An off-the-wall horror film, shot in New Zealand, thatís sure to offend psychological researchers.Itís set in a small Illinois town, where high-school kids are volunteering for chemical conditioning at a local university in exchange for $200. The experiment turns kids into robotic murderers who go around carving peopleís hands off and causing general mayhem.
Director Michael Laughlin knows how to set up good, pleasant scares, and the acting is solid. Michael Murphy is excellent as a police chief who has a beef with the research lab and determines to solve the mystery; Dan Shor is his son, who submits to the conditioning for college money; the beautiful Dey Young is Shorís girlfriend; and Fiona Lewis, looking just like Sean Young in Blade Runner, is the evil psychologist who runs the lab. Louise Fletcher is also in there somewhere, though she has nothing to do except offer people food and deliver crucial exposition.
It's probably your only chance to see Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen in the Christopher Reeve Superman films) wearing a Tor Johnson mask and stalking people with a knife.Score by Tangerine Dream; written by Bill Condon, who went on to direct 'Gods and Monsters,' 'Kinsey,' and 'Dreamgirls.'