a disorienting situation). Unfortunately, as interesting as the ride is, the ending (which is merely o.k.) left me feeling cheated. If it were a half-hour show, this would be more bearable, but you expect more after sitting through a feature-length movie.
It is a well-made, well-acted film worth watching at least once, maybe twice, but knowing the ending spoils it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cutter on January 21, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Watch as Pullman and Bud Cort take you on a psychotic romp between insanity and reality...you wont be able to distinguish a difference. I remember I saw it in the theater by myself, and I mean literally , NO ONE ELSE was there! That made it even more memorable and freaky. "Am i a man dreaming he is a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming he is a man?" This picture examines and answers that question...I THINK!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Binky Chottorrhœhia on September 14, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Dammit, let's see Bill Pullman in more, meatier leading roles. This movie hit me out of the blue and I just loved it. It starts out almost too much like a goofy comedy, but there are sinister tones that begin working their way in pretty soon. Pullman is neurologist Dr Rex Martin, who is contacted by his friend Jim (Bill Paxton—I know, I know, Paxton and Pullman in the same movie together, everybody down a body shot) who works for a corporate conglomerate named Eunice, based I'm sure on the organization Beatrice, whose enigmatic ads ending "We're Beatrice" had culture critic Ian Shoales wondering if Beatrice wasn't perhaps some queen and "therefore entitled to use the royal We". Anyway, Jim has this mathematician, Halsey, who was working on a crucial formula. Recently he erased the formula's right side and then went home and murdered his wife and children with an ice pick. Jim thinks his old friend and rival Rex might be able to retrieve the equation, also healing Halsey and earning himself great fame and wealth in the process. The operation turns out to be a success, but there's a problem. Halsey's hallucination, the one of a blood-spattered man in a white coat laughing hysterically? Well after the operation it seems to have migrated into Matin's mind. Oh, and when Martin gets home, he finds his wife is sleeping with Jim. And the laughing man kills them with an ice pick. And when Martin wakes up, nothing feels the same.
Great great head-trip movie. I love Bill Pullman.
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