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Ghost in the Machine (1993)

Karl Hochman is a technician in a computer store. He is also known as the "Address Book Killer" due to his habit of stealing people's address books and proceeding to murder anyone listed in... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Marcoux ...
Elaine Spencer
Karl's Landlord
Shevonne Durkin ...
Carol Maibaum
Frank Mallory
Mickey Gilbert ...
Mickey the Driver
Ken Thorley ...
Safety Technician


Karl Hochman is a technician in a computer store. He is also known as the "Address Book Killer" due to his habit of stealing people's address books and proceeding to murder anyone listed in the book. Terry Munroe and her son Josh come into the store to purchase software, and a salesman uses Terry's address book to demonstrate a handheld scanner. Karl obtains the book, and while driving to Terry's house that night in a thunderstorm, his car runs off the road and lands upside down in a cemetery. While Karl is undergoing an MRI at a 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. It is up to Terry, Josh, and computer hacker Bram Walker to stop him before it is too late. Written by Rebekah Swain (rkoshea1956@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 December 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deadly Terror  »

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,854,431 (USA) (2 January 1994)


$5,086,909 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


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 »


Terry Monroe: The phone company called. Someone just dialed 700 dollars worth of 900 numbers in the last 24 hours.
Josh Munroe: Think about it. 700 bucks in 24 hours. I'd have Laryngitis.
Terry Monroe: How do you explain it then?
Josh Munroe: I don't know, maybe it was Axl. He humps anything that moves.
Terry Monroe: Don't get smart with me!
See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Tapped Out (2012) See more »


Don't Call Me Nigger
Performed by Schooly-D (as Schoolly D)
Written by Schooly-D (as Jesse Bond Weaver, Jr.)
Courtesy of Jive Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Not bad, but nothing special
3 December 2016 | by (Los Angeles, Ca) – See all my reviews

Still upset over the death of their father, a woman and her son try to piece their lives together find that the deaths of her friends and acquaintances is the result of a serial killer transformed into the computer networks forcing her to turn to a computer expert to stop him before it kills everyone.

When it tried there are a couple of rather good things about this. One of the better features here is the fact that the storyline was quite an interesting concept, and it's really handled decently for the most part. The originality of the concept is nice to see at the time, utilizing the unfamiliar technology that would've been just introduced to most at the time while introducing the concept of the killer's reasoning for the rampage which gives this a rather topical touch and is a welcome change from the normal slashers at the time. Seeing the lengths he goes to in order to track them down both her and those within her address book both out in the real world or in her house adds a great dimension to the concept of the fear in this one, and manages to provide some nice action along the way. The opening car accident gives this a great action-packed opening which featured something new, a car sliding on its roof through a graveyard from the driver's point of view, the different traps around the house where one gets their skin melted off in a super- heated room or being trapped under a rapidly-closing pool cover all work since several of the kills in here are pretty nice, while the funeral sequence where a crematorium furnace fires a coffin back out and a charred corpse goes flying into the audience of mourners is a rather effective shock moment. The final conflagration is rather decent in its over-the-top hysterics within the big machine compound and ends it rather nicely filled with some nice stalking with the race to get everything prepared to stop him provides a lot to like. These here really work nicely for this one even though this is still a far below decent film. The biggest flaw is the fact that the film makes absolutely no sense at all since there's nothing here to tell what's going on, how the killer came into its present state of being, or how it even worked in the first place. It's all just really taken for granted and doesn't offer any explanations for anything. There's not even any hesitation whatsoever and no awe as to the killer's newfound abilities, which is what normally happens in this kind of movie to offer an attempt at an explanation, but this just ignores it and doesn't tell what happened to anything. The other big factor is the fact that nothing even really happens at all, and most of the time resorts to techno-babble that doesn't explain anything at all. There are only a few kills in the film and they're so spread out that it's a long time to get started. It's just an all-around dull and lifeless affair trying to hope something happens, and it really leaves this one quite spread out in terms of its action. Otherwise, this was a boring slasher film with a few decent scenes to put above the dull, but it's still not that impressive.

Rated R: Graphic Language, Violence and violence-against-animals.

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