Mind Leech (2023) Film Review
The calling card of a movie like All leech very loud reminder of how it was made. “It will remind you of Roger Corman” or “this looks like a Lloyd Kaufman joint”. This is how it should work. Such shows are allowed in indie cinema. What’s really interesting about the end result is that it was unexpectedly a very well done film that to me is miles away from being anything like a Corman film. Sure, the humor is there to remind you that this is a horror comedy from its conception, but the film isn’t funny. It is a wonderful mission that is carried out with love and passion.
Paul Krysinski and Chris Cheeseman are behind the surprising film. Their resources are strictly limited. There are no scripts or familiar faces. There are no huge special effects. It’s just a decent-looking and highly effective editing style. They deserve applause, more budget and bigger opportunities. Why? They could make a ridiculous movie with it All leech. It’s the easy way out of indie cinema conversations that turns heads. But they don’t. They work with what they have and afterwards make a cool movie that we wish we could have made with our friends.
The story is simple. It tells the story of a parasite that can bond with human hosts and turn them into killing machines with zombie-like behavior and funny physical abilities. There isn’t much more to the story that focuses on law enforcement trying to solve what is essentially an absurd situation.
How do you keep things interesting? Well, it’s a matter of knowing and recognizing your limitations. All leech funny and kind when needed. But it’s also starkly violent when it comes to making a statement about the other kind of film it really is. The sequences aren’t terribly long, and the running time is barely over 60 minutes, so it works as a short film about a subject we’ve seen before, but never made by two guys who specifically love film. Even in its resolution, the film does not cover risky territory. They resolve it quickly and gruesomely, which is nothing but the right decision.
Not big special effects, but practical effects that are never out of proportion to the film’s budget. Sometimes it actually looks a lot better than it should be, and there’s no big secret to how it’s made. They want their movie to look and feel better than what they get. The performances are not flashy or gratuitously funny. The story is limited to a few characters trying to make sense of a parasitic entity that turns friends into violent enemies. Both directors never make things more difficult than what they already do from a production standpoint.
It’s not a perfect movie. It’s not something you’ll remember forever, either. But the effort is loud and clear, and sometimes that’s all it’s about. And so, horror is just a functional medium that appeals to the most loyal fan base ever imagined.