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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Brain Machine (1972)

In my never ending search for that next forgotten drive-in gem I sit thru a lot of bad movies. Probably more than is good for me. Sadly, The Brain Machine is one of those. So I think that the story is about the government being evil and covering things up. I say I think because this is the kind of movie that sort of has a plot but doesn’t actually seem to care about it. Let me try and explain that.

The movie starts off with a science guy stealing some files and getting away from the government security guards. There is a call made to a general or at least some dude in an airplane that they call the general… I mean costumes are expensive! He flies back and barks out orders to catch the man and find out what he stole. This leads to exciting scenes of planes landing, cars driving, gates swinging open to let the cars into what appears to be a gated community. You know exciting stuff. Almost twenty minutes in and other than someone mentioning the titular machine we haven’t seen a thing about it.

Eventually we are introduced to some science people who talk about subjects for the experiment. The thing they have in common is that not one of them has living relatives. That seems ominous to me. They get the folks in and there is a lot of interviews, which we get to watch… the entire interview… so thrilling. Then they go into a room, a mysterious something starts, and they start to hallucinate. Then there is an electrocution, suicide by hanging, and we find out that the government has been remotely controlling the experiment all along. They murder everyone to keep their crimes quiet and move the machine. But why? I guess they just like to be assholes because no one ever explains what the plan is.

This is a movie that was made with what I can only imagine was zero idea as to the plot. Not once does this cobbled together bore fest ever rise to the level of being watchable much less interesting. Characters drop in and out seemingly at random dropping long stretches of dialogue that do nothing to move the story along or explain what is happening. This sucks because they did have a decent cast including James Best (Dukes of Hazzard, The Killer Shrews) and frequent television actor Gerald McRaney. There were some working actors here that had they been given something to work with might have been okay.

When we aren’t getting long stretches of lame dialogue, we get a lot of scientific “gobbly gook” being spouted at us along with lots of folks starring at screens yelling about what was going wrong on them. I mean we don’t see the screens because that would have cost them money. Just in case I haven’t made myself clear yet this “movie” is mind-numbingly slow and boring. It is responsible for one of the worst eighty minutes of my movie watching life and this is coming from someone who has watched all the Witchcraft and Camp Blood movies! Hell, the government bad guys are just a series of shots of a couple dudes sitting in a closet making phone calls. I’m not kidding there either.

I’m going to say that not only am I not recommending The Brain Machine but I’m begging you to stay away from it. This is the sort of movie that will make you want to move to an isolated cabin in the woods without electricity and never watch a movie again. I know that seems like I’m being funny or overly critical for comedic purposes but I’m not. It’s that bad.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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