A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
Sci-fi/horror-thriller "The Mind's Eye" is the kind of childish genre movie that gives genre movies a bad reputation. The reality within "The Mind's Eye," a horror film where psycho-kinetic misfits move things with their minds, resembles other films far more than anything outside of comic books and horror stories. There are some obvious references, particularly "Scanners," David Cronenberg's early masterpiece about over-stressed men who blow each other's heads up with their minds, but this film also has a stale comic book sensibility that makes its key relationships seem especially unbelievable. As an avowed comic book and horror film aficionado, it gives me no pleasure to dump on "The Mind's Eye," but this movie is amateurishly bad, and not in a fun way either.
In "The Mind's Eye," twenty-something psychic drifter Zack Connors (Graham Skipper) flees from mustache-twirling baddy Dr. Michael Slovak (John Speredakos) with the help of romantic interest/fellow psychic Rachel Meadows (Lauren Ashley Carter). Dr. Slovak tricks Connors into staying at the mysterious Slovak Institute of Psychokinetics because, well, Rachel is there. That's all the sense that you're going to get from this movie: Zack wants Rachel, and Slovak wants them both because he wants their powers.
There's a lot wrong with this under-developed scenario, right down to the fact that characters don't think or react to each other in plausible ways beyond a basic imperative to get to the next action scene. But let's start with Dr. Slovak, a generically domineering authoritarian. Dr. Slovak doesn't like to be touched, doesn't like his orders questioned and doesn't keep his word to his patients. When he's spat on, he licks the loogie up (though there's clearly nothing on his face but his beard). And when he declaims, he talks like Dr. Doom: "What you do, Zack—it will be child's play once I reach my full potential!" Dialogue like that creates a mandate to over-act, one that Speredakos lustily pursues with immodest abandon. Unfortunately, despite his zeal, Speredakos cannot be taken seriously. When Dr. Slovak gets amped up, he sounds like a cross between William Hickey and the Muppets' Gonzo the Great. And when Slovak exercises his psychic abilities, he looks badly constipated. Let's face it: some men just don't look photogenic whilst trying to move objects with their minds.
Like it or not, Dr. Slovak's villainous actions precipitate a crude on-the-run plot. Zack and Rachel run to Zack's estranged father's house while Slovak sends his evil minions after the two lovers. You know these guys are bad because one wears a black wool beanie, and the other has an eye patch. These heavies instigate the film's over-the-top but unimaginative kill scenes. But they don't really do much beyond yell things like "You're a dead man, Connors" before hoisting a cannon-sized pistol at their next would-be victim. These bland antagonists only exist in the realm of bad fiction, a magically hellish place where characters' motives and intelligence are both severely limited.