Bruce Campbell: How Mindwarp and Menno’s Mind inspired The Matrix

Bruce Campbell starred in Mindwarp and Menno’s Mind during the 1990’s. Both films dealt with computer simulations and the notion that reality can be manufactured. Were those efforts precursors to The Matrix?

Bruce Campbell was asked by a fan during Rock and Shock convention last year if he felt that his film, Mindwarp influenced The Matrix. This question was interesting so we decided to take a look at that 1992 production along with his 1997 sci-fi flick, Menno’s Mind  (which deals with similar subject matter) and compare them to The Matrix.

Everyone knows that The Matrix 4 has been announced and is already in pre-production with a release date of May 21, 2021 according to IMDb. Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss are set to reprise their roles of Neo and Trinity.

Mindwarped

Prior to the original incarnation in the Wachowski franchise, Campbell made a film for Fangoria (their first, to be exact) entitled, Mindwarp. This particular venture was made 7 years prior to the first Matrix hitting theaters.

Set in a dystopian world where the Earth’s ozone level has been depleted and the radiation levels are sky high no one can exist on the outside. So, most of the population is hooked into Infinisynth, which is a matrix that regulates people’s thoughts.

The main character in Mindwarp is Judy. She is a young, naïve woman who spends most of her time exploring different planets and worlds within the mainframe. One day, she is removed from her cushy, dream existence and thrown into the harsh reality of the real world.

Not used to the potentially deadly atmosphere and cannibalistic underground people, she is “rescued” by a man known only as Stover (Bruce Campbell). Together, they fend off the blood thirsty demons by day and eventually fall in love.

While watching this film, you get the sense that this apocalyptic world that Judy is experiencing may be a figment of her imagination. Except she doesn’t have the ability to take a red or blue pill.

Entering Menno’s Mind

In the case of the Showtime flick, Menno’s Mind, Billy Campbell (Menno) is a coding and programming whiz at the Resort. A vacation getaway for the brain allowing people to join with a simulator so they can experience whatever fantasies they desire.

Unfortunately, this technology is going to be used to rig presidential votes for the unscrupulous chief of security, Felix Medina (Corbin Bernsen) by brainwashing the clientele. When the leader of the resistance movement, Mick Dourif (Bruce) gets wind of this plot, he enlists Menno’s help to stop the pending plan.

However, he is mortally wounded and ends up dying after they upload his brain into the matrix. Whenever the camera takes us into this computer world, the colors are saturated reds and blues.

Which could easily be compared to the choice that Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) gives Neo when offering him the pills. If Neo chooses red, he would be liberated from his Matrix induced world where he would live in reality. Which means he would have to deal with the unpleasantness that existing in the here and now might bring.

However, if he goes with the blue, he remains safe in the bosom of The Matrix where nothing can harm him. When you think about it, both of Campbell’s films deal with reality vs computer generated worlds.

It is clear to us that it is a very real possibility that the Wachowski’s may have been influenced by those earlier Bruce Campbell efforts.

Next: 10 best Bruce Campbell performances of the decade

You can watch Mindwarp and The Matrix on VUDU. Menno’s Mind is available on Tubi. 

Have you seen Mindwarp and Menno’s Mind? Do you believe they inspired The Matrix? Let us know in the comments.

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