THE MINDS EYE
Begos has construed The Mind's Eye as a homage to David Cronenbergs Scanners (1981) and the series of cheap sequels that it spawned Scanners II: The New Order (1991), Scanners III: The Takeover (1992), Scanner Cop (1994) and Scanner Cop II: Volkins Revenge (1995). (The film also homages 80s genre cinema with a score that brings back memories of John Carpenters synthesizer work). Unfortunately, Begos is operating on a budget that is even cheaper than any of the Scanners sequels were. The so-called psychokinetic institute is no more than an ordinary suburban house, for instance.
I ended up being disappointed with The Mind's Eye. You would have thought that a fannish enthusiasm for Scanners would have been great grounds for creativity but Joe Begos does nothing with any of the ideas. Indeed, the plot here is no more than a recycling of the basic elements that served most of the desultory Scanners sequels psychic boy and girl on the run; crazed scientist wants to do experiments with them; pursuit by assorted goons; much in the way of head-exploding and meltdown effects at the climax. Crucially, what made the original Scanners far more than the parade of head-exploding effects that the sequels became was Cronenbergs exploration of the ideas but Joe Begos lacks any sense of transcending the material in those ways.
Where Begos does almost redeem himself is during the latter third where he goes to town on the (cheap) makeup effects. The battle in Larry Fessendens house ends up in an admirably bloody fight scene. The film finally arrives at an extremely gore-drenched climactic bloodbath, involving heads (and bodies) exploding, levitated axes severing heads and splitting torsos in half, and villain John Speredakos suspended in mid-air and being blown apart.
The film lacks much of a name cast. The most well-known of these is Larry Fessenden, a horror director and producer, who plays the part of Graham Skippers father. Fessenden has also brought on board a number of actors who have regularly appeared in his films, including John Speredakos and Lauren Ashley Carter. Carter in particular gave an unnervingly intense performance in the title role in the Fessenden-produced Darling (2015) and it proves somewhat unsettling to see her in a regular part here.