Chris Cheeseman and Paul Krysinski make their directorial debut with the dark comedy horror, Mind Leech. Filmed in Canada, this story takes place in 1998 in the fictional rural town of Provinstate. This is a cold, snow filled place where shooting shotguns, drinking beer (labeled 'beer') and disposing a chemical tank into an abandoned lake, provide us the background needed for this impressive Mind Leech ride about to come.
The opening credits show us the polluted lake with a catchy John Carpenter-like score. The first act of this film offers some beautiful cinematography and admirable special effects, mixed in with snowmobiling, ice fishing, drinking some 'hooch' and a four foot or so Mind Leech. Without giving away explosions in the plot, I must say I am impressed with the SFX and dry humor in this indie production. The actors don’t fall into the trap of playing for a laugh and this brings a certain build up to the final act which consists of a climactic investigative chase scene. At times, I felt this movie gives off a certain essence of John Carpenter’s The Thing as well as other big budget horror films such as Ridley Scott’s Alien or perhaps even Spielberg’s lurking shark in Jaws.But never does Mind Leech lose its own identity and that is its charm. The ensemble cast brings a likeable and endearing humor to each scene. It was fun to observe characters like the loveable ice fishing losers who riff off each other, played by Daniel James McGee and Krysinkski, which for some reason reminded me of a throwback to comedy geniuses Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis in Strange Brew. Sheriff Pailey played by Mischa O’Hoski also shines and gives us a method performance rivaling Vincent D’Onofrio in Men In Black. Steff Ivory Conover plays Deputy “TJ” Johnson who is new on the job and gives us some fun moments that could fit right in with the Coen brothers’ movie Fargo.
Krysinski’s editing is a strength of this film and keeps it tight with a little over 60 minutes in runtime. The shots used of the Mind Leech never expose the film’s indie budget and the special effects add a nice value and intensity to the production and film. I must admit after viewing the film I began reciting some of many memorable lines like, “Right there is ‘Juicy’ Josh Henderson- or what’s left of him.”
Cheeseman and Krysinski deliver a fun-filled ride for the audience with MIND LEECH, one in which your mind will agree is a winner.