Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mindwarp (1992)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Most of the movies I watch, I find through advertisements or coming attractions.  Some, I find while wandering through a store looking at multi-movie packs.  Occasionally, I’ll look through Netflix for movies to watch and review.  I think I found Mindwarp while looking for Bruce Campbell movies.  I had never heard of the movie before and for good reason.

The movie takes place in 2037.  As you might expect from a post-apocalyptic movie, the ozone has been depleted, the Earth’s surface is uninhabitable and humanity is split up into two groups:  Those that live in a biodome hooked up to a virtual reality and those that live outside the biodome, either as a mutant or trying to avoid the mutants.  Judy lives in a biodome, sharing a room with her mother.  She spends most of her time in the VR system, disconnecting to eat and (presumably) perform other necessary biological functions.  She can experience anything she wants, which gets old.  She realizes it’s all fake and longs for something real.

When she accidentally kills her mother, she’s kicked out of paradise and sent to live outside.  She’s nearly attacked by some mutants, but is saved by Stover.  (Stover is played by Bruce Campbell.)  Mutants are unintelligent.  They can’t speak and spend most of their time mining what used to be landfills.  Stover is one of a handful of people left that are still what we would think of as human.  Eventually, both are captured by mutants.  Stover is put to work in the mines while Judy is taken to be sacrificed, but is saved by the Seer.

The Seer’s girlfriend, Cornelia, doesn’t like Judy, mostly because The Seer seems to have a special affection for Judy.  Cornelia tries to infect Judy with these mutant parasite leeches, which the Seer stops.  (If you’re at all squeamish, you don’t want to know what The Seer does as punishment.)  Meanwhile, Stover attempts to escape with Judy, which fails.  The seer puts Stover in a semi-submerged cage, causing him to become infected with several leeches, which is not good for Stover.

It’s also revealed that The Seer is Judy’s father, which isn’t so bad until he reveals that he wants them to have lots of normal little children to lead the mutants.  Another escape attempt is made with similar results.  This time, Judy manages to take find a more permanent solution to her problem.  (Again, those that are squeamish probably won’t want to know the details.)

I’m not going to give away the ending in case your stomach has the fortitude to make it through the entire movie.  However, I think it should be obvious by now that this is not a movie for children.  I think anyone younger than 10 will get nightmares.  Imagine if you took elements from The Matrix and the original Total Recall and tried to make it in the style of Mad Max.  You would end up with something roughly like this.

It’s the kind of movie that you can enjoy if you don’t expect too much.  I had wanted to watch it mostly to see Bruce Campbell in something other than Burn Notice.  Had I not been able to get this streaming, I probably would have held off, though.  There’s a low-budget look to the movie, partly in film quality and partly in the set design.  It was made in 1992, but it looks like something out of the ‘80s.  Also, the biodome sets look kind of generic and basic, which may be the point.  I don’t think that they quite pulled it off, though.  It’s kind of hard to do in this movie without looking like they couldn’t afford anything better.

If you have Netflix and are able to stream movies or you can get this on demand, I’d say give it a try.  It is different and isn’t the worst movie I’ve seen.  However, I wouldn’t recommend getting it on DVD or paying for it on demand.  At least I got a review out of it. 

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