Thursday, January 22, 2015

Only now does it occur to me... BRAIN DEAD

Only now does it occur to me... that these two titans of cinema– those battling Bills, the two Williams most likely to be mixed up by children– actually starred in a movie together.  Yep, I'm talkin' Pullman and Paxton, and the movie at hand is 1990's BRAIN DEAD.
Everything seems to be in order, you got yer Pullman right here...

...and got yer Paxton right there.

BRAIN DEAD is a mediocre sci-fi mind-bender written by classic TWILIGHT ZONE contributor Charles Beaumont.  As far as paranoid medical horror flicks of the period go, it just doesn't have the manic energy of a RE-ANIMATOR or the sheer terror of a JACOB'S LADDER or the artful weirdness of a DEAD RINGERS or even the likability of a bottom-tier X-FILES episode.  It's not bad, per sé, but perhaps it would have been better suited to the length of a TWILIGHT ZONE.

The only other time the two Bills would be credited together (thus far) was on a little-seen dramedy from 2007 called THE GOOD LIFE, where Paxton starred and executive-produced and Pullman had a special thanks.

And for those keeping score at home, it is Pullman who receives top "Billing."  (I wish I could take credit for that– a friend coined the phrase.)
Pullman: unsatisfied with top Bill-ing.


Mike Bradley said...

Whoa! I've been stalling with this on my Netflix list forever, but somehow I missed that Paxton was involved -- gotta make it a priority now! By the way, Paxton was tremendous (as always) in the recent Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle "Nightcrawler." Can't recommend it highly enough!

J.D. Lafrance said...

Wow, this is cause for some kind of cinematic celebration with these two awesome character actors in one film. Shame they didn't have better material to work with.

Nice still of Paxton, btw. I love his bugged out look - esp. when he whips out in NEAR DARK.

Sean Gill said...

Mike B,

I wouldn't call this a total disappointment, but I wouldn't make it a top priority either. Also, I did see NIGHTCRAWLER and absolutely loved it. It's one of my top 5 of the year (up there with THE UNKNOWN KNOWN, MAPS TO THE STARS, BOYHOOD, and INHERENT VICE) and Paxton is tremendous in it!

I know– since clearly they've maintained some kind of relationship (with the Pullman special thanks on the Paxton-produced project from '07), they should collaborate again on some ridiculous genre project. And bug-eyed Paxton ("Finger-lickin' good!") in NEAR DARK is probably one of the great cinematic joys of the era.