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DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
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Mindwarp Blu-ray ReviewBlu-ray Sony Pictures Twilight Time
Nov 03 2013 10:26 PM | Richard Gallagher in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
- Studio: Sony
- Distributed By: Twilight Time
- Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA
- Subtitles: English SDH
- Rating: R
- Run Time: 1 Hr. 36 Min.
- Package Includes: Blu-ray, Soundtrack
- Case Type: Standard Blu-ray Keep Case
- Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
- Region: A
- Release Date: 10/08/2013
- MSRP: $29.95
The Production Rating: 4/5
Stupidity, chaos, cruelty, pain. Reality, a failure worse than any nightmare. There was no fixing it. Nothing to be done, except... escape.
It is the year 2037 and Earth has been devastated by nuclear explosions, leaving the surface of the planet virtually uninhabitable. A number of survivors are now Dreamers, humans who survive by living in a protective Biosphere called Inworld. The Dreamers live a life in which they spend most of their time in a state of virtual reality, where they are hooked up to a master computer called Infinisynth which allows them to experience their fantasies while sleeping. We are introduced to two Dreamers: Judy (Marta Martin, here credited as Marta Alicia), and her mother (Mary Becker). Judy is acutely aware of the fact that her existence is an artificial one, but her mother is perfectly content. It is rather amusing to see that Judy and her mother have their living space’s floor cleaned by a Roomba and Judy occasionally listens to music on a Discman. When Judy begins to rebel against Infinisynth, she is brought before the Systems Operator (Angus Scrimm), who grants her wish to be allowed to experience the Earth’s surface.
It turns out that the planet is indeed nearly barren (the exteriors were filmed on location at the Gay Sands, a former mining area near Gay, Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior in the state’s Upper Peninsula). Judy is on the surface for only a short time before she begins to be sucked into a sandy sinkhole. She is pulled out by two Crawlers, mutants who live underground in a series of caves and tunnels, who then abduct her. She is temporarily saved by Stover (Bruce Campbell), an Outworlder who has survived as a non-mutated human by shielding himself from radiation and developing effective survival skills. However, one night they are overwhelmed by Crawlers and dragged into their subterranean world.
Mindwarp is not recommended for the squeamish, as it contains many disturbing scenes of bloody violence, torture (such as eye gouging), spurting blood, and cannibalism. If those elements do not turn you off, you will find some similarities to other post-apocalypse films such as Mad Max and The Road. Bruce Campbell is vigorous and believable as Stover, and Marta Alicia is a bit over the top but otherwise impressive as the strong-willed and adventurous Judy. Some viewers have not been pleased by the film’s ambiguous ending, but if you can stomach the gore you will find much to admire in Mindwarp.
Trivia note: Bruce Campbell met his future wife, costume designer Ida Gearon, on the set of Mindwarp.
This Blu-ray release of Mindwarp is a limited edition of 3,000 copies, so readers who are interest in purchasing it should check at the Screen Archives website and confirm that it is still available. As usual, take care when ordering through Amazon because a few Amazon sellers are already quoting inflated prices for it.
Video Rating: 4/5 / 3D Rating: NA
Mindwarp was filmed on a shoestring budget of $1 million in 22 days as a production of Fangoria Films, which made only three movies before folding. Given its limitations, the film looks very good on Blu-ray. The 1080p 1.85:1 image utilizes the AVC codec and it appears to be properly framed. The exteriors shot at the Gay Sands certainly look like a wasteland and the subterranean world of the Crawlers is pretty much disgusting and repulsive. The picture is generally sharp. Colors are muted by design but appear to be accurate. Black levels are good and shadow detail is excellent, important features because the last half of the movie takes place almost entirely in caves and tunnels.
Audio Rating: 3.5/5The English 2.0 DTS-HD MA soundtrack, which was recorded in Ultra Stereo, is very good. Dialogue is clear, clean and understandable. The score by Mark Governor is given a pleasing soundstage. There is sufficient stereo separation to help bring the underground world of the Crawlers alive. English SDH subtitles are available for those who need them.
Special Features: 2.5/5The only extras on the Blu-ray disc are an isolated score track and a television spot for the release of the film on VHS.
Of course, there also is an illustrated eight-page booklet with a typically informative and sometimes amusing essay by Julie Kirgo.