3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Routine science fiction / horror ... but nice shorts,
This review is from: Mind Ripper [DVD] (DVD)A preliminary word of caution - if you decide to invest in this DVD, you're probably better off buying it as part of the "The Wes Craven Collection", where is comes packaged with three other films and some interesting extras. As a stand-alone, this is a curate's egg - good in short parts.
The Wes Craven connection is most obvious in the credits - "Mind Ripper" (originally "The Outpost" and part of the "Hills Have Eyes" series) was written by his son, Jonathan, a boy, you imagine, who must have been steeped in the horror tradition from birth. Certainly, as a writer, he makes frequent use of the horror tradition ... or is that the science fiction tradition?
An abandoned nuclear dump (a recurring Wes Craven theme): scientists retrieve a near dead body and decide the only way to keep him alive is to inject him with the new designer virus - you know the one, the one with added free-radical macho and lanolin-enriched psycho, the one invented by the military to turn their grunts into roars and make super-troopers of the average soldier. Can you imagine what it would do to the Marines? This is a killing machine whose friendly fire oozes attitude!
As their patient hangs on in a coma, he seems to be developing super senses. His muscles, instead of atrophying through lack of exercise, somehow become enlarged, his joints become as well oiled and agile as an Olympic gymnast's. Well, a decent sleep will do wonders for a man.
Lance Henriksen plays the doctor/scientist who resigns when he realises things are overstepping the boundaries of his conscience ... and who returns, bringing his family with him (as you would), when he gets an urgent call from the secret, underground laboratory.
There's hardly a new idea to be glimpsed here. We get a cat and mouse game through tunnels and darkened corridors as the mad soldier pursues the dwindling band of scientists and teenagers ... you guessed it, he feeds on their brains! It's been done better, it's been done often. It's utterly predictable ... it even gets predictably sentimental in the usual places. It's a formulaic B-movie horror. The only really good thing I can say about it is that Natasha Wagner looks better in shorts than anyone else I think I've ever seen - I'm sorry, I'm getting old, I notice these things, and I felt I really should end on a positive note. Yep, nice shorts, pity about the film.