Atomic Brain Invasion DVD Review
Directed by Richard Griffin
Written by Guy Benoit & Richard Griffin
2010, Region 1 (NTSC), 101 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on October 2nd, 2012
David Lavallee Jr. as Sherman
Sarah Nicklin as Betty
Michael Reed as Lukas
Daniel Lee White as Kevin
Colin Carlton as Jim
Ruth Sullivan as Siobahn
Alexandra Cipolla as Raven
Alexander Lewis as Blondie
Rich Tretheway as O'Brien
Brandon Luis Aponte as Elvis
Atomic Brain Invasion might be the best worst movie you’ll see this year. With that disclaimer, it’s still not very good, although it is endearing as to how intentionally bad it is. Released from a studio called Camp Motion Pictures, you should expect that this isn’t going to be anything more than a D-list extravaganza full of eye-rolling special effects and groan-inducing performances. But hey, that’s OK. Not every movie has to be a serious, brooding endeavor with aspirations to expand your mind or change the world. Sometimes you just need to watch something stupid for a mental douching.
The plot of Atomic Brain Invasion is razor thin. Two groups of aliens, a malevolent race that looks like skinned Beakers from The Muppet Show, and another more humanoid race that dresses like rejects from Logan’s Run, descend on the same small town representing the stereotypical definition of mid-twentieth century Americana. Coincidentally (or not), this also happens to be the exact time and place where a young Elvis is set to play at the local “sock-hop”. The evil, face-ripping, pink-ooze vomiting faction is interested in capturing Elvis because they overheard that he is “the King” of the Earth, get it? The other species just want to see him perform and maybe get an autograph.
Caught in the middle of this epic intergalactic war for Elvis Presley’s brain is a cadre of ‘50s archetypes. The nerd, the greaser, the good girl attracted to both, the raccoon-hat-wearing fat guy, and the commie-fearing Army General must all put aside their petty disagreements and unite in order to stop the oncoming alien onslaught. Or something.
Atomic Brain Invasion would have fared better if it remained black & white throughout the entire run time. The opening and closing segments are in glorious monochrome, which goes a long way in selling the campy premise far better than when in good old technicolor. It’s a shame they opted to abandon it.
This movie is full of contradictions. The performances are equally shaky yet somehow pitch-perfect, the story is routine but comforting, and the special effects are third rate yet inspired. So slip on your Buck Rogers decoder ring, strap on your tinfoil space hat and matching poodle skirt, and turn off your own brain as you settle in this Halloween season to watch Atomic Brain Invasion.
Video and Audio:
The DVD features an unremarkable 1.78:1 video and 2.0 audio presentation.
There is a playful commentary track with many of the cast and crew and trailers for other studio releases.