Ghost In The Machine

October 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

Well, time to go back to me reviewing stuff and I really have a lot of catching up to do since during my time, I’ve seen a bunch from Lavalantula to what I assume is a straight parody of early 2000s extreme sports movie co-starring Kid Rock of all people. That, and I had to prepare the second Janu-Fahey month (and might extend that one a bit). So why the delay all this time? Well, a dog bite my leg, I’ve been more confused in life than Confused Matthew is confused about good movies and a little-known local company known simply as Heaven Painting and Decorations has given me nothing but four days of emotionally stressful and insomniac hell I have ever had. Also, I need to review something this Halloween so that means that me talking about my life story is kinda pointless anyway.

Biker Boyz

But during those days, I have seen a movie that I thought was cool when I saw a trailer back when I was a kid. But oh boy, I wish I could tell my child self on what I’m really watching. Ghost in the Machine is a 1993 vehicle by Rachel Talalay who’s no stranger to movies that are hilarious bad in a surreal way like Freddy’s Dead and Tank Girl for example. That, and she worked with John Waters a few times so that pretty much explains itself. But why bother should I talk about her? I personally enjoy Freddy’s Dead in a so-bad-its-good fashion and this movie seems to be up its alley which it really is.


The movie focuses on Karl Hochman (Ted Marcoux) who goes around killing people after stealing address books from there while they are customers of the computer store he’s working for giving him the nickname of “The Address Book Killer”. As he took the book owned by Terry Munroe (Karen Allen) who went to the store with her son Josh (Wil Horneff) and plans to kill them. However, a truck has caused a bit of a spin which led to his car having a crash and as he’s getting a MRI scan, the storm hits the electrical circuits and his brain pattern is transferred to a computer program making him a sentient killer.

Karl 01
And this is where it becomes ridiculous. The incident has led to the eyes of one famous computer hacker Bram Walker (Chris Mulkey) who is wondering why recent documentation involves directly to Terry so he travels there and talked to both Terry and Josh about this. Around that time, Karl hits the first victim on Terry’s address book which is Terry’s co-worker Frank (Richard McKenzie) who died by a kitchen being boiled alive following a microwave explosion. I can’t tell how this happen and if it’s connected to a temperature device but the kitchen got so hot that fruits are melting and Frank’s skin is burning and popping up to death.

The death has led to a dream funeral sequence which woke Terry up. So with that, Josh decide to convince her mom to have a date with Elliot (Jack Laufer) and let’s just say the date didn’t go well. His convincing worked enough to sneak out of the house and have a virtual reality game with his friend Frazer (Brandon Adams) and oh boy, this movie definitely says 1993 from the get-go because his face is superimposed in a virtual reality character and I am sure that this is not how virtual reality works. Then again, Lawnmower Man was released around that time so why am I complaining? Oh, and his pet dog died by getting trapped in the pool.

Virtual Reality
The next victim in the book is Elliot who was thought to be killed during a crash test dummies experiment but upon surviving that crash, he fired his staff and went to die by a hand dryer blasting his body into flames. Later on, Terry gets various phone calls that is disguised as telemarketing call but turns out to be Karl and she thinks it’s him. Being shocked about it, she meets up with Bram for help so he decide to hire a babysitter for Josh and that babysitter being their neighbor Carol (Shevonne Durkin) whom Josh lusts over her. Well, his crush is all there is since Carol becomes victim #3.

The death has led to them using the theory on the police, it didn’t work. They are then unplugging everything in the house, didn’t work either. And now the Police receives reports of various criminal activities that’s directly to Terry’s house and they shoot the place up after thinking gunfire has been heard. Terry is shot and send to hospital but there’s a plan, being alive and going all “it’s just a flesh wound” on us, Terry, Bram and Josh decide to plan to stop Karl by going to physics laboratory and device a computer virus that is a magnetic field or something. And since I brought up The Lawnmower Man earlier. They active an atom smasher which kinda brings Karl back to life in that form.

Karl 02

The three successfully stopped Karl once and for all and the movie ends with Bram wanting the hospital heart rate monitor off in fear that the killer might come back. Okay, so 1990s virtual reality movies is a good appetite for laughable popcorn entertainment and this movie is really no exception. I can see why I forgot about this until years later since it became a box office flop and Karen is stuck into forgettable supporting roles until she reprise her famous role in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Besides virtual reality, this movies screams the dated part of the early 90s from Josh pretending to be like a white Kris Kross fan in front of Carol to the computer technology of this time. If this movie was made today… Actually, it kinda already is because uh, anybody saw Transcendence? I didn’t but I’m going with that idea anyway.

Johnny Depp

Okay, back to what I say about this movie. The acting is very cheesy and at times, something an actual human being wouldn’t say for real. The special effects has moments but both in well-done and totally dated and really, it’s just a harmless dumb sci-fi horror to watch at and is worth checking out if you’re into movies of that time like Virtuosity or Hackers. Heck, make it a double feature with Freddy’s Dead since it’s kinda alike in that sense. That, and you can rewatch Breckin Meyer playing a character with one of the silliest horror deaths ever filmed.



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