Brain Damage

Brain Damage ★★★½

A gleefully amoral bit of scrappy punk absurdism; like a don’t-do-drugs special that changes its mind halfway through and decides that the high really is worth all the pain and destruction. “This is the start of your new life, Brian, a life without worry or pain or loneliness. A life filled instead with colors and music and euphoria.” Both pusher and junkie itself, giving Brian’s brain bursts of pleasure in exchange for using his body to feed on people’s brains, Brian’s newfound friend is less demon on the shoulder than raging id; the fact that he resembles nothing so much as a smooth-talking dildo who seems to favor the brains of well-built men suggests other pleasures Brian’s beginning to thrill to as well (“City of Sodom,” is one of the more pronounced titles on the the demon’s previous owners’ cluttered bookshelves). A climax that hilariously offers the just-say-no message and undoes it in the very same gesture; what looks to the rest of the world like a crash-landing toward oblivion might actually be an ascension to some higher plane of bliss.

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