FRIDAY NIGHT FRIGHTS: Brain Dead (1990, director Adam Simon in person!)

Long before the Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney paradox, many casual filmgoers had trouble keeping the careers of Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman straight. It was a simpler time. And the two Bills seemed spiritually connected by this confused association. Yet, shockingly, in their long and storied careers as characters actors and leading men, Paxton and Pullman have only appeared in one film together — not unlike the lone white whale film that Gene Hackman and Michael Caine appeared in together. Fittingly, the Paxton-Pullman Link is 1990′s twisty-turning, mind-bending, dark puzzle Brain Dead. Written and directed by Adam Simon (creator of TV’s Salem), the film stars Pullman as Dr. Rex Martin, a gifted neurosurgeon who is approached by his old high school friend Jim Reston (Paxton) to operate on a schizophrenic mathematician named Halsey (Harold and Maude’s Bud Cort), who has information lost in his brain that Reston’s company needs. Soon after the surgery, Martin’s life and mind start to unravel. Is he becoming Halsey? Was he always Halsey? Funny, head-scratching and unpredictable, Brain Dead is an ambitious small independent horror film and a lost gem begging to be rediscovered.

Dir. Adam Simon, 1990, 35mm, 85 min.

Watch the trailer for “Brain Dead”!
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