- on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 21:32
- by Loron Hays
The Mind’s Eye is something special. Look right below the title of this review. You’ll notice the pints-of-beer rating, meaning that the film automatically falls into the B-movie category – even though it’s hitting theaters now. I’m not going to pretend with you about the film and its retrograde content. Under a normal rating system, The Mind’s Eye would be swallowed by its low budget and its subpar acting and cast to the side of the road as a lot of critics are already doing to it but, as I said, this film is something altogether different and, in my opinion, should be handled as such.
Normal audiences should still clear of this one. With more fiction in its science, a healthy imagination is key to enjoying it. There’s nothing here you will respond to if you are expecting the normal Hollywood offering. Nothing. If you are a gorehound hungry for some fresh, lip-smacking, red meat, then this is the film for you. Without a doubt, The Mind’s Eye will win over the right genre-minded crowd.
Written, photographed, and directed by Joe Begos (Almost Human), The Mind’s Eye has David Cronenberg’s influence written all over it. The content – about telekinetic-enabled people fighting against an evil doctor – is surrounded by atmosphere, a synth-powered score by Steve Moore, and enough gore to cause quite a bit of unease. And yet critics are hammering it for being lazy, badly acted, and poorly edited. Well, duh. It’s a b-movie and it operates as such. Why so serious?
With a hefty load of gooey practical effects – courtesy of John Ruggieri – The Mind’s Eye lays off thoughtful reflection and goes the straight route through exploding heads and needles being stuck in weird and wacky places. It’s a squint-inducing film that will have you checking the furniture for blood spatter. It also has its moments of being something more than gore and genre riffs. This is drive-in feature length stuff that I constantly find inspiring. Fangoria, wherefore are thou?
The film opens with a loner on a highway. With Moore’s throbbing synths shifting its gears, the opening credits make it obvious that this bundled-up stranger doesn’t want anyone to talk to him. When harassed by the local police, Zack (Graham Skipper) must drop his things and act quickly. He doesn’t use his hands to fight them back; he uses his mind.
The suddenly violent encounter lands Zack behind bars where Dr. Slovak (John Speredakos) convinces him to come to his research facility. But Zack has other ideas. Knowing that Rachel (Lauren Ashley Carter) is at Slovak’s compound for them to study, he begins to sniff out her whereabouts and, ultimately, discovers Slovak’s ulterior motives.
And it’s not good. Slovak wants to weaken the true telekinetics who seek his help and beef-up his own abilities. While Zack and Rachel’s long overdue reunion is abrupt at best, The Mind’s Eyes satisfies as a vintage throwback to the horror-themed films of the 1980s with its basic good vs. evil story.
The Mind’s Eye is a Channel 83 Films and Site B Entertainment production and, while a low budget flick, has a good atmosphere enveloping it. The action is tightly shot, the stunts are limited, but everything works. Some of the critical response; however, has me scratching my head. I wonder, if Cronenberg’s early films were released today, how exactly some of these critics would react to their low budget thrills. I bet you money those early films of his – that many now hold up as classics – would be dismissed…which, to me, is a frightening sign of the times.
Begos’ film is in a limited run in select theaters across the country. For the midnight marauders out there, The Mind’s Eye is essential viewing
MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime: 87 mins
Director: Joe Begos
Writer: Joe Begos
Cast: Graham Skipper, Lauren Ashley Carter, John Speredakos
Genre: Horror | Action
Tagline: Mind over Matter
Memorable Movie Quote: "I know who you are."
Distributor: RLJ Entertainment
Release Date: August 5, 2016
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: October 4, 2016
Synopsis: Zack Connors and Rachel Meadows were born with incredible psychokinetic capabilities. When word of their supernatural talents gets out, they find themselves the prisoners of Michael Slovak, a deranged doctor intent on harvesting their powers. After a daring escape, they are free from his sinister institution, but the corrupt doctor will stop at nothing to track them down so that he may continue to siphon their gifts for his own use.
Exclusive / Limited Edition 2,000 copies / Blu-ray + DVD
Home Video Distributor: Image Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray - October 4, 2016
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Region A
Image Entertainment debuts Writer/director Joe Begos’ The Mind’s Eye on 1080p with a crisp and glossy transfer. Maybe it’s too glossy. I love the film, but the slick look betrays the film’s grittier side. Colors are strong. Shadows are well defined, too. The outside scenes – drenched in snow – are nicely texturized. Shot with a Red Camera, the film looks a bit flashier than expected in this release. It won’t disappoint the modern viewer, though. We just wish it were a bit darker in nature to match the twisted tone of the piece. The film still comes with the tag that “This Film Should Be Played Loud” and it’s true. The sound – presented here in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track – feels a bit tinny. So, yes, TURN IT UP and enjoy the electronic score by Steve Moore.
- The dual commentary tracks - one featuring Writer/Director Joe Begos, and the other featuring Begos, Josh Ethier, Graham Skipper, and Zak Zeman – are especially strong. They are informative and fun and, for ANY fan of fim, absolutely necessary to listen to.
Image Entertainment doesn’t stiff the buying audience with this release. As if the dual commentaries weren’t enough, they also give us a VERY interesting look at the making of the movie with a 30-minute retrospective that rounds all of the bases and gives us nice interviews with the cast and the crew.
- A Look into the Eye of Madness (30 min)
- Poster Gallery