Mind Games - Mind Games(Blu Ray) [MVD/ Rewind Collection - 2020]
Mind Games is a late 80ís thriller that follows a sociopath latching onto a family on their US road trip- itís an edgy, engaging if a relative tame film with a well-selected cast & some good enough twists & turns. From MVD's Rewind Collection here we have a region free Blu Ray of the film- bringing together some neat extras, a fold-out poster, and slip sleeve.
Mind Games appeared in 1989 was the first film directed by Iranian born Bob Yari- who became most known as a film producer connected to such pictures as 2004ís Don Cheadle & Matt Dillon led taut drama Crash, Bruce Willis fronted 2005 household invasion thriller Hostage, and 2006's period magician caper The Illusionist. As debut films go Mind Games is largely well put together & nicely scoped- with only the hit & miss elements been the soundtrack, and slightly US TV feel to a few parts of the film, letting things down slightly- though not enough to completely ruin the positives.
The film focuses in on the Lund Family- Rita(Shawn Weatherly), her husband Dana(Edward Albert), and their ten-year-old son Kevin(Matt Norero). The three are on a camping trip through California- one day they stop off in their motor home at forest campground- young Kevin goes off to investigate & comes across twenty-something Eric Garrison(Maxwell Caulfield) heís topless & sitting spread legged on a rock in the middle of a river playing a flute- in a very pan like manner. The pair quickly become friends, with Eric first been invited in for supper, then getting a lift with the family, before he weaves himself deeper into the familyís lives.
Caulfield is great as the charming & manipulative stranger- he moves from been lightly scheming, onto sinister calculating, through to unpredictable & very dangerous. Weatherly & Norero are believable as the relationship-on- the-rocks couple, and Norero is effective as the youngest member of the family- moving between been naÔve and spoilt, scared & out of his depth, and resourceful & vengeful. The film's plot unfolds in a fairly predictable manner for this type of thing, but we do get some interesting twists to the dodge hitchhiker plotting- and of course, the cast sells the whole thing well.
Moving on the negative side of things- and first off the soundtrack is decidedly hit & miss- opening up the film we get one of the key cues of the first ĺ of the picture- itís basically a bad rip off instrumental version of Bruce Hornsby & Range 80ís classic "The Way It is", itís so blatantly youíll be surprised they werenít sued. Oddly the rest of the score isn't too bad- as itís based around this moody flute lined element- that moves between lightly brooding & mischievous, tense & taut. The other slight issue is the slightly dated & rather US TV feel to a few scenes/ set-ups, which do make things feel a little bland in places. Of these two problems the soundtrack issue is the most trying, but thankfully these lessen as the film goes on. On the whole, if you like well acted-if fairly tame thrillers Iíd say give this a go.
Going onto talking about this recent Blu Ray release- and we have a nice crisp & well-defined print of the film. On the extras side we get a really meaty selection of stuff- meaning if youíre a fan of the film from back in the day or taken by it you get very much the ultimate edition. First, off we have the ten minutes short of two hours long making-of doc- this features the films director/ producer Bob Yari, producer Mary Apick, and three members of the cast- Maxwell Caulfield, Shawn Weatherly, and Matt Norero- as youíd imagine with a doc this length itís most in-depth- starting off talking about how the producers first met, casting choices, going onto touch on the career of each key players before moving onto discuss on set stories & filming key scenes in the film.
Next, we get a just over half-an-hour profile of director/ producer Bob Yari, trailers, the neat fold-out poster, double-sided cover artwork, and slip sleeve- so a really nice presentation from MVD.
Mind Games is the second recent 80ís film of Maxwell Caulfield to get reissued, the other was Severin's reissue of The Boys Next Door which found him acting as the unbalanced friend of Charlie Sheen- so if you picked that up Iím sure youíll enjoy this too- as Caulfield on great form here, as is the rest of the cast. MVD are doing a great job of reissuing these lesser known, but well made & entertaining B Movies on their Rewind Collection, and I look forward to seeing what they've got lined-up next for release.Roger Batty