Blackmailed by the country that gave him shelter, a kind-hearted young doctor is forced to assist in dehumanizing dementia experiments.
As I read the new short Brain, I was reminded of one of my favorite films – The Elephant Man. Both can arguably be labeled monster movies.
But yet they are much, much more.
While each features a hideously deformed creature as their main character, the true story lies beneath the skin; far inside the core of the body… ultimately, within the human soul.
Brain opens, as most classic monster movies do, in an old mansion. One which includes a laboratory. And a mad scientist. Last on the checklist? A human experiment named, appropriately, Adam. Held captive by the evil Dr. Cornelius, Adam has suffered countless surgeries in the name of science – questionable efforts which have left his face an unrecognizable, bloody pulp. Although visually Adam is an appalling beast, there remains a man beneath the disfigurement – one longing to regain his humanity and dignity.
But Adam is not Cornelius’ only victim. Tahir – a brilliant surgeon himself – is also being held captive, forced to perform the gruesome surgeries on Adam in hopes of one day regaining his freedom. Over time, Tahir and Adam form a special bond. It’s a friendship between doctor and patient: two prisoners awaiting the perfect moment to escape.
One early Spring morning, Tahir notices the snow is melting. He shares this information with Adam. They sit together in their cells, realizing the time to act is near.
Which is when Cornelius summons Tahir to his office, ordering the hapless surgeon to perform experimental brain surgery on Adam in the morning. As Tahir watches a film of the procedure, he realizes his friend may not survive. It’s a four mile trek through the woods to the next village – but Tahir realizes: the time to escape has come.
Written by Alex Brauck, Brain is a classic throwback to monster movies like Frankenstein, The Wolfman, and – of course – The Elephant Man. What it can become cinematically is precious: an opportunity to see past the horrific outward appearance of the monsters, into their human souls.. and find that priceless fragment of ourselves.
Budget: Moderate. There will be some makeup effects needed. Along with a laboratory set and some brain paraphernalia. Which is more than worth the effort.
About the Author, Alex Brauck: Here in Germany, I currently pitch feature plays to my home markets. Some pretty successful producers recently showed interest, so I hope to make the next steps in the near future. Moreover, there’s a SF project in English I work on for two years now, called “Last Society”. Also, I plan a rewrite of my series pilot “The Killing Lottery” in 2016. As in “Brain“, my scripts tend to have a socio-critical angle. I hope you enjoy that feature. Last but not least I like to thank Jeff Bush and others who helped to improve this script considerably. To reach out to Alex, please email him at Xander-Brauck “AT” t-online.de!
About the Guest Reviewer: David M Troop resumed writing in 2011 after a twenty-five year hiatus. Since then, he has written about 50 short scripts, two of which have been produced. Dave would like to make it three. He is a regular, award-winning contributor to MoviePoet.com. Born on the mean streets of Reading, PA, Dave now resides in Schuylkill Haven with his wife Jodi and their two lazy dogs Max and Mattie. He can be reached at dtroop506 “AT” gmail.com.
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