The title Brain Donors sounds like a horror film and for those expecting a comedy, it is. Patterned after A Night at the Opera, Brain Donors badly wants to be a latter-day Marx Bros pic. ‘Badly’ is the key word.
John Turturro is Roland T. Flakfizer – a Groucho-esque, ambulance-chasing attorney out to fleece a well-heeled and well-fed widow (Nancy Marchand). Bob Nelson and Mel Smith are his equally zany aides-de-camp, the former a clear Harpo derivative and the latter a British cabbie who at least never tries to play the piano.
Hoping to land a $500,000-a-year job heading the widow’s ballet company, Flakfizer and his cohorts end up at odds with a snooty attorney (John Savident) and stuck-up dancer (George De La Pena) while championing the cause of two young lovers.
Director Dennis Dugan’s first feature, Problem Child, was a curious box office success, and so he finds himself laboring on another broad farce, again with numbingly flat results.