England is a weird place. The same vaguely defined Northeastern region that is
home to Lovecraft’s Miskatonic University is probably also served by UHF
Channel 83, whose eyewitness news team regularly reports on the bloody
aftermath of Joe Begos’s films. They should have enough carnage for a week of
leads in Begos’s Cronenbergian nostalgia trip The Mind’s Eye (trailer here), which opens this Friday in New York.
its enduring cultural significance, it is strange Cronenberg’s Scanners has not been ripped off more.
Begos will soon set that right. Zack Connors is a heck of a lot like a Scanner.
He was born with potent telekinetic power that he has always struggled to
control, especially when dumb cops pester him like he is Bruce Banner. Even
though he has largely lived the life of a drifter, he still forged
relationships with some of his own kind. Rachel Meadows is a particularly
special case. To see her again, Connors reluctantly but willingly agrees to
live within the rules and confines of Dr. Michael Slovak’s sketchy research institute.
Unfortunately, the mad scientist keeps Connors and Meadows separated to
maintain his control over them.
keeps his research subjects on experimental drugs to inhibit their powers, but
Connors quickly starts to build a tolerance. He bides his time, hoping to find
Meadows and make a break for it. However, his formidable powers will be
exceeded by those of Dr. Slovak, who is siphoning off the mojo of
prisoner-patients for his own enhancement. Heads will definitely ‘splode.
Begos’s Almost Human just felt retro
for retro’s sake, Mind’s Eye fully
embraces the look, spirit, and conventions of Scanners and its knock-off sequels, as well as Brian De Palma’s The Fury and Carrie. It is gory, pulpy, and deeply skeptical of authority. It
also has genre favorite Larry Fessenden appearing as Connors’ father, Mike
(yes, that would make him Mike Connors). It is a relatively small but
substantial role that even gives Fessenden an opportunity for some real acting.
Skipper’s Connors is appropriately moody and intense. Just looking at him could
give you a headache. Emerging genre star Lauren Ashley Carter (Darling, Jug Face) is also impressively twitchy
and bedraggled. John Speredakos is just okay chewing the scenery as Dr. Slovak,
but it nice to see regular genre repertory players Noah Segan and film editor
Josh Ethier doing their thing as henchmen.
Everything about Mind’s Eye screams old school, but it still holds together as a cohesive
narrative rather than just stringing together hat-tips to the 1980s masters. Gritty,
grimy, and satisfying, The Mind’s Eye is
highly recommended for horror fans when it opens this Friday (8/5) in New York,
at the Village East.
Labels: Horror Movies, Joe Begos, Larry Fessenden, Lauren Ashley Carter