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This Is a "Mind Leech" That Doesn't Suck
But does it stick the landing? Hmm.
One giant-sized leech. One small, snow-covered town. One police officer who nobody is going to believe when all is said and done. By this conceit, Mind Leech is a b-movie monster flick, and really in the most traditional sense. Not so much a throwback to drive-in makeout sessions, but rather an intriguing evolution of the Roger Corman formula.
I mention Corman not to suggest that Mind Leech was made on a bet or completed in a few days, but that its story has more reach than it should, making a potentially bland affair pretty bold. More or less, I'd call this film a contemplative drama creature feature, not unlike, to some degree, Terror in the Swamp. Where that 1980s movie's tragedy was concentrated on family, Mind Leech has a hold on human potential and achieving goals.
After a good old boy corporate chemical dump in the nearby lake, an average leech grows over months to become a beast with mind control abilities - it sucks on your head and commands your body. Unleashed, the leech heads toward the ocean, to breed? To be free? All of the above? Whatever the case, it must be stopped.
The tragedies in Mind Leech come from small-town life and the wanting to move on to something bigger and maybe better in the world. From the ice fishermen who are the first to be attacked to the two lone police officers in town, everyone chats about their stations in life. These moments can drag, but I really appreciated them, as they provided some levity to the kills and some punch to the comedy of seeing people with a leech attached to their heads, roaming around confused and angry.
The leech itself could be seen as a catalyst for motivation and change, moving these stuck-in-life individuals to take action, if by force and removed of free will. The leech can also be seen as, well, a leech. And sometimes, it's just that. And when it is just that, it's fun.
Roger Corman made weird little movies on less than shoestring budgets, like The Undead, which involved time travel and hypnosis - interesting elements for such a small film. Bold. Mind Leech continues this pattern but never forgets that it's still about a giant-sized leech that can tap into human brains.
There is some confusion as to what exactly Mind Leech wants to be, but it's still able to produce some bloody, some sticky, and some thrilling sequences. Maybe the film wants to be a drama, or maybe it wants to be a semi-comedy. For me, it wasn't a horror. I had a ball, but I wasn't creeped out. Maybe my thoughts drifted towards the plight of the characters, pre-leech attack? Confusion, yes.
The movie is such an oddity, and it's the type of flick that I live for. And, at a swift one hour and change, it gets in and gets out. Very good. 3/5
Mind Leech is available for rent at mindleech.com.