Brainstorm (1983 film)

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Brainstorm (1983), AKA Project: Brainstorm, The Gordon Forbes Tapes


"The door to the ultimate experience of the mind is open!" Researchers develop a system where they can jump into people's minds. But when people involved bring their personal problems into the equation, it becomes dangerous - perhaps deadly.


One of the bizarre dream sequences from Brainstorm (1983 film)...
  • Release Date: 1983
  • Country/Language: USA, English
  • Genres/Technical: Sci-fi, Horror, Thriller
  • Setting: Modern, Dreamlands
  • Runtime: 1 hr 46 min
  • Starring: Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher
  • Director: Douglas Trumbull
  • Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin (story), Robert Stitzel (screenplay)
  • Producer/Production Co: JF Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), SLM Entertainment
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • TVTropes: (link)
  • Wikipedia: (link)
  • IMDB Page: (link)


MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: PG (equivalent to a modern PG-13 for mild Violence, Profanity, Nudity, Adult Content)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

The basic idea could perhaps serve as the basic concept for a Dreamlands scenario; see "Ex Oblivione (fiction)" by H.P. Lovecraft....

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.


Review Links:

  • (review needed)

Synopsis (SPOILERS)

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

Researchers develop a system where they can jump into people's minds. But when people involved bring their personal problems into the equation, it becomes dangerous - perhaps deadly. Ultimately, defense/espionage funding for the project will depend on testing applications involving the extraction of memories from a subject, perhaps after death.


Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • The troubled production on this movie effectively ended director Douglas Trumbull's career in feature films: actress Natalie Wood died before her scenes were completed, forcing Trumbull to improvise around stand-ins while under pressure from the studio to abandon the film so they could collect insurance from it; Trumbull's refusal, along with all the other problems experienced during the making of this movie, including financial problems for the studio, failure of some novel filming technologies and lack of studio, investor, and public confidence in the film, ruined his support from studios, forcing him to retire from directing, and take up work in capacities in film technology, such as work in IMAX.
  • The movie was originally planned to introduce an experimental advanced film technology developed by Trumbull, which would have made the dream/memory/point-of-view playback appear more "realistic" than standard film technology of the era: "In movies people often do flashbacks and point-of-view shots as a gauzy, mysterious, distant kind of image," Trumbull recalled, "And I wanted to do just the opposite, which was to make the material of the mind even more real and high-impact than 'reality'." The plan fell apart when it became clear that the film did not carry enough financial weight to upgrade movie theaters to handle the new technology, and the special film process was largely abandoned. Still, if you looked carefully in theaters you could see that the "taped" scenes were just a bit wider on the screen and had more deeply saturated colors; the effect was subtle but enough to make those scenes distinct from the "real" scenes.

Associated Mythos Elements

Keeper Notes

  • The investigators become entangled in a plot revolving around desperate researchers pushing the limits on a technology that allows them to inject themselves into recordings made of the dreams, memories, and points-of-view of other people, perhaps with experiments involving Dreaming, dying characters, the delusions of the insane (perhaps including those who have been exposed to the Mythos), etc.