director of NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, Kevin S. Tenney, takes us back to
classic horror with his new film BRAIN DEAD. Set, as so many such
films are, in a small cabin in the woods, the movie starts off
quickly with the arrival of an alien organism by way of a meteor.
The organism gets into people's brains and turns them into murderous
brain hungry zombies who either kill outright or infect everyone
they come into contact with.
This is unfortunate for the six people who through various twists of
fate, end up at the before mentioned cabin. Two are escaped
convicts, mad dog killer Bob Jules (David Crane) and the vehicular
offender smart ass who is handcuffed to him Clarence Singer (Joshua
Benton). They take lost hikers Sherry (Sarah
Grant Brendecke) and Claudia Bush (Michelle
Tomlinson) hostage along with a stranded
minister, Reverend Farnsworth (Andy Forrest) and his assistant Amy
(Cristina Tiberia). Just about the time the gang is all here, the
space organism zombies attack. Now the group must work together if
they are going to survive.
Tenney and writer Dale Gelineau take a stock situation and bring in
a fresh and entertaining feel. The anti-buddy nature of Clarence and
Bob brings a good dose of humor into the film as the slow witted but
lethal Bob plays straight man to Clarence’s quick wit. The other
characters, though generally speaking stock characters, all have
unique points to them and even surprisingly go against many of the
clichés expected of them.
Tenney also had an eye for the special effects in the film. Not
relying on CGI for the bulk of his effects, but rather going with
some really well done conventional effects that add to the film’s
appeal. This is not to say that the film does not have CGI, but it
is used in other places. One of those places is the opening credits
where they are combined with a rock soundtrack to create an
impressive credit sequence that looks and sounds like something from
a much more expensively made film.
Tenney also wanted to do something new and shocking
with his conventional effects. Often commenting on how fans of NIGHT
OF THE DEMONS remember the scene with Linnea Quigly and the
lipstick, Tenney set out to do that scene one better. I will not say
what he does, but I can safely say he out did himself this time.
Entertaining and fun to watch, BRAIN DEAD is a treat for horror fans
to watch! The film mixes a number of standard elements to bring
about an original story, which in a world of remakes and sequels is
a rare thing. While you watch the film also look for Jim Wynorski (a
master B-Movie writer/director) who makes a rare acting appearance
as the sheriff with a grudge against Clarence. So check out Kevin
Tenney’s BRAIN DEAD as the tagline says “a mind is a terrible thing