Brainjacked (2009) – By Cary Conley

Brainjacked is a low-budget sci-fi thriller that reminds me a bit of Cronenberg’s Scanners, at least in theme.  But with Scanners the mind control aspect was psychic while in Brainjacked a microchip is implanted into the brain to help control the subjects.

The plot is fairly straightforward:  a doctor has devised a way to control minds by implanting microchips into the brains of a collection of teenaged misfits and runaways that manage to find their way to his private utopia.  Assuring the teens that his therapy–which consists of a local anesthetic before he drills a hole in their foreheads to "release the pressure"–will not only relieve their physical and emotional pain but will redirect their energies and help them become productive members of society.  Along with these promises, the good doctor also gives the teens a place to stay, a sense of belonging, and even some spending money, so it’s no surprise that this band of losers eagerly jump at the chance for salvation.

But unbeknownst to these desperate and naive teens, the doctor not only is drilling a hole in their foreheads, but he is also secretly implanting the aforementioned chip which then allows him to control the teens by use of a special handheld control.  Each time the doctor uses the controller, the teens blank out, which the doctor explains as an unfortunate but mild side-effect of the surgery.  Of course, the doctor is using the teens for his own benefit.  He sends them on errands, sends them to fight gangs of thugs that are trying to destroy the doctor’s clinic, and uses the girls as mindless prostitutes both for himself and for the public officials he bribes with the use of these sexual favors.

Enter Tristan, the latest teen turned runaway.  He is discovered by the beautiful and innocent Laney who convinces Tristan to see the doctor.  Desperate to relieve his constant migraines, he reluctantly submits to the therapy, thereby falling into the doctor’s trap.  He and Laney are busy living the good life, falling in love with each other along the way.  Unfortunately, Tristan is sent to fight a band of thugs bent on destroying the doctor before his surgical wound is fully healed.  During the fight, he is injured and the microchip falls out.  Horrified at the implications, Tristan cuts Laney’s chip out and the two go on the run as they try to figure out how to stop the doctor’s nefarious plan.  Will Tristan and Laney be able to stop the doctor?  Will the doctor succeed in kidnapping the two renegades so he can continue his evil plans?  Will the two teens be able to live happily ever after?  You’ll have to watch the film for the answers to these questions.

As mentioned before, this is a low-budget actioner, but it is a pretty fun little ride.  As with many low-budget action/ sci-fi flicks, one can’t pay too much attention to the scripting or plot holes will appear (How can the doctor run a drill that is connected to his handless arm?  How is he secretly implanting the chips when the teens are present during the surgery?  Why does Tristan agree to go to the police when he knows the police chief is being controlled by the doctor?).  The acting is average, but the film is fast-paced and unique enough to be enjoyable.

And since this is a Vicious Circle film, one can expect a certain level of gore.  Although the film doesn’t contain as much over-the-top violence as some VC films, there are several loving close-ups of drills entering heads and the end is splatter-ific as some of the teens literally explode from a microchip malfunction.

Overall, a pretty solid little B-flick with enough action, nudity, sex and gore to keep you entertained and watching to the end.