1993 / Director. Albert Pyun. Movie #15
I often refer to my childhood being spent in the local video store and my obsession with looking at all of the covers. BRAIN SMASHER didn't have the most appealing cover art but something about it always struck a chord with me. In the early to mid 90s I was obsessed with fight movies and some of the bad martial art promotional images sucked me in. The added bonus with BRAIN SMASHER was that it was actually a good movie. I have never been a fan of Andrew Dice Clay and his involvement in a film is usually a turn off... for this movie I grant him the exception. This is really fun stuff and once again showcases what a wonderful action-director Albert Pyun is. It tells the story of a super model who has been roped into smuggling a rare flower from Europe to America by her botanist sister. On her tail is a crew of deadly Shaolin monks who's leader needs the flower to grant him supernatural powers. She meets a burly night club bouncer who also finds himself being chased by these "ninjas". There's nothing exceptional about the story, in fact it's incredibly derivative. It's more or less a knock-off of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA - but that doesn't matter. The movie is riddled with humour, elaborate fight sequences and never takes itself seriously. The visual style is great with effective use of creative camera angles and Albert's trademark lighting design. The film begins with an odd introduction by Andrew Dice Clay giving you the rundown on what you're about to see. It's a stupid pre-credit sequence and completely unnecessary. It feels like it was added to the movie in post production and I can't figure out why. If BRAIN SMASHER receives a directors cut then I hope Albert removes this misjudged moment. Everything else about the movie works well. Teri Hatcher is actually bearable (she's another one I'm not fussed on) and there's even a brief appearance by Lyn Shaye ('bout 5 seconds max. WTF?) Why on Earth Albert Pyun cops a bad wrap is beyond me. I can only assume that people don't approach his movies with the right frame of mind. BRAIN SMASHER: A LOVE STORY is fantastic fun.