The Brain Machine (1977)

aka Grey Matter
Article 2378 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-29-2007
Posting Date: 2-15-2008
Directed by Joy N. Houck Jr.
Featuring James Best, Barbara Burgess, Gil Peterson

Four volunteers are involved in a scientific experiment designed to explore the problems of overpopulation and pollution. However, unbeknownst to all, the experiment is being used as a front by secret government agency experimenting with mind-reading.

I figure that we’re all entitled to like certain movies that the rest of the world has no use for. And with a 3.3 rating on IMDB, it’s apparent that this movie doesn’t have much love coming its way. Nevertheless, I found myself entranced by this one. In some ways, it comes down to how you respond to the confused story; where I’m sure other people find annoying muddle, I found alluring mystery. I found myself caught up in the characters who volunteered for the experiment, especially James Best’s troubled reverend. I also found some of the philosophical questions about truth and mortality to be rather interesting. Still, I do agree that in the final analysis, the movie doesn’t make much sense, and I also found it rather hard to keep track of the characters not directly involved in the lab experiment. Nevertheless, I found it fascinating enough that I’d be willing to give it another viewing to try to sort things out, though I do understand why others wouldn’t bother with it. The cast also features Gerald McRaney as one of the other experimental subjects.



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