9 March 2007 | gavin6942
An Amusing Independent Film, To Say the Least
A college professor devises a new formula that makes students violent and leads to them exploding. Also, student Joe Larsen (Matt Shevin) explores his relationship with Jenny Wayne (Timmi Craig) and wonders where it will lead.
I must admit I was skeptical of this film. My screener copy had some photos on the back that didn't look particularly "horrifying" and the name was "Brain Blockers". I'm not one to judge a film by the title, but I think someone might have come up with one a little bit better than this. But the cover did not do the film justice.
The movie starts with a very professional credit sequence (whoever designed this deserves some major credit) and the very catchy "Brain Blockers" theme song, which I found enjoyable. This film has some great music in general, relying on star Crystal Day (who plays the sexy coed Becky) to sing numerous songs. She is amazing -- looks, acting, singing -- and has the potential to go places without a doubt.
The film bills itself as a "horror comedy", which was a good move on the director's part. Much of the humor is really subtle (like a transition to a fat boy in a mullet or a reference to another film from the same people), but the film is also funny because of the low production value. A newspaper office is in an attic, and one fight scene between two girls is great but really makes no sense. If they were taking themselves seriously, these would be strikes against them, but the way the creators approached this tells me they knew full well what they were doing. Take a supposed weakness and make it a strength.
One strength with no weakness is the film's seemingly endless supply of gorgeous women. Diora Baird (who went on to do "Wedding Crashers" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning") appears as Suzi. Crystal Day, as I said, is ravishing. The main actress Timmi Craig is radiant. And many young coeds have cameos throughout the film. (Did I mention Jana Thompson -- billed as the star of "Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood" -- who plays Shannon Braithwaite? Another possible future star.) Edwin Craig ("Batman", "Hellbound: Hellraiser II", "Who Framed Roger Rabbit") was also cast in this film as the mad professor. I have no idea how they secured him, but he was perfect, even down to his creepy mad professor eyebrows. He stole the show.
Alright, so I loved the humor and the acting and the music and the beautiful ladies. And the fights. What didn't I love? The computer effects. A cartoon hamster was a bit cheesy, the explosions were funny but not overly convincing. And a scene where a man dives in front of a gunshot. All the gunshots were quite fake (cartoon smoke doesn't come out of guns, people) and the man diving was silly. Why didn't a real man do the diving? Why not shoot real guns? Why not a real hamster? And while I understand the need to computerize the explosions, the gore effects on the hamster bite told me these guys were no strangers to decent makeup. Also, why did the syringe have nothing in it? I mean, come on, at least put some dyed water in there.
There is also the plastic machete (which is strange in itself, but then also why was it in a cabinet drawer?). And the fact the drug is named "triptophan" -- this was annoying, since tryptophan already exists as the drug in turkey and milk that makes you sleepy. So why not give it a new, distinct name? (Granted, the "triptophan" name made the "tripping on triptophan" line work for the LeMans song and music video for the "Brain Blockers" theme song, but still.) Such simple things I found to get under my skin.
As I said, the film didn't seem to take itself seriously so I was able to ignore the bad effects by chalking them up as part of the "humor". And the overall story is really good, much more original than much of the crap that I see coming out of the theater each month or going straight to DVD. I'd rather watch "Brain Blockers" ten times before I ever see filth like "Blackwater Valley Exorcism", "Satanic" or "Abominable" again. Please guys, keep the effects to a minimum and focus on your strengths (writing, music and women). This is where the future lies for these folks.