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Ghost in the Machine (1993)

4.3
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Karl Hochman, a technician in a computer shop, is also "The Address-Book Killer", who obtains the names of his victims from stolen address-books. Terry Munroe and her son Josh come into the... See full summary »

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Title: Ghost in the Machine (1993)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Terry Munroe
...
Bram Wlaker
Ted Marcoux ...
Karl Hopkins
...
Josh Munroe
...
Elaine Spencer
...
Frazer
Rick Ducommun ...
Phil Stewart
...
Karl's Landlord
...
Elliott Miller
Shevonne Durkin ...
Carol Maibaum
Richard McKenzie ...
Frank Mallory
Mimi Lieber ...
Marta
Mickey Gilbert ...
Mickey the Driver
Ken Thorley ...
Salesman
Carl Gabriel Yorke ...
Safety Technician
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Storyline

Karl Hochman, a technician in a computer shop, is also "The Address-Book Killer", who obtains the names of his victims from stolen address-books. Terry Munroe and her son Josh come into the store to price software, and a salesman uses Terry's address-book to demonstrate a hand-held scanner. Karl obtains the file, and while driving to Terry's house that night in a heavy electrical storm, his car runs off the road and lands upside down in a cemetery. While Karl is undergoing a CAT scan at the hospital, a surge of lightning courses through the building, and Karl's mind is transformed into electrical energy. Karl uses the electrical grid and computer networks to continue his killing-spree. Written by Dennis Lewis <dsl@sprynet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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on-line soon See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for high-tech horror violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 December 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deadly Terror  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,914,692 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Approximately 40 minutes into the movie, a computer is scrolling through a list of names in a phone book, in search of its next victim. The names listed are mostly Hollywood producers. Going through the list slowly reveals Caryn Mandabach (listed as "Caryn Mandab"), Wink Martindale, Lorne Michaels (of Saturday Night Live (1975)), Bill Melendez ("Charlie Brown" specials), Neal Marlens (Growing Pains (1985)), Thomas L. Miller (Full House (1987)) and a host of others. The name the computer is searching for is Terry Munroe, which (maybe by coincidence) happens to be the birth name of actor Stepin Fetchit. See more »

Goofs

In one of the early scenes, we see Karen (mother) traveling along the street in her Volvo sedan from a distance, in which you can clearly see there is no-one visible in the passenger front seat. It is empty. In the next scene we see her son sitting in the seat. See more »

Quotes

Computer Ghost of Karl: You can't run, you can't hide, you can't win.
See more »

Connections

References The Monkees (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Check Yourself
Performed by D-Nice and Too $hort (as Too Short)
Written by D-Nice (as Derrick Jones) and Too $hort (as Todd Shaw)
Courtesy of Jive Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A movie about the sinister possibilities of the young internet.
21 January 2003 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

Ghost In The Machine is one of those movies that comes out with the emergence of some new technology and how it can go wrong. Computers were still in the major developing stages in the early 1990s (at least compared to today's standards), as was the Internet, and Ghost In The Machine seems to be a false start on getting a handle on turning the new technology into a horror movie or suspense thriller. The problem is that the writers of the movie were apparently so anxious to get the film written and filmed and released that they didn't take the time to put any thought into it.

The technical production of the film is not entirely a pathetic mess, even though it does assume that electronics come equipped with little windows through which can be seen the shining faces of people at their computers, and that electrical outlets with tape over them will display a blinking red ACCESS DENIED sign if you attempt to get through them, but even the most cartoonish computer animated scenes that took us on a roller coaster ride through our microwave ovens were at least mildly interesting, although not at all convincing. In this case, we are looking more at the technique than the content, the way you watch an abstract relaxation video.

The problem here is that the movie tells the story of how a serial killer steals peoples address books and then kills the people listed in them, but a reason for these killings is never even suggested. The closest we come to having a reason for why this guy is so eager to commit all of these brutal killings is during an early scene when he is driving home from his job at the computer shop, and in recklessly trying to pass a slow moving truck he swerves into oncoming traffic only to jerk the wheel to the left and go skidding down a steep hill upside down in his car, laughing all the way, HA HA HA! So the guy is completely insane. That's a reason, I guess, but probably the most uncreative one imaginable and therefore one of the least interesting ones possible.

The whole idea of the killer going into electricity in general is obviously the most unrealistic thing in the entire film, but it is stretched to cover almost the entire movie from beginning to end, which is what shows most clearly the fact that the movie is based on the emergence of the world wide web. It's kind of a what-if thriller about what would happen if a psychotic killer was accidentally released into the electricity based communications system that is the internet and was then able to defy all laws of logic and physics and who knows what else, and if he had somehow developed this overwhelming passion to kill a certain woman and her family and friends for committing the crime of leaving her address book at the computer shop. The movie makes a good solid effort to be a worthwhile thriller, but for the most part it falls completely flat.


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