Presented by horrormeister Wes Craven, this exercise in chills almost completely lacks the imagination and distinctiveness of its sponsor's best work.
In the underground GenTec biological lab, a nearly dead human test subject, injected with a regenerative virus, has begun having seizures. Team leader Alex Hunter (John Diehl), who has secretly been giving the subject overdoses of the virus, seeks the help of James Stockton (Lance Henriksen), the
former head of the project who quit after discovering that the Army wanted to use his research to create a super-soldier. By the time Stockton arrives with his son Scott (Giovanni Ribisi), daughter Wendy (Natasha Wagner), and her boyfriend Mark (Adam Solomon) in tow, the human guinea pig, known as
Thor (Dan Blom), has awakened and killed everyone in the lab save Joanne (Claire Stansfield) and Rob (Gregory Sporleder).
Thor kills Rob and abducts Stockton. Joanne and the youngsters are able to trap Thor and rescue Stockton, though Mark dies in the process. Thor escapes and kidnaps Wendy, but the others subdue him, reclaim Wendy, and flee to the surface. There, Thor attacks the van and then the plane the group
escapes in; they push him from the side of the plane, but later he shows signs of having survived the fall.
MIND RIPPER began life as a second sequel to Craven's cult classic THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1978). Produced and co-written by Craven's son Jonathan, the film ultimately emerges as a very uneasy mix of family bonding drama and ALIEN (1979) knockoff, complete with music that apes James Horner's score
from ALIENS (1986). The trite conflicts between Stockton and his teenage children are awkward, played out in frequently moronic dialogue against a cliched horrific backdrop. Occasionally, a well-judged scene does occur, such as an escape attempt through a room filled with nuclear waste drums.
Dependable genre veteran Henriksen is the best resource the movie has to offer, lending a sense of gravity to otherwise schizophrenic material. By the end, though, with its ludicrous series of multiple climaxes, the movie has lost any hope of being taken seriously. Intended for theaters, MIND
RIPPER made its debut on cable before hitting video. (Graphic violence, nudity, extreme profanity.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: Presented by horrormeister Wes Craven, this exercise in chills almost completely lacks the imagination and distinctiveness of its sponsor's best work. In the underground GenTec biological lab, a nearly dead human test subject, injected with a regenerative… (more)