Invasion of the Mindbenders (1987)
aka Mind Benders, Alien High
Directed by Genie Joseph
Featuring Diane Ager, Alexandre Aumont, Victoria Barkoff
What it is: Teen comedy with fantastic elements
In order to keep the students in line, a high school principal agrees to subject his students to a mind control experiment to curb their wild behavior. When he begins fiddling with the mind control settings, there follows a rash of violent acts from the controlled teens.
Despite the plot description above, it’s definitely more of a teen comedy than a teen thriller. The first half of the movie plays like a chintzy, loud and obnoxious imitation of ANIMAL HOUSE. Once the teens are under mind control, things settle down a bit and it becomes less obnoxious, but I can’t really say things improve much. To its credit, there are moments where the comic bits work, and that keeps the movie from becoming interminable, but for the most part, this is a pretty thin affair. The big name actor here is Roy Thinnes, and though he too has his moments, mostly his performance suffers from an overly generous amount of yelling. The plot eventually incorporates a space alien as part of its story. All in all, this is definitely not Canada’s finest cinematic hour.