aka: Mindwarp, Brainslasher, Dream System
Director: Steve Barnett
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Angus Scrimm, Marta Martin, Elizabeth Kent, Mary Becker
In the future, life will be a dream. And reality a nightmare.
It’s the year of 2037, and the loss of the ozone layer has made most of our planet into a big wasteland with highly radioactive death zones. Most of the population of humans has turned into Crawlers, which are radioactive mutants who enjoy the taste of human flesh.
The few humans who have escaped this tragic faith are called Dreamers and live within sealed cities where they can spend most of their days connected to a computer and live out their lives however they want in virtual reality.
This virtual life aren’t enough for Judy though. She is able to get through to the system operator of the Infinisynth and expresses her depression, which gets her exiled from the safe environment and into the outside where she is constantly in danger of the Crawlers.
Brain Slashers, or Mindwarp as it might be better known as in the US, is one out of three films that Fangoria Films produced in the early 90’s. The two others was Severed Ties, which I have never seen and Children of the Night, a vampire film that I have fond memories of. This is quite the obscure little film and I don’t believe that I have ever come across anyone even mentioning it, which is surprising considering it stars two beloved figures from the horror genre in Bruce Campbell and Angus Scrimm.
On the other hand, the film isn’t very good. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world and tries to tie in some futuristic technology, which dates a film very quickly. There is some interesting stuff in that the people who are well off gets to disconnect themselves away from the rest of the world by living their life in virtual reality instead of facing the problems of the world. It’s not a bad concept, but it is abandoned quickly and instead it becomes a monsterfest.
The crawlers aren’t all that bad. The special effects are done by the KNB FX Group, which can also be proud of delivering some good gore in the film aswell. The crawlers do end up grunting a little too much for my taste, almost making them comedic after a while.
The biggest problem with the film though, is that the lead character Judy is not interesting at all. Marta Martin looks alright, but she does not give a good performance and is not able to bring out any sympathy from the audience, even if the character goes through some grueling stuff. I wish it would focus more on the character Bruce Campbell plays called Stover, a very traditional hero but it is Campbell in his prime so at least he is fun to watch. Look out for a small Evil Dead reference aswell. Angus Scrimm is also fun as “The Seer”, the ruler of the crawlers, making this a worthwhile films for fans of any of those two.
This was directed by Steve Barnett, a guy who had previously done two films called The Click and Hollywood Boulevard 2. I’m not sure why Fangoria Films, who should know the importance of experience when it comes to bringing a low budget film together would choose him, but he did not bring a very good looking film although some the underground scenes are decent. The pacing is also not great and you will get bored by this very quickly.
Brain Slashers is a forgotten film, even with two genre heroes and that does say a lot about it. It is not a very original piece and it’s got a boring leading character. The best parts of it is the few scenes with gore and Bruce Campbell. If you love him or Scrimm then it might be worth watching, if not then skip it.