I've always found it somewhat bewildering that considering the massive fan base that a guy like Bruce Campbell has got that a low budget shocker like the gory sci-fi gem 'Brainslasher' (aka 'Mindwarp') would pretty much go unnoticed in the genre scene. More so when you consider that Phantasm's super cool 'Tall Man' Angus Scrimm is cast also and the film is produced by the USA's no.1 horror magazine 'Fangoria'. Thankfully, Dragon Films have steeped in to save the day for Campbell fanatics like myself and give this sleeper gem a long overdue DVD release.
The film is set in the future where following a nuclear war many of the human inhabitants (well what's left of them) have hidden themselves away in a safe secure false environment where they all plug in to a fantasy dream world called Infinisynth. Young Judy is fed up with the false existence and successfully corrupts the programming system of the dream world and gets exactly what she has always wanted when she is ejected from her safe environs into the cold harsh reality of the war ravaged real world. Soon after arriving she is attacked and captured by some native mutant cannibal citizens and things don't look too good for her until a mysterious hooded sand dweller appears to rescue her and lucky her as it's our very own fan fave Bruce Campbell himself! Bruce reluctantly takes her under his protective wing and brings her up to speed with her new dangerous environment of underground mutant 'crawlers' and their flesh eating ways. Very soon Judy succumbs to Bruce's charms but no sooner have they consummated their newfound love than they are both captured and taken underground to the heart of the 'crawlers' world. Things don't look good for the pair as Bruce is put to work in the mutants mining tunnels while Judy is prepared for use as the mutants very own birthing incubation tool! Neither realise either that things will soon go from bad to worse when they end up face to face with the mutants psychopathic evil leader!
'Brainslasher' is a great fun slice of low budget gory sci-fi action that really does deserve a better reception than the luke warm one that it has received till now. In fact apart from the budgetary limitations showing in the early Infinisyth world scenes, the film is a greatly impressive production that almost belies its financial means. Henry Dominick's script is quite fresh and entertaining and has the feel of those old vintage sci-fi stories of the 50's and Steve Barnett delivers some solid direction with nice use of lighting and colour. But inevitably the real stars of the show are a) Bruce Campbell who is in fine form with even a (all too brief) appearance of the slightly deranged Bruce psyche that he uses so well in the Evil Dead series, b) Angus Scrimm who again like Bruce does what he does best as the clinically evil baddie that we all know and love and finally c) K.N.B. deliver some very impressive effects work ranging from some nice pre-Army of Darkness 'Evil Ash' type make ups to the mutant crawlers and some entertainingly bloody gore scenes (and damn good the gory moments are too!)
This very welcome DVD release from Dragon is a bare bones but tasty package. The open matte print used is both fully uncut (hooray!) and a lovely transfer too with a nice sharp colourful image and no visible imperfections. The optional English and German audio is nice and clear too. But sadly outside of a few filmography pages there's nothing really in the way of extras which is a bit of a shame.
That said, the film is a thoroughly entertaining bloody low budget romp and any fans of Campbell and Scrimm will get great pleasure from this nice uncut release. Me, I loved it - check it out!
Review by Alan Simpson
|Released by Dragon|
|Not Rated - Region All (PAL)|
|Running time - 90m|
|Ratio - Fullscreen|
|Audio - Dolby digital 2.0 (optional English or German)|