Invasion of the Mindbenders
©1992 Atlas Entertainment Corporation


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Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: NR

Synopsis:
Principal Borden (Roy Thinnes) is desperate to keep his unruly students in line, so he's overjoyed when the Behavior Modification Research Institute selects Kingston High School as a test site. The plan is to gather all the troublemakers into a 'special' class and use the school radio station to pipe subliminal tones into the classroom that will moderate the student's behavior. When their friend Calvin tells Frankie (Skip Lackey) and Crash (Lee Tergesen), the two worst troublemakers, about Borden's plan they laugh it off, until the other students start acting 'weird' by studying and paying attention to the teachers. Only Frankie, Crash and their friend Julie (Miranda de Pencier) are unaffected because they wear headphones in class. Borden is thrilled with the results but he wants more, so he changes the student's programming by increasing their obedience to him. However, to do this, he must remove their non-violence directive. Soon, students are turning on each other and fights begin to erupt. After each incident, the students involved are taken to Dr. Gunbow for a 'private session'. Unable to reason with their classmates, Frankie and Crash plead with Calvin, the resident genius, to do something. Realizing that the radio station is the key, Frankie, Crash and Calvin break in and steal Dr. Gunbow's discs, while Julie distracts the guard. Unfortunately, Dr. Gunbow gets to Julie and gives her one of his 'private sessions'. The next day, Borden confronts the three culprits and demands that they return the discs, claiming to have a witness to the theft. Luckily, Calvin has enough time to analyze the discs and discover that the tones are designed to put the brain into a 'beta' state and that Dr. Gunbow is using the 'private sessions' to give the students implants that make them more susceptible. When, Calvin explains that rock music will bring the students out of their 'beta' state, Frankie, Crash and Calvin break into the school to rewire the radio station. Unfortunately, Frankie and Crash are betrayed by Julie and captured by Dr. Gunbow, who reveals that he is an alien. Frankie and Crash escape, with a horde of brainwashed students on their tail, but Calvin manages to start the rock'n'roll and wake the students from their trances. Dr. Gunbow finally reveals his true alien appearance and disappears in a ball of light, promising that they'll meet again.

Type of mind control: Subminal messages

Mind control scenes:
The mind control begins when one of the teachers adamantly opposes Dr. Gunbow's behavior modification experiment. Dr. Gunbow demonstrates his system on the irate teacher and she quickly becomes calm and happy, fully supporting Dr. Gunbow's plan. The rest of the movie is filled with various scenes of the formerly unruly students studying diligently and obeying the teachers, then becoming violent when Principal Borden changes their programming. The only two other significant mind control scenes are when Julie attacks Frankie and Crash with an axe and when Calvin pulls a gun on them.

Subjective Rating: 4 out of 5
Although this is a silly movie with a silly plot, there's plenty of mind control and some of it is reasonably well done. The change in the teacher that Dr. Gunbow demonstrates his system on is particularly well portrayed. The teacher is angry that money is being wasted on Dr. Gunbow's experiment until Dr. Gunbow puts a pair of headphones on her and has her listen to his subliminal messages for a few minutes. When the headphones are removed, the teacher is smiling and happy and thinks that Dr. Gunbow's experiment might be a good idea after all. Her change in attitude is quick and obvious. Unfortunately, I just couldn't give this movie a 5 out of 5 because the vast majority of the mind control wasn’t bad enough to be funny or good enough to be scary. Mostly, it was just stupid. I recommend you watch this movie if you get the chance just for the sheer volume of mind control it contains. I just wouldn’t watch it on a full stomach if I were you.

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