Blu Release – 3/5
Director – Steve Barnett (Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater, Scanner Cop II)
Starring – Marta Martin (Star Trek, City of Angels), Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, Bubba Ho-Tep), and Angus Scrimm (Phantasm, John Dies at the End)
Release Date – 1992
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “In the future, life will be a dream. And reality a nightmare”
Every October I bury myself in the films centered around Halloween while friends continuously watch horror films. While I rush and panic to find Halloween flicks. This year I’ve decided to give that up and watch any horror movie I can get my hands on. Its a lot more relaxing that way and I really get into the holiday spirit.
Sometime ago Mill Creek Entertainment sent me the Mindwarp/Brainscan double feature on blu. Mindwarp, aka Brain Slasher, was one I had never seen before and it really peaked my interest when I saw it starred Bruce Campbell. As soon as I had the chance I tossed it in.
**Spoiler Alert**The film takes place in 2037 and the world is in ruins. Some live in a walled in city where they tune out the real world in live in virtual reality while the world crumbles around them. Judy (Martin) is sick of living this way and when she finds her mother dead she is removed from the city and tossed into the wasteland. She is grabbed by mutant cannibals but is saved by Stover (Campbell). He takes her back to his shack but his home is soon overrun by the mutants and they take them back to their landfill where their leader, her father (Scrimm), reveals that he wants to use her to breed with because the others are mutated and diseased. She is able to free herself from his clutches and she saves Stover in the process but once they get away Stover changes and wants to lead the mutants much like her father was. She then awakens and realizes she was never cast into the wasteland but it was all a test from her real father to see if she has what it takes to take over for him when he retires running the city. **Spoiler Alert**
I’ll be completely fucking honest when I say I wasn’t interested in seeing the film until I saw Bruce Campbell was in it. The artwork for the film, foreign poster excluded, is boring as fuck. I’m glad I gave the film a chance because it was really fucking awesome and surprisingly gory.
The acting in this one is solid. The film stars two horror legends and they both deliver great performances. Campbell takes on a more serious role than his portrayal of Williams and he kills it. Angus Scrimm is fantastic as well but his performance is very short lived. His screen time is not as long as many of his fans would have liked but he kills it as well. I really like Marta Martin’s character. She was extremely likable and commands every scene she is in.
The story for this one was not what I was expecting. The original poster for the film does not do the movie justice. The sci-fi approach before the post-apocalyptic scenarios was a great contrast that worked. The two work together to give the viewer something different instead of keeping them in one style of film the entire duration.
Finally, this film is surprisingly gory. The kills we get use great practical effects and the gore is fucking amazing. Fans of blood and gore will be satisfied with this one. Overall, Mindwarp is an extremely underrated early 90s horror/sci-fi mashup that just begs to be seen. Check it out on blu from Mill Creek that looks great which is something you can’t usually say about a Mill Creek blu release.
Director – John Flynn (Rolling Thunder, Lone Star)
Starring – Edward Furlong (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Detroit Rock City), Frank Langella (Superman Returns, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), and T. Ryder Smith (The Venture Bros., The Blacklist)
Release Date – 1994
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “Wanna play?”
This is easily the most enjoyable October I’ve had for awhile. Just ignoring the hunt for Halloween-centric movies and watching anything horror has taken the pressure and frustration out of the season and put enjoyment back. After checking out the surprisingly fun and gory Mindwarp I decided to toss in the second film in the Mill Creek blu set Brainscan.
This is a movie I had watched for the first time a few years back when I found a 4 movie horror pack at Dollar General for $5. I picked it up and checked it out then. This was the only film in the set I had never seen so I dived in and was shocked by how much fun it was. It was the perfect time to revisit it.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows teenager Michael (Furlong) who lost his mom in a car accident when he was young. His father is always away for business so he is left with his vices which just happens to be horror. He finds an ad for a new game, Brainscan, in the most recent issue of Fangoria. The game promises to be unlike any other game and they ring true on the promise. When Michael tosses the game in he awakens sometime later covered in sweat after thinking he was killing someone in the game. That soon reveals itself to be half true when a man near him was murdered that night and he finds a severed foot in his freezer. The game mascot, The Trickster, reveals that he must continue the game of murder or he risks the police finding him out. **Spoiler Alert**
If someone would have told me the plot of this film before I watched it I doubt I would have tossed it in. It just sounds so fucking goofy when you say it out loud but the movie is fun and has several memorable moments.
The acting in this one is solid but the real star of the show is T. Ryder Smith who portrays The Trickster. The character is extremely fun and overly animated which is not what I was expecting. The rest of the cast does a great job but their characters are not as memorable as The Trickster. Hell, even Furlong’s character could be replaced and the film would still be just as enjoyable.
The story for this one is a little out there and goofy. I liked the character that comes out of the game but the game tricking you into killing is a little too far of a stretch. If the movie would have relied solely on that to get the film moving it would have failed in the cringiest of ways. Luckily, the movie is able to stay grounded with the police investigation aspect and the world crumbling around Michael. The movie is smooth and the scenes have enough interesting dialogue and story lines to keep the viewer’s attention.
Finally, the film is from 1994 and it shows. We get some great practical effects and make up along with some extremely dated computer effects. I loved the way the Trickster looked and some of the practical effects but the visual effects did not hold up the last 25 years. Some of them were laughable but there was one or two gags that actually looked decent for 1994. Overall, Brainscan is painfully 90s. The visual effects and story fit right at home there but the film still entertains even though it is very dated. Check it out on blu!