Mind Ripper has been construed entirely as a throwaway B movie. Most of it has been borrowed from the copybook of Alien (1979)-inspired cliches of alien creatures/monsters/mutants stalking victims through darkened corridors and all the usual scenes with it abducting people, devouring brains and (in one never properly explained aspect) vomiting up eggs from its mouth. Wes Cravens work has always been never-less-than-interesting, even in some of his off films, and had he had taken the directors chair he may well have made something out of Mind Ripper. However, Joe Gaytons direction is entirely unremarkable. He fails to generate any suspense or intensity out of the running around the corridors, although the film does at least contain a high level of gore with various tentacles shoved into eyes, brains splattered and devoured and so on.
Mind Ripper does pick up slightly in the second half where the script starts to throw some odd spins on the usual Alien copy like the scenes where Thor abducts Lance Henriksen and rather than devour his brains starts to regard him as his father. In a bizarre scene, it then rips its own ears off and tugs out its last remaining clumps of hair. There is the sense as the creature hunts people subsequently where nobody quite knows what it is turning into. There is a cheat scene where we see it kill Claire Stansfield and then grab Natasha Wagner, only for Natasha to turn and produce the same tentacled tooth that it has out of her mouth and bite into its neck. However, this is revealed to only be a dream being had by Thor, which is doubly a cheat as Thor has not met most of these characters by this point in the film. Certainly, during these scenes, Joe Gayton does generate an okay intensity. However, the end is wrecked by not one but two just-when-you-thought-they-had-got-away endings with the survivors getting into the van and then the plane and in both cases thinking they had disposed of Thor only for him to turn up again. Even at the end fadeout, he is revealed to still be alive after he has been pushed him out of the plane and his body lies splattered on the rocks.
What is impressive about Mind Ripper is the cast it has managed to corral, including genre veteran Lance Henriksen, the always worthwhile Claire Stansfield and veteran actor John Diehl, as well as a few up-and-coming names with Natasha-Gregson Wagner, the daughter of Natalie Wood and stepdaughter of Robert Wagner, and Giovanni Ribisi in his film debut. Giovanni Ribisi in particular steals the film, giving his everything to a part that would in anybody elses hands be regarded as a throwaway role.