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Wednesday, May 29

Midnight Horror Review: Mindwarp & Brainscan (SCI-FI Double Feature)


Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
There was nothing better to do on a stormy night than to stay up late and watch a double feature that consisted of two low-budget 1990s' horror gems - Mindwarp and Brainscan!

These flicks will be arriving on a Sci-Fi Double Feature Blu-ray ($19.98) on June 4th from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Directed by Steve Barnett, Mindwarp (1992; R; 96 minutes) was the first of three movies in the early 1990s produced by Fangoria Films. Set in the year 2037, the film takes place in a world where the ozone layer has mostly been destroyed. There are highly radioactive areas called Death Zones, which are filled with mutated cannibalistic Crawlers and a few Outworlders, humans who haven't been affected by the radiation. Then there are the Dreamers, a group of humans who live in a computer controlled biosphere called the Inworld. The Dreamers have implants on the back of their necks that lets them plug into a virtual reality world where they can live out their wildest fantasies.

After rejecting the virtual reality from within her own mind, a young woman, Judy (played by Marta Martin) is kicked out of the Inworld and tossed into the Death Zones. Upon arriving she is attacked by a Crawler, but luckily for her she is rescued by an Outworlder named Stove (played by the legendary B-movie man Bruce Campbell). Sparks fly rather quickly between the two, but the romance is cut short when more Crawlers attack; which leads to Judy being kidnapped by the Seer (played by the late great horror icon Angus Scrimm) and of course Stove has to rescue her again.


Directed by John Flynn, Brainscan (1994; R; 96 minutes) centers around Michael Brower (played by Edward Furlong), a sixteen-year-old who's basically been taking care of himself ever since his mother was killed in a car accident several years prior. The accident also resulted in permanent leg damage for him. Now as a teenager, Michael has a become a big horror and video game nerd. After hearing about the new mind-bending video game Brainscan, he eagerly orders the first game disc.

While at first glance Brainscan looks like a ultra-realistic POV slasher game, Michael quickly learns the game is actually real. And it's possible Michael might have committed real-life murders.

Why doesn't Michael just quit the game?

Well, the game is controlled by a demon called The Trickster (played by T. Ryder Smith), and a player cannot quit the game. The game has to be played out to the very bloody end!


Final Thoughts

Have I every mentioned that I'm kind of a horror geek?

Mindwarp and Brainscan aren't exactly mainstream horror movies. The majority of world has long forgotten about these films after their original releases. However, us diehard horror fans have the weird ability to remember B-graded flicks, especially the bad ones.

Now I'm not saying Mindwarp and Brainscan are bad. Personally, I love both movies, but neither will ever be compared to Night of the Living Dead or Halloween. There are plenty of flaws, such as the plots, the acting, and the cheesy dialogue, but all of these things also make B-horror flicks so damn enjoyable.

Despite the fact the films have to share space on the same discs, the film and sound qualities are pretty good. There are no special features or bonus extras.

FYI: Scream Factory released Brainscan on Blu-ray last year that included several bonus features. Mindwarp was released to Blu-ray in 2013 by Twilight Time, which I believe was a limited edition, so it's probably out-of-stock by now.

Overall, I had a blast rewatching Mindwarp and Brainscan, which I hadn't seen either film in many years. If you like low-budget, campy, and gory horror flicks, then I recommend keeping getting this Sci-Fi Double Feature Blu-ray.
*Note: I received a review copy from Mill Creek Entertainment. 
All opinions are my own.

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