MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3 1/2

As a young boy, Michael Brower (Edward Furlong) was seriously injured in a car accident and his mother was killed. Now he's a teenager, and his fascination with death makes him an outcast, except to his headbanger friend Kyle (Jamie Marsh). Michael spends his free time playing interactive games on his computer and filming video of Kimberly (Amy Hargreaves), the girl next door undressing in her bedroom. Michael purchases a new virtual reality game called BrainScan which is supposed to be the most frightening, realistic game yet. The game allows the player to feel like he is participating in a murder through the eyes of the killer. Michael wakes up the next morning to discover he actually murdered someone. He wants to quit playing, but from out of the TV set comes the "Trickster" (T. Ryder Smith), the grotesque Master of the Game. The Trickster reminds Michael that Kyle witnessed the murder. By this time police Detective Hayden (Frank Langella) is hot on the trail of the killer. Not to worry, it's all part of the computer game, none of it really happened! BRAINSCAN begins with an interesting premise, then fizzles out as it becomes shallow and predictable, settling for the cheap laugh and gross-out.

Only fans of slash and gore will find BRAINSCAN entertaining. What's really disturbing is that the intended audience is too young to see this film by MPAA standards. Greedy producers know that theater owners, despite their MPAA pledge to the contrary, are going to admit unaccompanied young people. They also know that some parents will take their kids to a film like this, which is a form of child abuse. BRAINSCAN contains one violent killing with dismemberment, and several other less graphic killings. There are two glimpses of female breast nudity, as Michael videotapes Kimberly undressing. The film has the attitude that, since it's all "a dream," in a sense, it wasn't real. By then, however, the damage is done. Lots of obscenities round out this painful execution of a promising premise. Stay away from BRAINSCAN.

Preview Reviewer: Pete Zimowski
Triumph Releasing, 10202 W/. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (12) times - Mild 6; Moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (18) times (f-word 4, s-word 9, other 5)

Profanity: Many (10) times - Regular 5; Exclamatory 5

Violence: Many - Moderate and Severe (dismemberment; man struck in shoulder with an axe; graphic bloody stabbing murder; the Trickster breaks his own fingers, and twice his eyes are poked out; two shootings; teacher killed when pile of bricks fall on him; scissor stabbing)

Sex: None

Nudity: Two brief glimpses of female breast nudity

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Michael and Kimberly are shown in bed kissing (no nudity)

Drugs: None

Other: Michael's teacher portrayed as stereotypical repressed adult.

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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