The cinematic equivalent of spending ninety straight minutes submerged in a dark chasm with nothing but terrible actors and hokey special effects to keep you company, Brain Twisters is mind-blowing in its awfulness. So much so that I knew the film was going to be a fiasco the second the opening credits started to roll. The only positive things I can recall seeing transpire during its torturous running time involved inclement weather (I liked how the rain seemed realistic - most films go way overboard when it comes to rain) and a purposefully undersized peach jacket (which Donna Bostany looked terrific in it). What's even worse is that these two things happen in the same scene (don't worry though, Donna's character is carrying an umbrella, so the jacket was not ruined). Meaning, that I had to savour this peach blazer/real rain moment, because the rest of the film is insanely dreadful. Now, I don't want to brag, but I like to think that I've developed an unique talent for watching crap over the years. It's true, I am somehow able to see beyond a film's obvious flaws and appreciate its unseen riches. However, in this film's case I desperately struggled to the latch onto anything of value.
Repeatedly coming up empty in terms of finding something to nurture at my useless teat, the film is a clumsy disaster from start to finish. Sure, there were unclothed lady extremities, one scrumptious, yet amateurish stabbing sequence, and a couple of deranged facial expressions were implemented, but these things failed to alleviate the sheer boredom I was suffering during this mess. Hell, even the obligatory nightclub scene, which is usually my favourite scene to wallow in when it comes to viewing cinematic garbage, was a chore to sit through. I don't what those people were dancing to exactly, but whatever was, it was some of the worst techno music I have ever heard. And not to sound like a pompous prick, but if I'm slamming your movie's techno, there's got to be some seriously egregious shit going down.
The story (oh, man, do I have to do this?) is basically about a physics professor who does strange experiments on a select group of students during his free time. These experiments involve a lot flickering lights and weird sound effects, and seem pretty harmless. That is, until a couple of students/guinea pigs commit suicide and another one uses a pair of scissors to murder two righteous dudes at a Halloween party. The creepy professor (Terry Londeree) is apparently working for a software company and checks in with them every now and then with the results of tests (kinda like the way Cinnamon J. Scudworth does on Clone High).
The mysterious deaths, however, attract unwanted attention from the local police, specifically a detective named Frank (Joe Lambardo). The professor and detective do the cat and mouse thing, all the while trying to curry the favour of Laurie (Farrah Forke), an attractive student who may or may not have been experimented on. Anyway, the detective tries to woo her by cooking her spaghetti, while the professor uses ice cream and his overall dullness to get her wet places wetter.
There's a big difference between bad acting and wooden acting: Bad acting can be fun to watch; even hilarious if looked at from a pedantic or smart ass perspective. Wooden acting, on the other hand, is no fun at all. In fact, I can't think of anything worse, from a sitting and staring point-of-view, than watching a film that is wall-to-wall woodenness. And boy, are these folks packing some major wood, as Terry Londeree and Joe Lambardo have to be two of the most charisma-challenged actors on the planet. Barely registering in the personality department, these two chuckle-heads literally ooze dreadfulness. The people that surround aren't much better, either. Which, again, is surprising, because I can usually pick out at least one performance that isn't a total failure in any given movie.
That being said, Brain Twisters isn't your average movie. Taking sucking to whole new level of...suck, the film by (I'm sorry but I'm gonna have to mention your name) Jerry Sangiuliano has somehow managed to extract all the joy from not one, but two beloved film genres (horror and science fiction), and has ended up making one of the lamest movies of all-time.
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