Mindwarp - Mindwarp(Blu Ray) [Eureka Entertainment - 2021]Mindwarp is an enjoyable enough early 90ís post-apocalyptic Sci-fi horror picture, which featured genre icons Angus Scrimm( Phantasm series) and Bruce Campbell( Evil Dead series) in lead roles. The film blends dusty-to-murky subterranean action/ adventure tropes, VR simulations, with more than a fairly few moments of limb ripping Ďní gut spilling gore. Here from Eureka Entertainment, as part of their Ďclassicí series- is the first-ever UK Blu Ray release of this lesser-seen 1990ís film. The release is ltd to just 2000 copies, taking in a new 1080p scan & a few extras.
Mindwarp (aka Brain Slasher, Dream System) appeared in 1991- it was the first film produced by the Fangoria Films label, which was a spin-off from the infamous US horror film magazine. The film was the second film directed by LA-based Steve Barnett-who is more known as a production manager, with seventy-seven & counting credits to his name. Mindwarp is competently enough scoped for low budget 90ís horror, with the films three different settings/ locations, each been captured/ well enough.
The films key character is Judy(Marta Martin)- when we first meet her she is in a VR room with her mother, and the pair spend their days plugged in, living one fantasy after another. Judy has become tired of her seemingly pointless existence, wanting to live a real life- not one created. Fairly soon a group of figures burst into the room- Judy is knocked out, and when she awakes she's in a vast barren desert. As she is trying to make sense of her new location she gets sucked into quicksand- watching on is a goggled & fabric wrapped figure, and fairly soon she been winched out by two mumbling mutants- they tie up Judy, clearly with nastiness in mind. In swings the watcher battling the two, and saving Judy- we find out her saviour is Stover( Bruce Campbell), who irks out his existence in the desert & his underground home. The pair start to bound( in more ways than one), but just as things seem to be going better for Judy- the pair are kidnapped by a band of lurching & grunting mutants. Who take the pair deeper down to their dank, dripping, and junk laden subterranean home. In charge of the mutants is a tall foreboding figure dressed in a dead flesh hood & wearing long claws, in time we find out this is the seer (Scrimm).
The film is pacy & fun enough horror Sci-fi romp- with a good blend of fights, thrills, and largely underground based action. The gore occurs fairly often and goes from limp ripping, throat slashing, gut rippings, and most incentive a body grinding machine that fills an old bath with blood for the mutants to drink. Martin is fine in the lead role, and you do certainly feel for her, though first she seems a little brattish. Campbell plays his role in a straight/serious manner, and again is fine- though one does rather miss his quipping charisma. The star of the film is Scrimm, who is really given a role to get his teeth into, with a lot more script given to him than in any of the Phantasm series. He mangers a good blend of authoritarian creepiness, stern cruelty, and later buried humanity. While Mindwarp is a little derivative in places- with its influences often clear and present- the whole thing moves along well enough, keeps you held & we get a decent amount of gore.
Moving onto this new Blu Ray release, and the 1080p scan looks good- with the bloody reds coming out particularly well, though unfortunately, itís rather murky in the more underground cavern portions of the film. On the extras front, we get a new commentary track/ interview featuring Australian genre writer Jarret Gahan and Tony Timpone, longterm former editor of Fangoria. This starts off commentary track like, though fairly soon shifts into a long-form interview with Timpone talking about his time with Fangoria, and itís spin-off. For the ten/twenty minutes the pair discuss how the Fangoria Films label came about, sprout off from a commercial they did for US TV for the magazine, and they touching on the other two films released on the label 1991ís Children of the Night & 1992ís Severed Ties. As they move on it gets more chatty & less film focused, and for the most part, itís a most worthy interview. So if you, like me where a fan of Fangoria back in the day- it will be of great interest, but if you're after a commentary track for the film itís self youíll be disappointed.
Otherwise, we get two Q & A sessions from 1990ís Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors after- ones with Bruce Campbell and the others with Angus Scrimm Ė the Campbell one comes in at the forty-eight minutes, and the Scrimm one runs twenty-one minutes. There is also an original trailer. The finished edition comes with an inlay Booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar and author Craig Ian Mann; and a reprinted article from Fangoria sister publication, Gorezone.
Itís great to see Eureka reissuing this slice of sci-fi horror- of interest to those who enjoy gore bound 90ís fare, or Scrimm fanís- as he really does give a great performance here. Let us hope there are plans afoot for the other two Fangoria Films to get a release too- as it would be great to have classy Blu Ray release of these too.