It seems like ages ago that I received a press kit in the mail from Ford Austin, the man behind Cerebral Print: The Secret Files. Like many indie film makers who have sent me screeners back in the day, Ford’s movie went into a massively growing pile of films that I still hadn’t gotten to. In fact, I had forgotten that I’d even received this flick until I found it hiding on one of the lower shelves of my computer station. So this review is sort of my way of saying sorry for failing to review Mr. Austin’s film in a timely fashion, and also to thank him for making a humorous film that’s made from the point of view of a tiny rubber alien.
As the movie opens, we meet our host, Sir William J. Dillingsworth Pickenstripe XIV Count Earl of Duke (played by writer, producer, director Ford Austin). This British fellow gives us a rundown of what we are about to see. Apparently the U.S. government started a secret program back in 1967 called the "Cerebral Print Program." The purpose of this secret agency was to capture and study extraterrestrials and make mental "prints" of the aliens’ memories. The result is a series of funny memory clips that were taken from some of the alien visitors. After Sir William finishes up his introduction, the clips begin to roll and they’re all hit and miss in regards to their humor. The first clip of an alien chasing soldiers through the woods with its "probe" in hand had me rolling on the floor. These big guys in camouflage are armed with machine guns and they’re screaming and running away from a tiny alien!
After this sketch, it all starts to become formulaic and I did find myself getting bored by the time the third or fourth alien sketch played out. Some of said sketches have a great premises, but unfortunately end up being dragged out too long. (Especially the "Brothuh of Cerebral Print" sketch.) Luckily Ford kept things going by having interviews and dramatizations involving some staff members of the "Cerebral Print Program." (Keep an eye out for actor Richard Grove who plays Agent David Coleman. Diehard Army of Darkness fans will know Richard as Duke Henry the Red from that Sam Raimi classic!) Toward the end of the film, after all the clips are shown, Sir William closes things out and then turns into a tiny alien being. He then marches out into public, takes the subway, and ventures out to the middle of nowhere to find his flying saucer.
Suddenly, the miniature extraterrestrial is attacked by two intergalactic bounty hunters (one of which is played by Jacqueline Ruffner from The Third Society). The alien manages to probe the male bounty hunter to death, but is murdered by his enemies’ female partner. Before he bites the dust though, the tiny E.T. manages to send a distress signal, and soon dozens of alien spaceships are seen blasting toward Earth. Cerebral Print is definitely a fun movie to watch and has some very memorable moments. I got a huge kick out of the "Ninja vs. Cerebral Print" sketch in which an alien battles it out with a stealthly ninja. While the tiny alien’s probe manages to knock said ninja down a few times, the deadly kung-fu assassin wins the battle with his arsenal of martial arts weapons. And it seems that aliens like how our Earth women are put together because there’s two mini-movies involving an alien getting freaky with one or more hot women!
Really my only complaint with this movie is that it could’ve been edited down a bit more in order to make for a smoother viewing experience. There were times when I just felt like hitting the fast forward button on my remote because things were just moving too slow, or because things had become a bit too predictable. But that’s about the only thing that irked me about Cerebral Files. I think that the idea for the film is very original and is borderline genius. We’ve all seen movies where we briefly see through the eyes of a monster or alien, but I think Ford is the first film maker to actually tell a story (or rather, stories) through the eyes of the alien itself. (An inspiration that was partially derived from watching "Beggin’ Strips" commercials.) And to further sweeten this movie, Mr. Austin managed to snag some really cool cult movie personalities to appear in Cerebral Print.
Along with the aforementioned Richard "Duke Henry the Red" Grove, and Jacqueline Ruffner (a.k.a. J.A. Steel), there’s Felissa Rose (Angela from Sleepaway Camp), "Mighty" Mike Murga (the killer midget from Slaughter Party), and also Chris Watson (the director of Zombiegeddon. He’s referred to as "Chuck Fonda" in the credits of this movie.) Now at this point you’re probably expecting me to tell you about the DVD and where to get it, right? Well apparently this movie still has yet to make its official DVD debut, so for now I guess Cerebral Print is sitting in limbo. Ford Austin however has not been idle and has made a series of comedic episodes of "The Wright Stuff" (available for download somewhere on the internet), that chronicles the adventures of the Wright Brothers. He’s also completed work on two feature films called Vampires at Midnight and The Curse of Lizzie Borden, both of which have yet to be released as well. For further information on Cerebral Print and all of Ford Austin’s other projects, visit his Angry Baby Monkey Productions Website.