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It was only 77 minutes long! How could we resist?

There's a brainiac, brainiac on the loose
and he's suckin' brains 'cause he likes to drink the juice

The Brainiac is an oddly-paced film. Large swathes of it are almost immobile. The opening scene, for instance, is primarily done in dark colors, with nobody moving. The Inquisition is putting the Baron d'Estera on trial. Voice-over narration is followed by dialogue primarily from members of the Inquisition ... who wear black hoods. The only motion in the first few minutes of the movie is when they cut to the Baron, laughing. Of course, they only had one clip of the actor laughing....

These scenes are punctuated with moments of sheer bad brilliance, such as the pope-inspired Clothing of Shame that the Baron wears while being burnt at the stake in the year IGGI (a really horrible font choice for "1661"), or the moment that the comet turns into a big piece of baked alaska and comes in for a landing.

The Inquisition have tried to get a confession out of Baron d'Estera, but he won't talk. His buddy (dressed like Hamlet) speaks up in his behalf, and gets lashes for his audacity. The Baron is burned at the stake, but threatens to return to wreak his vengeance in three hundred years, when ... he looks overhead and sees a transparency in the sky ... that comet returns to earth. His vengenace will be wreaked on all the descendants of the four inquisitors.

We figured this was setting up for a Quentin Tarantino/John Woo bloodbath. After all, the Inquisition was a Catholic thing, and three hundred years could lead to a lot of descendants from four men. Something to make 300 look like Twelve Angry Men.

But, no. When the comet returns, there are only apparently six to eight (we were never really sure) descendants of the inquisitors. The Baron returns in the clever guise of a shapeshifting mosquito-themed space alien, and he kills his victims by sucking their brains out through two holes in the back of their neck. The holes are approximately Peso-sized, which becomes humorously relevant later in the movie, when we see that somehow all the victim's brains are fully-intact, and kept in a goblet, from which the Baron eats daintily with a long spoon. But I digress.

The Baron starts killing folks, and gets all the way down to our astronomer boyfriend-girlfriend pair (who saw the comet but missed its transformation to giant dessert barge). She's descended from an inquisitor, but he's descended from Hamlet (the Baron's old buddy). This buys just enough time during the climactic brain-sucking-attempt sequence for the bungling cops to show up with flamethrowers and kill the Baron. The End.


I think my favorite part of the watching was when the police are off camera somewheres and the Baron is stalking the astronomer duo and we were all, "Uh, they've only got one minute forty-seven seconds to wrap this up how are they going to...oh. Flamethrowers. That's...well final I guess."
If Jabba the Hutt had traveled in a giant dessert barge, as opposed to a giant desert barge, the Force would have been with him. Totally.

That image will haunt my nightmares.
Oops, I tried to cut and paste this sentence:

"from which the Baron eats daintily with a long spoon"

THAT image will haunt my nightmares.

Lessons Learned

Remember kids, if you're going to be a wealthy, swingin' Latino bachelor with a noble title and a mysterious past who is into astronomy, philosophy, partying and free love, the 1960's are a much better fit than the 1660's. In the 1960's you can become a popular pillar of the community, go to all the good parties and get invited to weddings on a whim. In the 1660's you get tortured and burnt at the stake by the Inquisition. There's nothing more embarrassing than having to flee the country by hitching a ride on a passing comet and then sneak back disguised as a baked Alaska.
You guys should watch Da Hip Hop Witch. You'll either thank me, or hate me. It's awful.
I must say, I feel privileged and quite lucky that the two Smithee films we've viewed have been sprightly in their stupidity AND resulted in a number of potential nominee clips.