Housesitter: The Night They Saved Siegfried’s Brain (1987, released 2020)

A 33-year old film has finally been unleashed and it could be hailed as an instant cult classic with its campiness as it blends the camp of 1950’s sci-fi and horror with 1980’s horror.

Andy is a medical college student who has been attempting to research the use of brain transplantation in rats. Despite his latest attempts at experimentation going futile, he is still encouraged by his mentor, Dr. Ambrose Crosby, to keep going with the experiments. When Dr. Crosby asks Andy to housesit for him while he is planning a trip to go away, he even encourages Andy to throw a party with his closest friends as Halloween is here.

However, there is a major catch which to why Dr. Crosby has encouraged Andy so much. Like Andy, Dr. Crosby is also very interesting in researching brain transplants. As he is getting older, Crosby is slowly becoming brain dead and if he can gather 13 brains, then the chances of his survival will be better as he plans the ultimate brain experiment. When Andy catches wind of the plan, he must do whatever he can to stop the mad doctor from his crazy idea or he will be eventually go from aspiring doc to patient.

In 1987, future animation director Richard Gasparian and Robin Nuyen crafted this combination of 1950’s sci-fi and horror along with the 1980’s slasher films that still stand the tests of time today. For one reason or another, this film was unreleased until now, when Gasparian is now a major animation timing director on shows like The Simpsons and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. As for Nuyen, aside from this film, he would make an appearance in the Wes Craven-directed Deadly Friend and that would be the last we see of him.

Aside from co-writing the film, Gasparian himself is the lead role of Andy, who while having this aspiration of showing how brain transplants can work, has a bit of a quirk. He is obsessed with Elvis and is not afraid to flaunt his obsession of course when at the Halloween party, he’s dressed as the King of Rock n’ Roll. David Karsten is the mad doctor Dr. Crosby, who finds the party as the perfect opportunity to kill and steal brains for his crazy experiments. While the doctor and story have that 1950’s sci-fi feel it is the death scenes and some of the tropes of the party characters are what you would expect from 1980s horror.

What many will find interesting is that the film juxtaposes quite a bit. To show that influence of the classics, the lab scenes are mainly seen in black and white while the rest of the film are in vivid color. The death scenes aren’t as graphic, unless you count the typical prankster who fakes his death on a constant level and in typical fashion, finally gets his. However, when Dr. Carson kills some of the students, he does come up with some puns that fit the kills. The finale takes quite a twist that just helps elevate the level of the film, which is destined to be an instant cult classic in the vein of Miami Connection.

An unearthed film that finally sees the light of day, Housesitter: The Night They Saved Siegfried’s Brain is definitely a wild fun horror film that is destined to be an instant cult classic.

WFG RATING: A-

Leomark Studios presents a Basement Productions film. Director: Robin Nuyen. Producers: Richard Gasparian and Robin Nuyen. Writers: Richard Gasparian and Robin Nuyen. Cinematography: Thomas F. Denove. Editing: Robin Nuyen.

Cast: Richard Gasparian, David Karsten, Vern Stillwell, Lyda Stillwell, Holly Kaplan, Mark Pitta, Robert Small, Carlos Nucci, Stephen James Carver, Eric McConnell.

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