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I have a very loose recollection of a film - the last 5 or 10 minutes actually - where a guy sits in a sort of dentist/torture chair, and there is a machine which drills into his brain. He seems to be doing it voluntarily, maybe to cure himself of something?

I think before then he was walking through the woods to some sort of facility or maybe even just a shed or shack where this scene took place...

I also remember the whole scene being bathed in green light!

It was probably early to mid 90s as I recall my dad renting it from the local video store (UK).

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    Sounds similar to the ending of the movie π (pi); the overall feel is right but the details don't quite fit. Apr 19, 2016 at 9:30
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    What about the film makes you think it was sci-fi or fantasy?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Apr 19, 2016 at 10:08
  • Mainly, that was the sort of film my dad liked to watch, and also because I think he was trying to cure some sort of thing in his head, because he seemed to be ok with the whole ordeal and even walked away 'healed' or something...
    – TCassa
    Apr 19, 2016 at 10:20
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    @TCassa that is the end of Pi - the bloke trepanns himself with a drill and as a result cures himself of all the headaches he was receiving as a result of his mathematical discovery. The last scenes are him sitting on a park bench, completely happy, but unable to do any math.
    – Moo
    Apr 19, 2016 at 11:03
  • It wasn't Saw, was it? youtube.com/watch?v=tUe7Jvvaiz8
    – SBB
    Apr 19, 2016 at 15:33

5 Answers 5

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This immediately reminds me of the film 'Pi' where the protagonist is a number theorist who is driven insane with headaches after discovering a special number.

The film ends with the protagonist drilling into his own skull while sat in front of the computer he built to help him in his research.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi_(film)

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  • It isn't Pi - I've seen that film and I like it very much, but didn't watch that until many years later, and I'm not sure it's something my dad would have rented, but thanks for your contributions!
    – TCassa
    Apr 19, 2016 at 9:33
  • @TCassa Fair enough :)
    – Moo
    Apr 19, 2016 at 9:41
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This is Tommyknockers, the TV miniseries based on the Stephen King novel, where a UFO buried in the ground is dug up and starts psychically infecting the citizens of the nearby town, turning them into aliens.

I think before then he was walking through the woods to some sort of facility or maybe even just a shed or shack where this scene took place...

The UFO was buried in the woods, that's probably the facility you remember the main character walking to. As for the shed, that plays a very pivotal part in the plot.

I also remember the whole scene being bathed in green light!

Green light is the signature of all of the Tommyknocker's technology.

It was probably early to mid 90s as I recall my dad renting it from the local video store (UK).

The miniseries aired in 1993, so that fits.

I have a very loose recollection of a film - the last 5 or 10 minutes actually - where a guy sits in a sort of dentist/torture chair, and there is a machine which drills into his brain. He seems to be doing it voluntarily, maybe to cure himself of something?

At the end of the movie,

the main character, who has only partially 'become' a Tommyknocker, gets into the control center of the ship. A device drills into his head, which lets him take control of the ship with his mind, and he flies it away. You can see that part here on youtube.

On a personal note, I only saw this when it first aired, when I was very young, so I remember none of it - if I even watched it at all. However, it's one of my favorite Stephen King books, which I've read probably 10+ times, and the exact scene you remember is my one memory of the movie (besides the creepy opening song).

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  • I immediately thought of Tommy Knockers, when reading the question. It fits perfectly. Especially reading about the wood part. Apr 20, 2016 at 5:01
  • This is the one! Thank you so much! This has been bothering me for about 20 years!
    – TCassa
    Apr 20, 2016 at 8:52
  • I haven't seen or read this particular story, but the details in the question are very Stephen King.
    – Simba
    Apr 20, 2016 at 10:14
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This could be Terry Gilliam's film Brazil, which ends with

the protagonist believing he has escaped to the countryside, but he is actually strapped into a torture chair with a machine over his head.

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    OMG That movie forever twisted my brain. Apr 19, 2016 at 11:26
  • It's an old favourite of mine...but it's not the one I'm looking for! :)
    – TCassa
    Apr 19, 2016 at 13:15
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Long shot: Frankenhooker, an over-the-top exploitation horror movie from 1990, has several scenes where the protagonist trephines himself voluntarily.

It was a very silly movie.

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  • Just as a note, the ending scene of this movie has him taking up on a vertical table, and now female. youtube.com/watch?v=0EjMEhbyB-4
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 19, 2016 at 13:52
  • I just learned the word trephine. Thanks =)
    – Kyeotic
    Apr 19, 2016 at 15:57
  • Huh. I was more familiar with that term being used only for the instrument. My apologies for the over-correction. But was it your intent to also lose the link?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 19, 2016 at 17:46
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Reminds me of the Happiness in Slavery music video by Nine Inch Nails. (Warning! Very NSFW!)

Still image from the video

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