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Mind Warp Reviews

Reviewed By: Fred Beldin

Joy N. Houck Jr.'s sci-fi conspiracy film Mind Warp will baffle anyone with patience enough to wade through its entire running time. Cheap, haphazardly edited, and stuffed full of pseudo-scientific doubletalk, the viewer will be hard pressed to figure out exactly what the white-coated technicians need four volunteers for in the first place. Something about overpopulation? Or the environment? No matter, because these plans go awry thanks to Senator Stuart Lancaster, who unfortunately delivers most of his lines with his back to the audience. The government wants a mind-reading machine tested instead, and everyone involved with the experiment becomes a guinea pig. From there, Houck gives us war flashbacks, suicide by hanging, and various cheap optical effects to suggest nightmares or seizures. It's all a confusing mess that leads nowhere with an abrupt, vaguely paranoid conclusion that will satisfy no one. At least the low-budget props are amusing -- the lab appears to be set up in someone's rec room, and an integral component of the "Brain Machine" is a lawn chair with an extension cord attached to its side. If the prospect of seeing James Best (Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane from The Dukes of Hazzard) in a regionally produced exploitation film sounds amusing, dig up The Killer Shrews instead. For Gerald McRaney (Major Dad, Simon and Simon) fans, check out Night of Bloody Horror, also directed by Houck.