31 Days of Halloween: Mindwarp, Fangoria’s dystopian blood fest of horror

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Mindwarp is the first film from Fangoria’s ill-fated adventure into the world of motion pictures. Starring the poster boy of horror, Bruce Campbell and Phantasm’s Tall Man, Angus Scrimm. Join me as I enter this post-apocalyptic land of terror, if you dare.

“Hook into the happiness system.” – Infinisynth

Cyberpunk Dreams

Mindwarp – Marta – Mom – Courtesy of Fangoria Films

Before the Matrix and spawned of William Gibson’s cyber worlds, there was Mindwarp. A film made by Fangoria in  the early ’90s starring two household names in the world of horror — Bruce Campbell and Angus Scrimm. Set in 2037, the future is bright and shades are necessary due to the depletion of the ozone layer.

Time to meet Judy (Marta Alicia). She’s young, impressionable, and a headstrong girl who’s one of the “Dreamers”. Why does she have that moniker? Because that’s what she does all day. I wonder if it pays well and where can I sign up?

Hooked into a computer via a USB port that sits at the base of her skull, her every thought pattern is monitored by Infinisynth Systems Operator. When Judy becomes restless, and bored of her placid existence eating and sleeping, she starts to rebel.

This stubborn nature does not go unnoticed by the “System”. Like an errant child, she’s scolded for her willfulness on a daily basis. See, Judy has an inquisitive nature and she wants to know why she can’t be outside. Why she has to be chained to a machine?

Such impudence in a structured setting is not warranted. In fact, it’s ill advised. After she kills her mother in a dream, she wakes up to find that her mother is actually dead in non-simulated life. But before she can alert anyone, she’s carted away with a sheet thrown over her head.

Things are looking very bad. While she’s incarcerated in the sheet, she’s given an injection. Lights out and that discipline problem for the Systems Operator is going to be ancient history.

Holding Out for a Hero

Mindwarp – Bruce Campbell – Courtesy of Fangoria Films

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When Judy wakes up, she finds herself in the “real” world — except this one is a nightmare. There’s no ozone layer so the radiation levels are through the roof. Oh, and there are these people, well, creatures that pop up out of nowhere to cart people away.

As a matter of fact, that’s what happens to her. Seizing her up, the mutants toss her into the back of a cart. Luckily for her, someone is watching from a distance.

This courageous soul fires a crossbow (no, it isn’t Daryl Dixon from TWD) and takes out the two mutants. Immediately frightened, Judy bolts while a masked Grizzly Adams type is pursuing her. The person tackles her, ripping off the mask and surprise! — It’s Bruce Campbell aka Stover.

When that happened all, I could think of was if this were me, I would either get taken out by the mutants from hell or I would be “rescued” by Gilbert Gottfried. But I digress….back to the movie. Once they lock eyes, it’s practically love at first sight.

Stover takes her back to his pad. Well, that makes it sound like Hugh Hefner’s Grotto. It’s more like a tumble-down shack made of refuse and any spare materials that were left over after the apocalypse.

He bathes her and washes her hair to get rid of the chemicals in the earth. At first, it’s awkward. Then it turns into the “getting to know you” scenes. They spend time waxing existential and talking about beliefs, poisoning of the environment and both Stover’s dead wife and Mom. That right there is a showstopper.

Feels Like the First Time

Mindwarp – Bruce Campbell – Marta Alicia 2 – Courtesy of Fangoria Films

One night, Stover gets curious and asks Judy to describe her life as a Dreamer. She tells him of all the places she has been and what she has seen. Then he hits her with the hard question. “What have you experienced?”

Of course, they look at one another and then boom! —  It’s a love scene. Basking in the pillow talk, Stover confirms that it’s Judy’s first time. To quote Rihanna, looks like they “found love in a hopeless place.”

Ah, but their newfound romance has a short life span. The mutants or “Crawlers” bust in and cart both Stover and Judy away to the underground. This is where things get splatastic.