Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
A writer/taxi driver is having some incredibly intense visions. Once the girl he keeps seeing enters “his world”, the young man finds that he has to face some demons from his past. Basically, a whole lot of nonsense occurs.
Is it good movie?
David Cronenberg. That’s it, that is all I need to say when it comes to this little horror/thriller from across the pond. It has all the elements, including a leading man named Chris whose body is being infected by some gruesome bumps and spots. You also have a mysterious woman that seems to appear just out of sight, and when Chris sees her, he usually is haunted by some weird ass events. This is Mindflesh… an oddity that is soaked in blood and messed up visions that may even tread in Clive Barker territory with the sexual allegory and the sinister mindf*ck that it plays on the hero. Once scene involving a naked woman covered in blood appearing in Chris’ home is extremely odd… slightly erotic? Sure… sort of I guess. But it is not all that interesting.
There are a ton of bells and whistles as this taxi driver named Chris (Peter Bramhill) begins having his visions. The man is dealing with a ton of baggage. He had an abusive mother, his job kind of sucks and he can’t seem to sell his script. So he really isn’t all that happy. The problem with all this? I could care less about what he was going through. Sure he had disgusting blisters, he keeps seeing this naked chick (Carole Derrien) who he ends up taking care of seemingly. In fact, sometimes she seems to take care of him. But that occasionally consists of chaining him up, or just having sex with him while he is a weakened state. There is actually quite a bit of sex here, and Carole is naked a lot. Yet the eroticism is almost non-existent, especially since it is very hard to feel for this guy, or really, just feel anything for this weak and bland fellow.
As for the story, it really has a lot to do with facing your own past and letting go. But it does involve naked chicks and some brief and blurry images of some kind of monster that looks right at home in a movie like Hellraiser. Writer/director Robert Pratten has a great eye and creates some fascinating images with his cinematographer. But the content relies much too heavy on the visual style that it really feels like it is just an attempt to do groovy things with a camera. When all those who Chris knows end up in mortal danger, I didn’t feel any connection at all to any of them. In fact, I was so disconnected with Mindflesh that I really could barely tell you a thing that happened. Sure the acting was fine, and the style was pretty damn unique, but if you don’t have a good translation of the story (the film is based on a novel by William Scheinman. I guarantee the book is probably much better than this case of a stylish masturbation of cinema.
Video / Audio
I don’t have the exacts since the copy I was sent was a “screener” copy, but the audio and video quality were fine.
Unusually for a screener copy, this one has some special features including a Commentary with director Robert Pratten. I really liked the guy and he seemed very genuine in how he told the story of the film and how it all came together. I actually think I’d recommend just listening to the commentary and not actually watching the film with dialogue… it is more interesting.
Finishing off this screener is the Trailer. It was just as bland as the film.
Maybe I expected too much when I saw all the “4 Stars” on the case for Mindflesh. But it did not live up to the promise of what could have been. This psycho-sexual, drug induced, monster of a movie is filled with uninteresting characters that offer no real solutions or really much of anything at all. If you are looking for a uber-stylish looking flick and have something other to do than just watch, you might have fun… come on, you know what I mean! But honestly, this Mindflesh certainly made me feel a bit braindead after witnessing it.