Magdalena's Brain DVD Review
Written by Neon Maniac
DVD released by Heretic Films
Directed by Warren Amerman and Marty Langford
Written by Warren Amerman
2006, Region 1 (NTSC), 75 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on July 25th, 2006
Magdalena and her husband Arthur were once brilliant scientists. Then, one day, strategy struck. Arthur became a crippled, paralyzed shell of his former self. Now living in an abandoned warehouse, Magdalena searches for a way to transmit Arthur's fantastic brain into a new body, while Arthur mainly sits around in a chair and talks to her via some kind of vague computer link. When a scientist friend from the past shows up, and a hunky squatter moves into the warehouse, Magdalena's work starts to take off. She's got a lab assistant and body now, but will everything go as planned?
Magdalena's Brain is a well made film, part science fiction, part thriller/horror. While this is a low budget feature, director Amerman did a great job focusing on what he could do, not trying to pull off what he wanted to do. By not making the common mistake of overstepping his resources, Amerman made a film with realistic settings and characters. While the movie explores a topic that is fantastic, it all comes off as being very believable.
However, Magdalena's Brain also a very boring film. Clocking in at a lean 75 minutes, Magdalena seems to go on much longer. The main problem here, is with the script. Aside from a few key scenes, the plot is moved entirely along by dialogue. This can work in some films, but not in a film like Magdalena's Brain. It probably did not help that one of the main characters is entirely paralyzed; but the rest of the characters still sit around talking about everything, instead of actually moving around and doing things. Again, this can work in some films, but the dialogue here is neither witty nor interesting, so it comes off as a giant snoozer.
If you are in the mood for a brain movie, your time is better spent watching They Saved Hitler's Brain, The Brain That Wouldn't Die, The Brain Eaters, The Brain Machine, or even the wacky Steve Martin comedy, The Man with Two Brains. Anything but this one. Leave Magdalena alone with her brain, and spend your evening entertaining your own brain with something better.
Magdalena's Brain comes with a load of Special Features. Along with trailer for other Heretic titles, you get a commentary with Amerman and Langford, deleted scenes, a gag reel, a behind the scenes documentary, and music videos. I think it's great that the filmmakers included all of this, but unless you really liked the film, you're not going to be very interested in watching any of these.
(Neon's Movie Lounge contains a Zenith 42" Plasma EDTV, Oppo DV971H DVD player using a DVI connection, Pioneer 815 7.1 receiver and JBL Northridge E Series speakers.)