Brain Blockers is the story of two sexually-frustrated grad students who find themselves in the midst of a bloodthirsty zombie outbreak after their professor loses his cool and tampers one time too many with his brain altering drugs. Jenny (Timmi Cragg) and Joe (Matt Shevin) have a rocky relationship, complicated further by the chaotic nature of Dr. Newton (Edwin Craig). Just when their relationship stabilizes, even slightly, Newton’s formula takes its hold in several students on campus, leading to a sudden wave of flesh-eating undead.
Just like a well-timed Internet worm, the formula manages to hit all of its victims at once, including a neck biting-lesbian, a manhood-biting whore, and a CGI brick. Now that’s what we in the industry call a blended threat!
Brain Blockers gets some cheap enhancement to its resume’, thanks to the magic of IMDB and the fact that acting credits can be tracked all the way down to “girl in hot pants number six”. Using that technique, its stars can claim roles in Batman and Wedding Crashers.
Cragg, Craig and John Klemantaski do an admirable job of elevating the cast around them. There’s some talent in the other members of the cast, though it’s rough around the edges. For example, Diora Baird has come a long way since her debut in this film, leading to her role as Bailey in last year’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”.
One of the most fun, and funniest, aspects of Brain Blockers is the fact that the mutated amino acid that turns humans into killers is Tryptophan, known to most Americans as the chemical that puts us to sleep after Thanksgiving Day turkey. That doesn’t usually equate to a cranial explosion, regardless of how bad the Dallas Cowboys game happens to be. The combination of sleepy body and psycho zombie come face-to-face when the climactic party results in a fight scene almost slow enough to make it into a Van Damme film.
Brain Blockers takes enough shots at itself and its place in the industry early on, including one character busting on Fangoria magazine, and calling a comparable horror film a “waste of time”. (The clip is from 1993’s “Blood in the Night”, also directed by Lipton Kupchak.
Brain Blockers is directed by Lipton Kupchak, who has one of the most outwardly humorous names in the industry. Say it out loud three times. I had my first chance to direct last year, and benefited from having some absolute stereotypes I was shooting for. Kupchak has the same benefit, with the good girl, the slutty sorority sisters, the jocks and the Clark Kent type leading the list.
It may be an unintentional nod to Cabin Fever, but the youngster James (Dillon Frehener) has a mullet paying homage to little blonde Dennis.
The score could have been done in a guest room with a Casio, and probably was. It was comparable to the hilarity of the later installments of the Sleepaway Camp franchise. Actress Chrystal Day also sang several tunes on the soundtrack, and while her voice is solid, the overall quality of the recording was minimal. Unfortunately, the visual effects are on par with the tinny, over-amped music tracks. The sudden CGI mouse motoring across the lab floor as if a nitrous bottle was strapped to its ass was funny. Watching it explode afterward made bourbon come out of my nose.
The wardrobe folks should be shot. At first, it was typical low-budget dress, but when Ray (Ned Liebl) broke out a jacket clearly pawned by a Century 21 real estate agent, it was time to draw the line.
The DVD includes scene selection, as well as a special features section. The special features include a photo gallery, music video for LeMans’ “Brain Blockers”, and deleted scenes. Several of the deleted scenes provide some great insight, including an aftermath to the main film.
Overall, Brain Blockers was entertaining given its limitations. It is recommended for parties largely targeted at stoner rock fans, or those with a deep love of cheap effects and campy dialogue.
Information on Brain Blockers is available at CustomFlix at http://www.customflix.com/225994.