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Ghost in the Machine

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
Anchor Bay
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Rachel Talalay
Karen Allen
Chris Mulkey
Bottom Line: 

 Is it just me, or does every movie that attempts to show us the "life" inside of a machine end up looking cheap and ridiculous? For example, Hackers, the first movie to show us Angelina Jolie's boobs, had that whole "inside the computer there is a Tron-like 3-D city" thing going on, while the Lawnmower Man showed us that if we were to step into a virtual world, we'd look like shiny versions of ourselves with badly rendered faces.
I'm personally waiting for the movie that has the balls to show us what's really inside a computer, and make THAT exciting. I want to see a spinning fan, a green motherboard, extreme close-ups of RAM, and the churning of the hard drive. Actually, had I the choice to watch that film or Ghost in the Machine again, I think I'd pick the former.
Ghost in the Machine has some excuses for being another lame addition to the tech-hi-fi-sci-fi genre. It was made in 1993, it's fairly low-budget, and, perhaps most importantly, was directed by Rachel Talalay, who was responsible for the steaming pile of feces known as Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. Ghost teams with the Talalay-isms that crippled Freddy's Dead, from it's cartoonish and wooden characters to the absolute lack of suspense and gore (what little there is is dressed up in sparks and zappy lightning effects that hide whatever work the make-up artists may have put into the movie).
Ghost in the Machine stars Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) as Terry, a single mom who is targeted by the "address book killer" Karl Hochman (Ted Marcoux).Karl, while en route to kill Terry during a particularly nasty storm, rolls his car into a ditch and is critically injured. He is taken to the local hospital, and while being given a C.A.T. scan the building is struck by lightning and his "soul" is inexplicably turned into electrical impulses capable of taking over anything that plugs into a wall socket. Before you can say SHOCKER, Karl continues where he left off, trying to kill Terry by infiltrating a computer system that controls everything from the telephone system to Terry's vast dildo collection. Okay, no dildos here, but that would have made for a little fun in an otherwise joyless dud.
Ghost in the Machine is filled with borrowed elements, from the aforementioned Wes Craven classic, Shocker, to the awful Lawnmower Man films and, of course, generous helpings of Nightmare on Elm Street, but the ingredients quickly ferment into a stinking brew of nonsensical low-tech rubbish. 
Anchor Bay tosses this steamer onto DVD with a theatrical trailer and TV spots. Pretty much nothing, really, which is all this film deserves.
Quite simply; avoid.

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