Mindwarp – Blu-Ray Review

Mindwarp is a not-very-good Bruce Campbell movie made in the early ‘90s. It stars Angus Scrimm from the Phantasm series along with Campbell, although the protagonist is Judy (Marta Alicia), a woman whose mind has been placed in this post-apocalyptic landscape. In the meantime, most other humans are mutant garbage-miners in Outworld, but some others are living in a happy VR fantasyland, Inworld. Judy was an inworld dweller before getting herself exiled, but unfortunately, she’s not very engaging. It’s got a bit of a Philip K. Dick Total Recall brain implant weirdness crossed with a Mad Max-style slasher concept.

Campbell doesn’t even show up for the first 20 minutes, and surprisingly isn’t that good in it. While not a great actor, he’s usually reliable for turning in a memorable performance. He’s given stupid facial hair that obscures his impressive chin for no particular reason. Scrimm doesn’t have much to do here, and he’s under cheap-looking prosthetics the whole time.

It’s one of the first films produced by Fangoria, so there is some fun gore (their foray into film production was short-lived but seems to have recently restarted). You can tell it cost fuck-all and was shot in a hurry until someone was willing to release it on video, but it definitely needed a bit more budget to achieve what’s being attempted here. The plot is all over the place—the premise itself is interesting, but they don’t know what to do with it.

The director, Steve Barnett, later on found a different vocation—he became a post-production supervisor. The film was shot in Michigan, which makes sense Campbell is a Michigan native, using the ruins of an old mine. Obviously, it’ll be necessary for you Bruce Campbell completists out there, but I’d rather see Sundown, if that ever gets re-released.

The Blu-Ray is the biggest package that Mindwarp has ever had: Eureka really went into the archives. It has a commentary track by Tony Timpone, long-term editor of Fangoria, moderated by Jarret Gahn; the trailer; a booklet with an essay by Craig Ian Mann; and a reprinted article from Fangoria’s sister publication, Gorezone; plus two Q&As from Fangoria’s “Weekend of Horrors” in 1990, before its actual 1992 release: one with Campbell and one with Scrimm. Campbell’s is really funny, as he usually is, and was shot right before he made Army of Darkness. The Q&As are from the good old days when not that many people went to these conventions, and nobody paid for autographs.


Ian Schultz

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