‘In the future, life will be dream. And reality, a nightmare.’
Mindwarp – released as Brain Slasher outside the United States – is a 1992 post-apocalyptic science fiction-horror feature film directed by Steve Barnett (Scanner Cop II; Hollywood Boulevard II) from a screenplay by John Brancato and Michael Ferris (Terminator Salvation; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; The Game). It should not be confused with Galaxy of Terror, which is also known as Mindwarp.
The film is notable as one of three created by Fangoria‘s short-lived Fangoria Films production company. The others were Children of the Night (1991) and Severed Ties (1992).
Twilight Time released Mindwarp on Blu-ray on October 8, 2013. The extras include an isolated score and TV spot.
The movie stars Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead), Angus Scrimm (Phantasm), Marta Martin [credited as “Marta Alicia”], Elizabeth Kent (Trapped Alive), Mary Becker, Wendy Sandow, Brian Brill, Bekki Vallin, Matt Hensley, Keith Rodenberger.
The year 2037: The loss of the ozone layer has left most of the planet a desolate wasteland scattered with highly radioactive “Death Zones”, except for several areas that still flourish.
Much of the human population has been reduced to Crawlers, mutated cannibalistic underground dwellers who have lost their intelligence and speak only in grunts and mine garbage dumps.
Outworlders are un-mutated humans inhabiting the Death Zones. A few humans are Dreamers, who live in Inworld, a sealed biosphere maintained by the central Infinisynth computer. They spend all their time plugged in via implants in their necks, living through virtual reality fantasies.
Judy, a dreamer, lives with her mother. She has gradually becomes less satisfied with the life they have. After an unsuccessful attempt to talk directly to her mother, Judy manages to penetrate her virtual reality to wake herself up. Judy interrupts the dream, but she causes her mother to die in the real world.
For interfering with dreams of other users, Judy is exiled from Inworld by the mysterious System Operator who controls Infinisynth. She is saved from the Crawlers by Stover (Bruce Campbell), an Outworlder who believes he is the last “normal” human being still living on the surface, protecting himself from the deadly ultraviolet rays, radioactivity, caustic ground water, and Crawlers, while subsisting on a diet of small animals…
Reviews [click links to read more]:
“This underrated, low-budget post-apocalyptic/technological/CHUD-style tale explores themes probed seven years later in the highly popular 1999 film The Matrix (though the viewpoints of the filmmakers couldn’t be more carbon opposite), and Mindwrap seems to be an amalgam of some of the best sci-fi films out there, e.g. The Time Machine, Total Recall, Blade Runner and THX 1138.” Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers
“Aside from the twist ending (or should that be twist endings?), this one doesn’t win many points for originality, but the makeup and gore effects are — to quote another Campbell character — groovy.” Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
“When Campbell and the girl are taken prisoner, this entertaining sci-fier gets good and gory and is a barrel of fun if you’re willing to take it as tongue-in-cheek, especially Scrimm’s madness.” John Stanley, Creature Features
“Mindwarp starts off promisingly but quickly peters out, limping along in a miasma of standard issue sci-fi tropes until reaching a final reel that’s littered with one unsatisfying twist after another. The whole thing is too sluggish and tedious to even accidentally be fun” Adam Tyner, DVD Talk
“Despite its lacklustre production values, the film is still highly engaging, and that’s all down to the actors selling it like champs. This further reaffirmed Campbell’s capabilities as a great action hero… This is actually one of his better acting performances, even if the movie itself isn’t exactly of a high calibre.” Kieran Fisher, That’s Not Current
“At least the surface landscape and bad guy dressings are good. The underground plugged in world is not so hot. The movies biggest sin is that it is kind of dull and relegates Bruce Campbell to a background role that does not take advantage of his full charisma. Tragic.” Christopher Beaumont, Critical Outcast
Stamp sand and copper mining ruins – Gay, Michigan
Windsor Lake Studios, East River, Wisconsin