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Ghost in the Machine (1993)

4.3
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Ratings: 4.3/10 from 2,495 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 23 critic

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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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

Taglines:

They said the killer was better off dead. They were wrong. 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

The trailer features the scores of 1987's "Predator" and 1986's "Aliens". 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

Veteran Cop: [to rookie cop] Looks like your gonna have a hell of a night as your first day on the force.
See more »

Connections

References The Monkees (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Living with a Stranger
Performed by Millie Jackson
Written by Pjaye Scott and Douglas Knyght
Courtesy of Jive Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Agreeable escapism.
11 August 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Not bad techno-thriller is reasonably slick and well paced, and delivers some okay thrills for not particularly demanding viewers. Granted, it requires one to completely suspend their disbelief, but that hardly makes it unique for this kind of thing. If you can buy into it for entertainments' sake, you may find it to your liking. The story deals with a sick, sadistic psycho killer who robs address books from people and then murders everybody in the books. (One would think this would keep him pretty damn busy.) His name is Karl Hochman (Ted Marcoux), and he works as a technician at a computer store. While on his way to murder his latest victim, single mom Terry Munroe (Karen Allen, appealing as always) he gets impatient and gets into a horrible car accident. While his body is being scanned at a hospital, his "imprint" or "soul" or whatever is sucked into a computer mainframe thanks to a power surge. In this form he can then continue to stalk Terry, ruining her credit and depleting her bank account, while going about slaughtering those in *her* address book. His ingenious methods have him utilizing various electrical devices. Two delicious set pieces involve a hot air blower in a washroom and a microwave oven. You have to see these to believe them. Director Rachel Talalay rebounds somewhat from her fumbled, lame debut of "Freddy's Dead" in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise by keeping this moving well enough no matter how much the script, by William Osborne and William Davies, may have us shaking our heads. Allen is great, although her characters' cluelessness may frustrate some in the audience. The film also gives a nice co-starring role to veteran supporting and character actor Chris Mulkey, as the outlaw hacker turned respectable employee who becomes the hero of the piece. Marcoux is a hoot as the very unsubtle villain (he actually *sniffs* Terry's address book, for Gods' sake!). Wil Horneff is decent as Terry's rebellious son, and Jessica Walter ("Play Misty for Me", 'Arrested Development') is on hand as Terry's mom. The supporting players include such familiar faces as Brandon Quintin Adams (the lead of another horror film, Wes Cravens' "The People Under the Stairs"), Rick Ducommun, Nancy Fish, Carl Gabriel Yorke, Chris Ellis, and 'The West Wing' cast member Richard Schiff in a bit; Schiffs' brother Paul was the films' producer. Super sexy Shevonne Durkin provides appreciable eye candy as the babysitter. The various computer generated special effects are well done, and overall this is diverting stuff for anybody ready to turn off their brains for an hour and a half. One thing you have to enjoy is the image of the killers' creative way of staging a family night at home. Seven out of 10.


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